ASMBS pediatric metabolic and bariatric surgery guidelines, 2018

Janey S.A. Pratt, Allen Browne, Nancy T. Browne, Matias Bruzoni, Megan Cohen, Ashish Desai, Thomas Inge, Bradley C. Linden, Samer G. Mattar, Marc Michalsky, David Podkameni, Kirk W. Reichard, Fatima Cody Stanford, Meg H. Zeller, Jeffrey Zitsman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

241 Scopus citations


The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Pediatric Committee updated their evidence-based guidelines published in 2012, performing a comprehensive literature search (2009–2017) with 1387 articles and other supporting evidence through February 2018. The significant increase in data supporting the use of metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) in adolescents since 2012 strengthens these guidelines from prior reports. Obesity is recognized as a disease; treatment of severe obesity requires a life-long multidisciplinary approach with combinations of lifestyle changes, nutrition, medications, and MBS. We recommend using modern definitions of severe obesity in children with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention age- and sex-matched growth charts defining class II obesity as 120% of the 95th percentile and class III obesity as 140% of the 95th percentile. Adolescents with class II obesity and a co-morbidity (listed in the guidelines), or with class III obesity should be considered for MBS. Adolescents with cognitive disabilities, a history of mental illness or eating disorders that are treated, immature bone growth, or low Tanner stage should not be denied treatment. MBS is safe and effective in adolescents; given the higher risk of adult obesity that develops in childhood, MBS should not be withheld from adolescents when severe co-morbidities, such as depressed health-related quality of life score, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis exist. Early intervention can reduce the risk of persistent obesity as well as end organ damage from long standing co-morbidities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)882-901
Number of pages20
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent obesity
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Childhood obesity
  • Guidelines
  • Guidelines for adolescent bariatric surgery
  • Metabolic and bariatric surgery
  • Morbid obesity
  • Pediatric
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Weight loss surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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