State’s first teen bariatric surgery program opens

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Rose Medical Center in Denver has opened the state’s first bariatric surgery program for teens.

Bariatric surgery, or weight loss surgery, involves reducing the size of the stomach to control appetite.

“This isn’t just about having surgery, and it’s not some quick fix,” said Rose bariatric surgery director Dr. Michael Snyder. “Families and teens go through months of counseling and classes before any surgical option is considered.”

Officials said surgery will only be considered after doctors have exhausted every option for teens and determine it’s one of the only ways to help them achieve a healthy life.

Between 16 and 33 percent of children and adolescents in the country are considered obese. The medical center developed the teen program that includes medical and surgical components.