Adolescent Bariatric Program

Bariatric surgery is available to help adolescents lose weight. It is considered a major surgery and requires pre- and post-operative care to ensure the patient successfully follows a plan to lose weight and keep it off. This plan involves addressing the medical, psychosocial and emotional needs of the teen or young adult.

Bariatric surgery may be appropriate for certain teens and young adults who have tried other nutritional and physical activity programs to lose weight, but have been unsuccessful.

About our program

The Adolescent Bariatric Program is a unique collaboration of staff from the Healthy Weight Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The team includes a physician, surgeons, nurse practitioners, dietitian, physical activity specialist, social worker and psychologist.

Adolescents who are interested in bariatric surgery will be evaluated by the team to make sure this treatment is appropriate and a good fit for the patient and family. Surgery takes place at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. 

Eligibility for bariatric surgery

  • Age 15 to 20 at the time of surgery
  • Patients are followed until age of 22 years
  • Body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 or BMI greater than 35 with medical complications related to obesity, including high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, or liver disease
  • A documented history of weight management and weight loss attempts with supervised diets and exercise programs
  • No indication of active drug addiction, alcoholism, or untreated major psychiatric disorder
  • The candidate must be done growing

Learn more about bariatric surgery

If you are interested in learning more about the Adolescent Bariatric Program, please call to register for an information session. Registration for an information session is required.

Information sessions are generally held the fourth Wednesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at the Healthy Weight Clinic, 3550 Market Street.

If you have questions about insurance coverage, review the Billing and Insurance section of our site.

Attend our support group

Want to get support from peers and practice skills? Our support group is for patients ages 15 to 22 years who are in preparation for and post-surgery. Meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of every month from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Healthy Weight Kitchen at 3550 Market Street. Bariatric surgery patients who are seen at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and are under age 22 are welcome to join. Call 267-426-2782 to RSVP.