Timing of bariatric surgery for severely obese adolescents: A Markov decision-analysis

Andrea Stroud, Devin Parker, Daniel P. Croitoru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose Although controversial, bariatric surgery is increasingly being performed in adolescents. We developed a model to simulate the effect of timing of gastric bypass in obese adolescents on quantity and quality of life. Methods A Markov state-transition model was constructed comparing two treatment strategies: gastric bypass surgery at age 16 versus delayed surgery in adulthood. The model simulated a hypothetical cohort of adolescents with body mass index of 45 kg/m2. Model inputs were derived from current literature. The main outcome measure was quality and quantity of life, measured using quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Results For females, early gastric bypass surgery was favored by 2.02 QALYs compared to delaying surgery until age 35 (48.91 vs. 46.89 QALYs). The benefit was even greater for males, where early surgery was favored by 2.9 QALYs (48.30 vs. 45.40 QALYs). The absolute benefit of surgery at age 16 increased; the later surgery was delayed into adulthood. Sensitivity analyses demonstrated that adult surgery was favored only when the values for adverse events were unrealistically high. Conclusions In our model, early gastric bypass in obese adolescents improved both quality and quantity of life. These findings are useful for surgeons and pediatricians when counseling adolescents considering weight loss surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-858
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Decision analysis
  • Gastric bypass
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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