Bariatric Surgery as a Solution to the Issue of Adolescent Obesity

Free «Bariatric Surgery as a Solution to the Issue of Adolescent Obesity» Essay Sample

The issue of obesity has become topical for America, especially among the youth. In fact, the majority of the American adolescents are suffering from the extra weight, their way of life and lack of a proper education about own body lead to it; despite the fact that the information about negative consequences of obesity has become available everywhere, there are still a lot of people, who ignore this issue and go on with their destructive lifestyle. Although nowadays there are a lot of different diets, medicines, gymnastics techniques, which are the first-line usual methods of the treatment, results are not always satisfactory, and they not always constant and may not necessarily be appropriate for the patient. In this case, it comes to the aid of a popular bariatric surgery (Wiewiora et al.). Results of a surgical treatment of obesity are far superior to conventional methods of treatment, leading to the improved lifestyle risk factors and reduction of many diseases.

Generally, the problem with teenagers, who have extra weight, is that it makes a lot of damage to their health and has become almost critical nowadays. Thus, the scientists are looking for the new methods of resolving (Black et al.). One of the newest and most effective methods is bariatric surgery. Despite having a potential possibility to resolve the issue of obesity in difficult individual case, it is also rather controversial, because a lot of doctors are still sure that surgery should not be applied to people who are under age and whose bodies are still developing. The reason for this is that they are potentially able to overcome the extra weight by themselves (Black et al.). At the same time, there are some cases, in which waiting for the gradual result can be rather dangerous for the child who is suffering from the obesity. In this research paper, it will be argued that bariatric surgery, despite all related risks and ethical issues, can be considered as one of the most effective methods of support in case of the necessity to deal with adolescent overweight immediately.

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A surgical treatment can be performed in case of a morbid general form of obesity and in case of ineffective earlier methods of treatment. To begin with, the most controversial aspect of obesity that can be considered as a main barrier to the successful implementation of methods of bariatric surgery for the youth is a moral aspect with referencing to the ethics (Van Geelen, Bolt, and van Summeren). At the same time, the current practice and researches related to this method can be used as a straight demonstration of the fact that this operation was helpful for many adult people, who had issues connected with the obesity and extra weight. The main problem is the lack of a proper theoretical framework and ethical background for making specific decisions related to including bariatric surgery as the main method of helping children and teenagers, who are suffering from the extra weight. If there is a proper theoretical framework with the specification, example, and predictions of successful consequences, it will be possible to develop the method in a proper way and help children (Marino et al.). At the moment, one of the most significant arguments is the possibility of a complication after the surgery; this issue can be overcome by the organism of an adult person, while in cases of adolescents, it is difficult to make any specific prediction related to the outcomes for their health in the future (van Geelen, Bolt, and van Summeren). The issue of consequences is generally rather challenging, especially for children, and it might be defined as a reason to avoid surgery. Moreover, there is a common belief for all opponents of the method, in terms of which they believe that in many cases, the problem might be solved with a simple balance between the lifestyle and eating healthy food, and this belief leads to abandoning any possibility of surgery for children, who are mainly claimed to be able to deal with everything by themselves (Marino et al.). At the same time, methods that are usually applied to the overweight children are mainly rather moderate and cannot help them in time, especially in the critical cases. This barrier is discussed broadly in the scientific sphere, and the possibility of conducting a general ethical research is promising for the development of the method. It is possible to suggest the decision that might be regarded as a temporary resolution, whereas the operation might be used in cases if no other therapy seems to be helpful at all. Until the proper investigations in the ethical sphere are conducted, this approach might be helpful in saving lives of children, whose state has become genuinely dangerous for their lives (Wiewiora et al.).

One of the positive aspects of the surgery that has already been researched by the scientists is related to the issue of eating disorders and habits after the operation. Generally, there were several theories that the operation might lead to negative results in the aspect of developing eating disorders, changing of the general eating habits and different psychological perceptions of food and eating in general. At the same time, there is still not enough researches in this sphere to define some tendencies. The existing ones predominantly have a common feature, since they demonstrate that after the operation and the period of recovery, any previously existing eating disorders might be transformed in a positive way. In this aspect, it is necessary to include several specialists into the process of a general recovery of the patient, who will be able to deal with the issues of possible eating disorders. To make the operation as effective as possible, it will be necessary to invite the psychologists to work with the patient. Generally, the majority of the cases of obesity, especially among teenagers, might be related to the issue of psychological challenges and dysfunctions. In order not to damage the results of the operations or make the general picture of the operation worse, it is necessary to omit repeating of the possible psychological causes of eating disorders. In fact, the success of bariatric surgery cannot be caused only by a proper operation, the period of rehabilitation and changing the lifestyle will also be essential, otherwise the operation might make everything worse for the patient. In case of eating disorders worsening after the operation, despite this tendency has not been noticed, there is a risk of the psychological worsening, and that is why a proper support in this aspect is genuinely essential. This kind of surgery can become a perfect treatment in case if all the possible risks after it are predicted and removed. At the same time, this sphere still needs a specific scientific development in terms of the researches devoted to different aspects of it.


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One of the cases, when an operation is of the high need and significance, can be related to helping patients, who are suffering from a severe form of sleeping disorders caused by the morbid form of obesity. It is dangerous for them in terms of the physical, mental, and psychological health. One of the most challenging consequences of having extra weight among children and teenagers is the sleep apnea that usually results in a lot of severe problems for the general health of a child (Dixon, Schachter, and O’Brien). Primarily, it leads to the extensive inclination to the day sleepiness that decreases the reaction, concentration, and trainability of a child. In general, it can result in a potentially dangerous situation of the child in the society. The activity of organs is also lower than needed, and it creates an extra burden for the organism of a child, who is already negatively impacted by the extra weight. Apnea is also destructive for the health in general, for instance, its impact on heart of a child is dangerous to a considerable degree. In addition, apnea in the early ages might become permanent, and it will be difficult to deal with it even several years later. In case if lowering of the weight is too moderate, it might be highly dangerous for breathing, childish heart and the general development of a child in future. Furthermore, mental abilities are affected by the lack of proper sleeping, there leading to a substantial risk of mental issues. Sleeping is essential for children, and apnea creates a general risk, even for the organs and aspects of the development that are not damaged by the extra weight. In such cases, an operation might become a considerable aid for a child suffering from the defined issues. In fact, abandoning the possibility of using the method of operation for the children and teenagers with obesity might create great risks for all aspects of the childish development and even cause an early lethal outcome for them.

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There is one more aspect that might become an effective argument for the opponent of the operation as a method of the resolution of the issue. Due to the obesity during the teen age, girls are suffering not only from general health issues, but also from the specific menstrual problems and challenges that cannot be resolved in the ordinary way and by the ordinary treatment. Among adolescents with obesity, there is a general tendency of a later or early onset of menstruation. The earlier onset of menstruation mainly takes place due to the fact of acceleration, as between the average body weight at the time of the arrival of menarche and the average age, whereas there is a specific relationship that is crucial for the menstruation. The amount of fat influences the age of coming of the first menstruation, so far it is impossible to pinpoint, since the hypothalamic response to the loss or accumulation of the body fat mass is ambiguous (Hillman, Miller, and Inge). An irregular menstrual function in women with obesity can be considered as a common case. Obesity can generally lead to the absence of menstruation and infertility as a result, but the mechanism of this phenomenon is poorly researched. According to most researchers, menstrual disorders are secondary and are a consequence of obesity. The formation of a menstrual function has a significant effect on the reproductive system, while the data on the characteristics of the reproductive function in obesity is rather contradictory. Thus, obesity is mainly associated with the earlier periods and the action of specific gene mutations on a number of physiological systems, including the body mass index and reproductive status (Hillman, Miller, and Inge). In case of the operation, the hormonal state of the organism will change a lot, and it will lead to general changes in the menstruation. At the same time, it will be necessary to consider that these changes should make a specific impact on the contraceptives that are taken by women.

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In general, the method of bariatric surgery can be considered as necessary and possible in a lot of cases, especially in those, when children cannot be helped by the other methods. For instance, sleeping apnea can be regarded as a reason to use the method of a surgery; otherwise, there are a lot of risks. Anyway, there are not enough researches nowadays that are devoted to different aspects of the surgery. Thus, they need to be conducted to make this method common and applicable for saving lives of children. The ethical aspect and the issue of consequences are the factors that should be addressed primarily in the future researches.

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