If your child is severely obese, serious medical problems can result — so it's important to lose the extra weight. But, if regular weight loss attempts haven’t worked, pediatric bariatric surgery (surgery for weight loss) might be an option. At Nemours Children’s Health System, we're helping to set the bar nationally in pediatric weight loss surgery. Our surgeons and medical professionals have a high level of expertise and experience in treating teens with severe obesity, and use the very best pediatric bariatric surgery techniques.
What Is Pediatric Bariatric Surgery?
Simply put, pediatric bariatric surgery is a procedure designed to help a person lose excess weight. The type of pediatric bariatric surgery our experts at Nemours advocate and perform is known as “gastric sleeve surgery” or “laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.” So what does that mean in plain English?
The procedure creates a smaller gastric (stomach) area, slimming it down into a narrower sleeve or banana-like structure. “Laparoscopic” means we make several small incisions to insert a tiny camera or scope, which helps guide the procedure and allows us to use small instruments to perform the technique. (This is a form of minimally invasive surgery, which can help your child to experience fewer complications and discomfort postsurgery.)
“Gastrectomy” simply refers to removing part of the stomach. Most often, we remove a large portion of a severely obese young person’s stomach.
The Effects of Pediatric Bariatric Surgery
After gastric sleeve surgery, the newly narrowed stomach pouch holds much less than a normally sized stomach. This helps to significantly reduce the amount of food (and, therefore, calories) that can be consumed. It also affects the stomach's hormone levels — reducing hunger, increasing feelings of fullness, and aiding the control of blood sugar levels.
Gastric sleeve surgery enables rapid and significant weight loss. In fact, most patients lose 50 to 80 percent of their excess body weight 12 months after surgery. At Nemours, our patients are currently averaging 83 percent excess weight loss one year after pediatric bariatric surgery.
Our Pediatric Bariatric Surgery Expertise
Managing a healthy weight may be challenging for your child or teen, for many reasons. For the best results, our physicians and staff will work closely with you, your child and your whole family to establish a healthy lifestyle. When the whole family adopts healthy eating and physical activity habits, pediatric bariatric surgery is more successful — and overall health improves for everyone in the family.
Our team of nationally recognized experts is made up of health care providers specializing in pediatrics, surgery, psychology, nursing, nutrition and exercise. Our Nemours Weight Management Clinic is one of the longest-standing and busiest pediatric weight management clinics in the country.
Convenience to Make It All a Little Easier
To help you and your child focus on the task of losing weight and engaging in healthy habits, we'll arrange coordinated appointments for you. That means you and your child can see all of the health care providers you need as conveniently as possible, from our pediatricians and surgeons to psychologists, dietitians and nurses. We'll do all we can to make your life a little easier — before and after your child’s pediatric bariatric surgery.
For Appointments: (800) 416-4441
For More Information: (215) 861-8830
Hours: Fourth Friday of each month, by appointment
Please Note: Your appointment will be in the specialty care office, not the adjacent primary care office.
- photo ID
- medical and pharmacy insurance cards
- preferred pharmacy name and phone number
- names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
- guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
- Patient Registration (PDF)
Returning Patient Forms
- Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
English | Spanish
Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families
- Insurance We Accept: See accepted insurance, listed by location.
- Pay Your Bill: Use online bill pay or send by mail.
- Financial Assistance: Get help with your child's health care expenses.
- MyNemours: Access your child’s medical record online.
- Your Child's Surgery Guide (PDF) in English or Spanish: What to expect before, during and right after surgery.
Nikki's Gastric Sleeve Surgery
In this video, you’ll meet Nikki, who began to develop very serious health issues because of her weight. Since having the gastric sleeve pediatric bariatric surgery procedure at duPont Hospital for Children, Nikki has lost more than 98 pounds and is a healthy, active teenager.
Pediatric Bariatric Surgery
Maintaining a healthy weight is important to avoid a number of dangerous medical problems. When regular weight loss attempts aren't enough, pediatric bariatric surgery can be an option. We perform pediatric bariatric surgery at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., but offer some of the necessary follow-up appointments at our Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Philadelphia location for added convenience to our patients and families.
These appointments may include physical exams and nutrition counseling. You and your child may meet with our physician, physician assistant or registered dietitian at this location.