Comprehensive, compassionate pediatric weight loss care
The Adolescent Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Clinic at CHRISTUS Children’s provides compassionate and comprehensive patient- and family-centered care for teenagers who are overweight or obese and who want to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Teens need models for healthy eating and physical activity, so we partner with parents and other family members throughout treatment. Together, we will establish a personalized surgical plan to assist weight loss, improve health and overcome obstacles that keep your family from living life to the fullest.
Team of bariatric specialists
Directed by Ann O’Connor, MD, specialist with expertise in pediatric bariatric surgery, the bariatric program focuses on the unique medical, behavioral, nutritional and psychological needs of each patient.
Working together to address the different causes and effects of obesity, your care team members may include:
- Pediatric surgeon
- Physical therapist
- Social worker
- Registered dietitian
The first step toward your child’s healthier future
Decisions you and your child make today can make a big difference in his or her life, today and throughout adulthood. If you are concerned about your child’s struggle with weight, call our office to schedule a consultation and begin the journey toward a healthier future.
Get care, guidance and support that can help change your teen’s outlook and his or her life.
Different carriers have different coverage policies. Call your insurance company to verify your benefits for bariatric surgery.
What to expect
The first appointment may last one to two hours. During this time, the physician and bariatric dietitian will complete a thorough medical review and evaluation, which may include lab work and a Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement. BMI is the number calculated from height and weight measurements to assess whether an individual has a healthy weight for his or her height.
Also at the first visit:
- We will screen for metabolic issues and treat as needed.
- We will talk about lifestyle and establish some initial goals for new, healthier behaviors.
- A physical therapist will design a home exercise program for you that works with your schedule and lifestyle. If pain or difficulty exercising is an issue, your physical therapist may offer some solutions, such as orthotics for orthopedic problems.
- Our social worker and psychologist help families better manage stress and initiate behavior change, and address any mental health issues. They will also identify needs and connect families with resources.
- If additional medical concerns are present, we will work with your primary care provider to obtain any necessary referrals for specialty care.
After the first appointment and assessment, follow-up visits are scheduled monthly and usually last for about an hour. Success takes time and effort, and results vary by patient.
During the program, the patient and their family will learn to:
- Choose the right forms of exercise
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Drink low-fat or non-fat milk
- Limit sugar and sweets
- Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages