Posted by: Pulse Clinical Team24 September 2013
A morbidly obese two and a half year old boy is thought to be the youngest person to have had bariatric surgery, according to a report in the International Journal of Surgery Case Reports.
Doctors from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, describe how they performed laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy on the boy who had a body mass index (BMI) of 41.1 kg/m2 and who did not have a genetic explanation for the morbid obesity. His legs had begun to bow, and he had developed obstructive sleep apnoea.
The boy was six months when it was noticed he was gaining excess weight and his BMI was 29 kg/m2 by 14 months. Hormonal and known genetic causes were ruled out and - after unsuccessful diet and medical interventions - he gained another 8 kg during a 4-month period.
He underwent surgery and two months later his body weight had decreased by 15% and his BMI by 30%, and his sleep apnoea had improved dramatically. After two years follow up his BMI was down to 24kg/m2.
Before this report, the youngest child to undergo sleeve gastrectomy was a five years old - also from Saudi Arabia.