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Teens to be offered weight loss surgery

Severely obese teenagers in Scotland are to be offered obesity medicine and gastric band surgery as part of a new range of possible treatment options to reduce weight.

SIGN, who develop clinical guidelines in Scotland, have recommended new guidelines on managing obesity and have set out a new range of treatments to manage and reduce obesity in children and young people.

Obesity clinics will initially introduce healthier eating and try to reduce or manage weight in young people by increasing vigorous exercise and being more active.

However for the first time in Scotland, severely obese teenagers living with another condition that is complicated by being obese will now be offered anti-obesity drugs and surgery to help bring weight down.

New Guidelines

Under the new guidelines, the anti-obesity drug Orlistat will be offered under close medical supervision where lifestyle advice has failed to significantly reduce weight. The drug will only be made available in specialist clinics where the side effects can be monitored.

Bariatric surgery including the use of gastric band will also be made available to some adolescents who are severely obese and have another health condition which is severely complicated by being obese.

Any young person with diabetes undergoing bariatric surgery will have their diabetes specialist team involved before and after surgery. Teams will work with the patient and their family and will give guidance on how the surgery will impact on managing diabetes in the future.

Understanding needed

Anne Paris Diabetes UK Scotland’s National Care Advisor said: ”Young people who are severely obese will have been supported by their health teams to try to lose weight by exercising and dieting. However for a very small number of young people who have another condition which is compromised by being obese, drug or surgical interventions may be offered.

“We would especially encourage young people with diabetes and their families to take the time to discuss and understand the possible long term implications of these treatments.”

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