Obese 2-year-old becomes youngest gastric bypass patient

Youngest Gastric Bypass Patient

A new medical report reveals a Saudi Arabian toddler underwent gastric bypass surgery when he was just 2-years-old. This drastic measure has quickly attracted criticism from experts who call it “shocking” and “unethical.”

According to an article in The International Journal of Surgery Case Reports, the unnamed toddler weighed 72 lbs. and had a BMI of 41. His parents sought medical help when the boy was 14-months-old and 46 lbs. Despite a strict diet plan, his weight continued to climb. (The surgeons admitted they were unable to determine whether the parents enforced the diet.) The boy also began to suffer from sleep apnea and experienced bowing of the legs.

The toddler underwent irreversible laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy surgery in 2010. This reduced the size of the boy’s stomach and restricted his appetite.

“We present here probably the first case report of the successful management of a two year old morbidly obese boy,” wrote the boy’s surgeons, Mohammed Al Mohaidlya, Ahmed Sulimana and Horia Malawib.

The surgeons reported that the boy’s weight dropped 20 lbs. within two years of surgery. This gave him a BMI of 24, which is within the normal range.

After Toddler Weight Loss Surgery

Although the surgery seemed to benefit the Saudi Arabian boy, other medical experts expressed concerns with the case study.

“We have no idea what effect this may have on the child’s growth and unless he has proper follow up he may suffer vitamin deficiencies,” obesity expert adjunct professor Paul Zimmett told Austrialia’s News.com.au.

Fox News medical professional Dr. Manny was similarly concerned with the doctors’ decision to pursue weight loss surgery before exhausting other options.

“Saudi Arabia is an educated, well-developed nation with a lot of resources and great doctors. Yet, it seems to me that the decision to operate on this 2-year-old was premature and it borders on being unethical,” he said, suggesting doctors should have sent nutritionists to the boy’s home if they believed the parents weren’t sticking to the diet plan.

Previously, the youngest known weight-loss surgery patient was a 4-year-old Indian boy who compulsively ate as a result of Prader Willi Syndrome.

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