Pediatric Weight Loss Surgery
Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past forty years and 2015-2016 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that one in five children in the United States is obese. Like adults, children with obesity can develop life-threatening health conditions, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. For severely obese children and adolescents, bariatric surgery may be an option to significantly reduce weight and improve overall health.
Under the leadership of Dr. Alex Ayzengart, bariatric surgeon, and Dr. Moiz Mustafa, pediatric surgeon, UF Health has created a pediatric weight loss surgery program. We are a fully accredited Adult and Adolescent Bariatric Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, which is the largest non-profit medical organization in the world dedicated to metabolic and bariatric surgery, and obesity-related diseases and conditions.
Our program combines the expertise and efforts of multiple UF departments, including bariatric surgery, pediatric surgery, pediatric endocrinology, general pediatrics and pediatric genetics, to care for children and young adults, ages 12 to 18, who are morbidly obese. In addition, our program has its own specialized bariatric psychologist, trained in child psychology, as well as a registered dietician, to provide well-rounded and full service treatment plans for obese children and adolescents struggling with obesity.
Patients and parents first meet with our bariatric and pediatric surgeons to determine if the child qualifies for bariatric surgery. In the case that a patient does not qualify, our team will direct the family to proceed with an aggressive medical weight loss management program, including dietary and behavioral modifications.
If surgery is an option, our team works together to determine what type of surgery is most beneficial for the patient. Once a decision is made, an extensive evaluation and education process begins, involving meetings with our dieticians, child psychologist, nurse educator and surgical team. In addition, we perform studies, as needed, to evaluate the patient for sleep apnea, reflux esophagitis or laboratory abnormalities (blood work).
If you are interested in our program or an evaluation, please call 352.265.0535.
Meet our Team