The study is the first to look at post-surgical outcomes for this subgroup of adolescent bariatric surgery patients. Though young people with intellectual disabilities or cognitive impairment have greater rates of obesity and other comorbidities that impact their health and well-being, primary care providers are often reluctant to discuss or refer these patients for weight-loss surgery due to concerns about their ability to assent to both the surgery and the ongoing diet and lifestyle changes after surgery. This study adds to the body of research that is helping to create standard criteria for bariatric surgery in adolescents and teenagers. “We’re happy to contribute evidence that can help families and care providers make informed health decisions for young people with intellectual disabilities or cognitive impairments,” said Eleanor Mackey, senior author of the study. Though the sample size is small, it does give credence to the idea that for many adolescents and teenagers, weight loss surgery may be a really viable option regardless of pre-existing conditions such as intellectual ability or cognitive function,” said Mackey.
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