Toddler Gets Weight Loss Surgery

Bad DoctorA toddler  – a toddler, a child of two years old who cannot yet walk with proficiency – in Saudi Arabia was given irreversible gastric sleeve surgery.  That shit actually happened (It’s definitely a swearing day, you’ve been warned.)

What the fuck?  What the fucking fuck?  What the actual fucking fuck?  The kid was two years old and his stomach has been amputated and his digestive system redesigned by a surgeon who has literally no idea what this means for his future or what is likely to happen as he, we hope, grows up.

What they do know is that he was put on a series of diets before age 2.  At 14 months old he weighed 46 pounds and his parents took him to an endocrinologist who, finding nothing wrong with him, put him on his first diet.  He gained 17 pounds.  They assumed that the parents hadn’t followed the diet and put him in a clinic on a medically supervised plan.  He gained 18 more pounds.

They did testing and could find nothing out of the ordinary.  They had no idea why he was gaining weight on these diets, so they decided the next logical step was just to go ahead and perform a dangerous and irreversible surgery that has never been done on someone so young.  Why bother to do the work to diagnose an issue when you can just cut up a toddler, I mean what do we think this is, an episode of House?

Let’s also remember that in order to have even a hope of absorbing enough nutrition to grow he will have to keep up with a nutrition plan and supplements.  They are entrusting this to the same parents who they didn’t believe could follow a simple caloric restriction diet.

In fact, they found that during the 2 year follow up period:

The parents of the child did not comply with the provided instruction/s and more often showed a tendency to miss appointments and hence a regular time bound follow up was not possible.

And yet they still concluded

[Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy] may be used in very young children provided they have co-morbidities and no improvement with medical and conservative multidisciplinary management. In our patient, the weight reduction was significant and his associated symptoms resolved with time indicating its safety and efficacy.

Even if the parents had followed every instruction and made all of their appointments it would have been completely ridiculous to draw this conclusion from one study on one kid with a two year follow up. By the way, his “associated symptoms” were sleep apnea and bow leggedness.  For that we have risked this boy’s life. Apparently it’s far more difficult to make a cpap mask to fit him than to hack up his guts.

I’ve called it a dangerous surgery but in truth I only have an idea of how dangerous it is for adults. Neither I, nor his doctors, can speak to the dangers of doing this to a child who is still rocking a bib and sippy cup. EDIT:  The following information is for gastric bypass, gastric sleeve is a newer surgery that does less rearranging of the digestive system.  There is not a lot of data yet on the procedure, but it is generally agreed to have less risks than gastric bypass:

The largest examination of mortality rates following bariatric surgery found chilling results: nearly 3% of the patients died after the first year and 6.4% at the end of the fourth year. Of those who had surgery in 1995 and had at least 9 years of follow-up, 13.0% had died. Of those who had the surgery in 1996 and 8 years of follow-up, 15.8% had died, and of those who had surgery in 1997 with 7 years of follow-up, 10.5% had died.
Sandy Swarzc, on the Junk-food Science blog, compared these rates to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, matching Americans of the same age and BMI and concludes: “By best estimates, bariatric surgeries likely increase the actual mortality risks for these patients by 7-fold in the first year and by 363% to 250% the first four years. (from Linda Bacon’s Dreams on the Operating Room Table (Bariatric Surgery)
How could anyone who has access to those numbers justify doing this to a toddler?  And if he does live, and is somehow able to absorb enough vitamins to grow, let’s talk about the side effects he can look forward to [TW: Gross]
adhesions and polyps, massive scar tissue,advanced aging, anemia, arthritis, blackouts/fainting, bloating, body secretions (odor like rotten meat), bowel/fecal impaction, cancer (of the stomach, esophagus, pancreas, and bowel), chest pain from vomiting, circulation impairment, cold intolerance, constipation,depression, diarrhea, digestive impairment due to heavy mucus, digestive irregularities, diverticulitis, drainage problems at incision, early onset of diabetes, early onset of hypertension, electrolyte imbalance, erosion of tooth enamel, excessive dry skin, excessive stomach acid, esophageal contractions, esophageal erosion and scarring, feeling ill, gallbladder distress, gynecological complications, hair loss, hemorrhoids, hernia, hormone imbalances, impaired mobility, infection from leakage into body cavities (peritonitis), infertility, intestinal atrophy, intestinal gas, involuntary anorexia, irregular body fat distribution (lumpy body), iron deficiency, kidney impairment and failure, liver impairment and failure, loss of energy, loss of muscle control, loss of skin integrity, low hemoglobin, lowered immunity and increased susceptibility to illnesses, malfunction of the pituitary gland, muscle cramps, nausea, neural tube defects inyour children, neurological impairment (nerve and brain damage), osteoporosis, pancreas impairment, pain along the left side, pain on digestion, pain on evacuation, peeling of fingernails, potassium loss, pulmonary embolus, putrid breath and stomach odor, rectal bleeding, shrinking of intestines, stomach pain, sleep irregularities, suicidal thoughts, thyroid malfunction, urinary tract infection, vitamin and mineral deficiency, vitamin and mineral malabsorption, violent hiccups that persist daily, vomiting from blockage, vomiting from drinking too fast, vomiting from eating too fast,
vomiting from eating too much (more than 2 ounces) . . . and best of all—weight regain (from Linda Bacon’s Dreams on the Operating Room Table (Bariatric Surgery)
If he could read any of this I’m sure he’d be just thrilled.  How is he going to feel about the people who did this to him when he can understand it?  Considering the results of being malnourished from such a young age, it seems like being bow legged might start looking pretty good.
This is completely, utterly, out-of-control, indefensibly ridiculous.  I’m not entirely sure that these types of surgeries meet the requirements of ethical medicine for anyone  considering the mortality rates and side effects and that they are often prescribed to solve health problems that haven’t happened yet and/or are controllable through other means, or advised simply to make someone’s body look different.  I am sure that it’s not ok to give this surgery to someone who isn’t able to understand the possible repercussions (and let’s be honest that, at this point, NOBODY understands the possible repercussions of doing this to very young children) or consent to it – especially if they can’t consent because they’re still trying to grasp the concept “don’t hit, use your words.” Make no mistake, this is not ok.

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Published in: on September 20, 2013 at 11:03 am  Comments (77)  

77 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That’s unbelievable. Literally. I wonder if that’s a consequence of having a medical system that’s too awash with money – instead of rationing, so people miss out on care, they have the opposite. Free for all, whatever looks easiest. Just as bad.

    • This article is sooooo very sad.This poor child.This is child abuse at it’s worst..Unconscionable actions by medical professionals.I still can’t believe I saw what I read…Children have no rights whatsoever when an adult makes all of their decisions for them.I know that a very young child is unable to decide for themselves on serious matters, but that does not give ANY adult the right to consent to and participate in such disturbing activites.

  2. O.M.F.G.

  3. Ummmm. I can’t believe that they would do this surgery on a baby. I had gastric bypass done in 2000, when I was an adult, and I had to have a psychological examination to ensure that I understood what I was choosing to undergo, what it entailed, and my mental stability. Oh, and only after I had tried every other possible avenue to lose weight. This poor baby will suffer through malnutrition, vomiting from eating even 2 bites too many, “dumping syndrome” which refers to your body dumping everything in your digestive system because you ingested too much sugar, and a number of any other ailments. Having the surgery when I was 25 was difficult enough, let alone having it when you’re not even old enough to string more than 3 words together in an attempt to form a complete sentence. Rather than butchering this poor baby’s digestive system up, his parents AND doctors should have sent him to an endocrinologist to find out what was causing him to gain weight, if it wasn’t his parents’ inability to follow simple instructions. This all could have boiled down to the parents feeding him whatever, not following the prescribed diet, and while he was in the hospital for observation and still gained weight, could have been given foods that he wasn’t supposed to have by his parents without the doctor’s knowledge. They have, in essence, signed his death certificate before he’s had the chance to learn his letters, numbers, or colors.

    • His parents DID take him to an endocrinologist. They found nothing wrong. Dieting at home with his parents didn’t work — he gained more weight — so they took him from his parents and put him in a clinic. He gained more weight in the clinic than he had at home with his parents. Unless we’re suggesting that the clinic ALSO “fed him whatever”, this isn’t on the parents, but is something actually wrong with the child.

      • Ok. I stand corrected..somehow I must have missed the endocrinologist part…I was just so blown away that they would take such drastic measures. As for the statement I made about the parents is this…it could be something as simple as the parents feeding him something they shouldn’t, and I’m sure they were allowed to see him while he was under supervision…I was not saying that that was the reason for his weight gain, merely that it was a possibility. I just don’t understand why they would go the surgery route, when they don’t know what is actually wrong with him, and no amount of restricting his diet is going to keep him from gaining. His system will surely just go into starvation mode and slow way down, and any calories that they give him will just transfer into gained weight.

        • I’m sure they were allowed to see him. I’m just as sure, though, that they weren’t allowed to bring him *food* at an obesity clinic. Especially not in the quantities that would be required for an otherwise-healthy toddler on a restricted diet to gain 18 pounds over the course of a few months.

          As for why they would do it — fat panic. OMG obesity, he’s going to die of sleep apnea and never be healthy unless you do whatever it takes to make him thin, or something to that effect, fed to them by the healthcare professionals they trust and the relatives they love and the shocked and disapproving stares of everyone they walk past when the kid is with them in public.

      • Where did you read that he gained weight in a clinic? A couple of articles about this story on medical sites (not newspapers) said nothing about his gaining weight in the clinic, but what it did say was that the compliance with the diet by the parents could not be ascertained because of social issues and lack of knowledge of caloric content of the diet. So basically nobody checked that parents were even following the prescribed diet.

  4. Damn right there is something going on with this TWO YEAR OLD CHILD, but to address it by chopping up his ORGANS? How could anyone think this is OK?

  5. That should just not even be legal.

    • No shit. That doctor should be in jail.

  6. I just hope that this idiocy doesn’t come around to our side of the planet and spark other people to allow this in our country. I can almost imagine parents of a chubby toddle, having been made to fear fat so much, that they go to extreme measures… and actually find someone who will do it.

    As for what they were thinking when they did this to that poor child?.. they simply don’t care what happens to the child. He’s being used as a trial, an experiment. If they can show that this ‘works’ to stop childhood obesity.. then somehow that doctor will become world famous… and no doubt held up as a god for ‘curing’ obesity.

    I guess death cures obesity.

    Sue

    • I went out and read the article. They closed with a comment that India did a surgery on a 4 year old who was eating 1,400 calories a day due to an actual medical disorder that made him constantly hungry… really?… carving up his stomach is not going to change the appetite!!! Gads I’m ashamed of these quacks.

      • Apparently as long as he’s not fat, no one cares how miserably hungry he is. Poor kid.

    • If you’re talking about the USA, it has and it is. After I read this, I went running off to the Googlemobile to find out if bariatric surgery is legal in young children in America. This story is happening in a backwards country – it couldn’t happen here, right? Wrong. Of COURSE I was wrong. *facepalm*

      I found ONE paper that held it was unethical to perform weight loss surgery on kids too young to understand what they were getting into. All the rest of the articles I found advocated “the younger the better” for a slew of bariatric procedures. Even though these ‘medical professionals’ and ‘scientists’ acknowledge that there’s nowhere near enough research on the safety of these surgeries on pre-adolescents, even though they realize it’s unethical to perform a procedure with a lifetime of potentially deadly consequences on a person who can barely comprehend the future beyond a day or two, even though they know children desperately need a slew of nutrients to develop into healthy adults, they still advocate ‘early intervention’ – because obese kids experience more bullying, social stigma, and depression, and shouldn’t we spare them that pain? YES. YES WE SHOULD. START BY STOPPING THE BULLYING AND STIGMA, YOU IDIOTS )*[0392[=81-7PRQA4U8A!@#$%%!ARRGHARRGHARRGHARGH

  7. I misread ‘bariatric’ as ‘barbaric.’

    (Well, maybe not *misread.*)

    I don’t even know what to say. Sometimes this world makes me sick.

    • No, no, I think you got it right the first time.

    • No, YOU read fine. THEY, on the other hand….

      I have NO FUCKING WORDS.

      • I mean that literally. I simply cannot process this occurrence.

  8. In the words of Cordelia Chase: There’s not enough yuck in the world.

  9. RAGE!!!! can you say: Child Abuse? Medical Malpractice? Mutilation? Spitting nails.

  10. It says they went to *a* endocrinologist, but folks who have rare or even just moderately unusual medical conditions know that just because you’ve seen one specialist, and they didn’t find anything, its not a problem for that type of specialist. It took five cardiologists and nearly 20 years to figure out what was wrong with my mom’s heart, and that’s for a condition that’s not super-rare — just really not that common. One of my colleagues has a daughter that has a genetic immune system problem that is so rare there are exactly five doctors who can treat it in North American and Western Europe (he is luckily a medical professional and so was able to navigate the complicated profession to get an appropriate diagnosis).

    Practicing doctors in general practice, internal medicine, or pediatrics aren’t generally well-versed enough to identify uncommon, rare, or extremely rare conditions (though some may be). Even practicing specialists may deal with more ordinary issues (consider the cardiologists seeing my mom — most of them are used to dealing with “mundane” stuff like heart attack and follow up, heart murmur, etc.) and not necessarily with identifying rare or unusual condition, and need to consult research doctors for those conditions. I myself had to see four or five doctors to get a proper assessment on what was wrong with my body for straightforward, fairly common medical conditions that were atypical only because I was much younger than a standard patient with those problems. (And in the process was prescribed psychoactive medication without being told what it was — thankfully I read labels!)

    My point is just this: not all doctors admit when they are out of their depth, and send you on to more specialized people. Instead, they plunge ahead with plans in the absence of any knowledge or diagnosis of a condition, and that’s what happened here it seems like. If this endocrinologist didn’t find out what wrong with this child, rather than plunging ahead with increasingly serious and risky interventions in a vacuum of knowledge and no diagnosis, he could have consulted with other doctors in other specialties, or reached out to other doctors in the same specialty.

    As a general rule, I think a smart practice, especially for those of us who are likely to get a faulty diagnosis of “the problem is your weight/size” is to ask specifically what condition the treatment is **for** or what the prescribed treatment is **directly** addressing. Some of my doctors diagnosed my health problems as weight problems, when there was actually something else going on, and had these parents thought to ask “What direct problem, aside from the symptom of weight gain, does this treatment/intervention address?” would not have received an answer.

    I just can’t understand how these medical professionals could be so irresponsible as to move ahead with such a dangerous and untested intervention without consulting an extensive group of specialists. It’s terrifying! The most terrifying thing is that despite a hugely risky intervention, they still don’t know *what* the problem is!

    • You hit the nail on the head. They went to ONE specialist? Couldn’t figure it out and so the kid gets chopped up? It took a decade and so many specialists I can’t even count, to figure out I had Hashimoto’s disease. Folks, that isn’t even close to being a rare disease!! It boggles my mind that they were so quick to do this surgery rather than actually finding the root of this child’s rapid weight gain.

      • We’re making a lot of assumptions here, but all we know is that this occurred in Saudi Arabia. We know virtually nothing of the cultural background of anyone involved.

        Are the parents educated?
        Do they live in the city?
        Do they understand anything about medicine?
        How limited is their access to medicine?
        How limited is their experience with the medical establishment?
        Do they understand that they have medical rights?
        Do they have the ability to change doctors if they don’t like him?
        Have they been taught that the doctor is always right?
        Do they have the ability to even *GET* a second opinion?
        Do they understand that the importance of follow-up appointments?

        Was the doctor a small-time practitioner?
        How and where was he trained?
        Did he have bariatric training?
        How adequate was his own training in nutrition and metabolism?
        What kind of medical standards exist in Saudi Arabia?
        How are fat people viewed in Saudi Arabia?
        Is evidence-based medicine the standard of care there?
        Did the doctor believe this to be evidence-based medicine?

        We’re outraged because we’re applying Western medical and social standards to a situation that might bear no resemblance to the kind of medicine and choice we are privileged to enjoy every day.

        Just something to consider.

        • The parents will likely have had to pay for the op, hence probably educated in order to have the money to pay for it. KSA is a fairly advance place medically for people who pay

          • Actually, I live in a country adjacent to Saudi Arabia and probably quite comparable in terms of access to medical care. Some doctors here are, at best, ok-to-good. But many are horrible. I’ve had a friend go to an emergency room to be told that there are no doctors there today and to come back after the weekend. I’ve had friends recommended absolutely quack treatments with no grounding in science.

            I don’t want to jump to stereotypical conclusions about this child’s case. But I’ve got some perspective to say that he might be receiving really bad medical care because of where he is.

            • I know the royal family comes to the US, usually to Mayo or Johns Hopkins, for major medical treatment, and they also have private physicians. Still, what you just said absolutely horrifies me. I may have to wait forever at my ER of choice (unless I’m actively having an asthma attack or stroke–stroke turned out to be a bizarre form of migraine, btw), but at least they have doctors present 24/7.

              Still cringing over that poor kid.😦 I want to hug him and knit him some cuddly monsters and tell him he’s amazing no matter what.

              • Yeah, you nailed it: People with the money to get treatment in Europe or the US do. Local people, not so much. Also, the education system is very sketchy. Some private schools are great. Public schools are erratic-to-bad. So if this kids’ parents aren’t among the elites (and it doesn’t sound like they are) they could be very poorly educated.

                • They were probably taught to listen to authority figures, too, and doctors are authority figures. I wonder if the doctors convinced them that they failed to keep their son on his prescribed diet?

                  Not letting them off the hook, btw. Just trying to fill in the picture a little more.

                  • Absolutely. I think there are plenty of cultural barriers to becoming well informed about medical options, and thinking critically about them.

  11. Bow-leggedness is normal in a child that young. Sleep apnea isn’t, but like Ragen said, a CPAP (or BiPAP) mask is easier to make than a surgery is to perform. Did they ever consider checking him for wheat or gluten sensitivity of some sort? Or dairy? Or some combination of sensitivities that would make his body less likely to absorb micronutrients, and thus absorb and contain macronutrients? Did they even consider a second opinion from another endo?

    Right now, I pretty much want to slap those parents silly, drop the doctors down a fine selection of abandoned desert wells, and give that poor kid a hug.

    • You can get pediatric CPAP masks. The issue, I think, would be getting the child to put it on and keep it on, and not be scared by the air noises and pressure. Four of my (adult) family members are supposed to use a CPAP at night, but only two do. The two who don’t wear it have said that the mask decreases the quality of their sleep so much that it just isn’t worth wearing. I looked at some studies and it appears that non-adherence is very high (46-83% according to one review). If adherence among adults (who can comprehend the risks of not using the CPAP as directed) is that low, how are you supposed to get toddlers to be compliant? I’m sure it’s possible, but it seems like many toddlers would just pull it off during the night.

  12. This surgery is bad enough, but who know what effect this will have on how the rest of his stomach grows as he grows older.

    • THIS. I was having this thought, too. How will his body compensate as he ages? What a TERRIFYING thought.

  13. That poor child. Here in Albuquerque, we had a little girl who was gaining a lot of weight. Nobody believed her parents when they said they weren’t overfeeding her. Child services took her, and put her on a strict diet, monitored carefully. She continued to gain. Doctors couldn’t figure out why, and ultimately she was returned to her parents. At least they didn’t require surgery!

    • I remember that story. Everyone was freaking because omgFAT! Poor kid, I felt so bad for her and her parents. Completely unnecessary trauma for her. My kids have the opposite problem, they’re slow gainers. My one year old was in the ER because of an accident and immediately child services was called because we must be underfeeding him, no, he eats constantly, he has his dad’s metabolism.

  14. My sister had gastric bypass surgery, and NOW? NOW I’m thinking that it heavily contributed to her death from an accidental over dose of phamaceutical pain relievers and alcohol. Ragen, I e-mailed you asking your opinion. If anyone else wants to contribute, by all means please do so.

    • Oh, selkie. I am so, so sorry. i have no advice or opinions to offer; merely my deepest sympathies.

    • Selkie, I am so, so sorry. That is just horrible.😦

      How long after her surgery did this happen?

      • Very easy to drink too much after RNY surgery I myself had that issue for a few months and had blacked out, fallen down stairs until I realized I can’t tolerate alcohol any more since the surgery. It’s a quick high that is different from drinking previous to the surgery and it goes through you quickly where you just keep drinking to keep it up until you pass out if you’re not careful so for some people don’t know the stats it can really become a problem. I had no issues with alcohol prior to my surgery it wasn’t until afterwards and a major stressor in my life that I used it for a time! So sorry for the loss of your sister but I doubt it was under her control any longer.

        • That’s kind of what I mean. She had this surgery and then alcohol suddenly became awful for her. And then she took the medicine for her headache. =( Is it possible that if she didn’t have the surgery she’d be alive today?

          • I don’t think that is something you can really know but it does kind of make sense to me, I’m very sorry. I know before my surgery they warned us about alcohol and actually made us sign a paper stating we’d never drink. It wasn’t even something I did but occasionally prior to my gastric bypass but with some people it’s easy to become dependent upon even if they’re not actually addicted to it. And due to your rewiring it can hit you like heroine hits an addict and difficult to stop. I suffer from headaches even today and they’re not alcohol related and taking too much of pain reliever whether otc or by Rx can be bad and a deadly combo. Anyway it’s good and honest information for anyone considering this type of surgery or who has already had it and I wish you the best in your grief over the loss of your sister!

          • I think that there’s enough evidence regarding WLS and how it affects absorbance of alcohol, medication, and nutrients to see there’s reasonable doubt in a court of law. No one can say with absolute certainty that something would or wouldn’t have happened, but there’s plenty of evidence to put plenty of doubt in a rational mind that this would not have happened had your sister not had the surgery.

            That doesn’t bring her back, or change anything, but fwiw from this complete stranger’s point of view, yes, I DO think it’s possible (and logical!) the surgery contributed to the interaction of the medication and alcohol (and consequently her death). This post and it’s comments are just so heartbreaking. I’m so sorry for your loss. So very sorry.

      • It was last year that she died. It was probably two years after her surgery. The GBPS will lower your alcohol tolerance, and presumably your tolerance to medications. I just wonder… *sigh* thanks for the condolences.

        • I know someone who had WLS and had trouble recovering from pneumonia until her doctors figured out that she wasn’t absorbing as much from oral antibiotics as people generally do, so someone with WLS could be significantly more sensitive to drugs or less sensitive.

    • Oh, Selkie, hon. {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

      I don’t know enough about bariatric surgery to comment on that front, but I’ve seen how easy it is to accidentally OD. I’ve ended up in the ER for theophylline overdose, which wasn’t fun. These days, I have to be careful because I take more than one controlled substance–right now I’m up to two schedule II drugs, and a schedule V that my pain clinic makes me pick up a paper script for because the DEA is a jerk, along with a slew of other nasty, dangerous prescriptions. I also like a drink now and then. While I try as hard as I can not to take opiates and alcohol on the same day, sometimes I don’t have a choice, ie I end up in unbearable pain and can’t sleep without one or two oxycodone (5-10mg). That’s when I tell at least one person what’s going on so they can check up on me periodically. I also make sure to eat something to slow the absorption of my opiate. A bariatric patient’s inability to do that last one is probably one of the things that makes the combination of alcohol and narcotics so dangerous to them.

  15. Beyond sickening. Beyond LAZY, both on the part of doctors and this poor child’s parents.

    Negligent. Abusive. Disgusting.

    Fucking reprehensible.

    • Despicable!

  16. I’m not at all surprised by any of this. Check out the way doctors in this country treat pregnant women, and have been treating them. Cytotec, anyone? Or twilight sleep? The patriarchal medical system has been experimenting on women for well over a century resulting in mutilation, mental and physical abuse, deformities in children and death of mother and baby. Now they’re expanding thier bounds to include the new underclass: fat people. Its appalling and sad. I’m not bashing doctors, I’m just pointing out that the medical profession as a whole is a flawed system. They routinely experiment on those they consider ‘lesser’ such as animals, women, the poor, and now fat people. And if they make a mistake? Oh well, just lie on the paperwork, and the insurance company will back them. Kinda scary.

    • There is a horror film that deals with the issue of medical experimentation called Anatomy, that discusses how utterly unethical it is. They have a anti-hippocratic society that believes medical experimentation is acceptable on lesser people. The film is from Germany, and you can guess who the anti-hippocrats represent.

  17. OH MY FUCKING GOD!

  18. I’d write a more coherent comment, but right now all I can think of is WHAT THE FUCK. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK.

  19. My friend and loved one, a part of my family, died last month due to complications from a weight loss surgery she had three years prior. Its one thing to be vaguely aware of what a a statistic like this means ” Of those who had the surgery in 1996 and 8 years of follow-up, 15.8%”
    Its a whole other thing to be sitting in the hospital, mourning the loss of life surrounded by those who loved her.
    She didn’t do it to lose weight, she bought into the idea that it was for her health, and because it was what a doctor recommended to her, she didn’t carefully research all the possible repercussions.
    She had a wonderful three years, but in my personal estimation, it wasn’t enough. Not by a long shot.
    I would have had her fat and alive, than dead and thinner. Any moment. Any day.
    Statistics are someone’s terrible reality.

    • Jen honey, I’m so sorry. *hugs* I can relate to how you feel. Much love.

      • Thank you.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss.

      For what it’s worth, I can’t even fault her for not carefully researching all the possible repercussions. A former friend who was very anti-surgery eventually succumbed to the sales pitches of the slick and well-paid fat-hating butchers and their shiny new clinics where they want you to be healthy and happy (blah blah blah)… i was so shocked to hear she’d been brainwashed by their lies and marketing. Those butchers do an outstanding job convincing you you’re doing the right thing– even if you have a little doubt in your mind when your doctors ends you for an eval, curiosity and the desire to feel better make you a little optimistic, you go to see what it’s all about, and they manage to brainwash you at the very first visit. Even if she’d researched every repercussion, it’s still possible your loved one would have been convinced by these awful, horrible, unethical butchers. They are master con artists.

      I’m so so sorry for your loss. Truly.

  20. I’m so shocked that I’m speechless !

  21. Just to clarify. Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass are not the same surgery. Gastric sleeve is purely restricitve and does not involve any manipulation of the digestive tract beyond removing a part of the stomach. It does affect hunger, in that it removes the portion of the stomach that secrets gherlin, the hormone that tells your brain you are hungry.
    That said, I am horrified they would subject a young child to such a drastic measure. Disgusting.

    • Plus the fact a sleeve cannot be reversed like a lap band or even supposedly gastric bypass if that really is possible.

  22. i was a bow-legged fat toddler with asthma that was worse at night/when i was sleeping (today it’d probably be said i had sleep apnea). found out decades later that the bow-leggedness was likely vitamin D deficiency (rickets), and i have celiac disease. (treating the celiac disease did cause me to lose some weight, but that is not the point and i am still a fat person.) i am also one of the 20-30% of people whose celiac tests were false negatives, and it would not surprise me if toddlers especially were unlikely to have enough damage to be measured by today’s shitty tests. (IF this poor kid was even tested.)

    That’s not to say that the kid has undiagnosed and untreated celiac disease, but I went more than 3 decades before an accurate diagnosis, and dozens upon dozens of doctors who couldn’t be arsed to pull their heads from their arses and do a proper workup and find a proper diagnosis. Odds are good this kid is in a similar boat, whatever the actual diagnosis is…. OR he’s just a stellar example of biodiversity. In either case, mutilating this little baby’s organs is the epitome of cruel, inhumane, bad medicine.

    That poor, poor POOR child. My heart just breaks for him.

  23. I wonder how things would have been different if that child had been nursing, as the human body is built to do for its first 4-7 years (depending on which research you read).

    I had one child at 18lbs at age 2, and another at closer to 50. They are both what would be considered normal-sized human adults now.

    My heart just breaks for that kid.

  24. I just hope that the child has no lasting ill effects.

  25. Too many doctors throw away “First Do No Harm” when it comes to fat patients.

    I was so outraged when I read about this child. I can’t believe they would do that to a child, particularly given the seriousness of the “side effects”. This is nothing short of child abuse, and considering the major health problems this boy may have to suffer the rest of his life (if he manages no to die because of it), this is more akin to torture. Perhaps a lifetime of it. To do this to someone not even old enough to really talk or understand anything that’s going on, that’s barbaric and in-humane.

    • “Too many doctors throw away “First Do No Harm” when it comes to fat patients.”

      THIS

  26. i wonder if anyone bothered to check for a tiny, life-threatening tumor on his pituitary gland. aka cushings disease. probably not. doctors are lazy like that. like the 21 doctors in 4 years who refused to examine me and opted for the go to lame and lazy “you are just obese and lazy, and need to see a psychologist”. no, assholes, i had a brain tumor. and because of the prejudice that has developed because of the “obesity epidemic” they would have let me die to prove themselves right about me instead of the whole, i dunno, “do no harm” oath thing. Cushing’s Disease. Check it out. it is serious, life-threatening, and real.

    • Check out this article by a bioethics professor: http://www.bioethics.net/2013/09/how-young-is-too-young-bariatric-surgery-in-toddlers/ He says it sounded to him like these doctors were more interested in publishing a paper and making history then helping a child. They didn’t even bother to check if parents were following the diet: “compliance with the diet could not ascertained “due to the different socio cultural habits and the absence of the practice of calculating the calorific value of the diet.”” and then after some tests they just did the surgery. They did some testing but who knows how thorough it was. They just jumped on surgery, and then they got to publish an article.

  27. Fuck me blind. I cannot believe what I just read.

    Speechless. Truly.

  28. Sickening! Disgusting! Horrifying! That poor child! But sadly, I’m not at all surprised. There seems to be no limit to the depths some doctors will sink to when they think they are right. Especially when they are “treating” those they have deemed FAT!

  29. Once again do to language content several of my friends & I debated reading your message. I decided I would read & edit for the others altho the language quite offended me.
    Be that as it may….. You are right on point here. How could this have been done to a CHILD?!?! The so called dr. Went completely against his hippocratic oath, assuminh he took one! This is outrageous & must NOT become the norm!!!!
    Thank you for sharing this story….

  30. This is experimentation, pure and simple, not medicine. I had a doctor last year who was “adamant” that I go for a bariatric consult. He is no longer my doctor. I’m not going to get skinny at the cost of my health. I wasn’t even there to see him about my weight. Hell, I didn’t even see him but rather his physician’s assistant. He reviewed the paperwork of my exam, saw my weight, and told her to call me with his decision. See, there’s the problem. It’s not his choice, it’s mine, and he was basing this purely on one number. When I protested, they sent me some “information.” It was a sales pamphlet from the company that makes the things used in the surgery. No, just no.

    • There seems to be a renewed effort to push gastric bypass surgery and harp on weight loss by doctors. It’s so disappointing to hear about it from doctors who have never brought it up before. In the U.S., I am putting it to the AMA decision to call obesity a disease. They can mark it on their report and that they addressed it. My response to the question, “Have you ever considered gastric bypass?” is “yes.” And the decision I made was no. The mortality percentages you cited sound kind of low to me. For me, it’s probably 25 percent of the people I know who have had the surgery lived. I am hoping my baby sister fares better. It’s been two years since the surgery. Believe me, she knew my position in the matter and got it done before telling anyone in the family. I try to practice the underpants rule with her. It was her decision, and I cheer her good health and hope it continues.

      • Blessings for her and I hope her health continues. I actually saw the push here, including that push from my former doctor, long before that decision, but I’m sure it doesn’t help.

  31. This is the ultimate expression of the fallacy that fatness is a character flaw. The underlying assumption is that either the toddler is being bad by continuing to eat, or his family is being bad by sneaking food to him in the hospital. Going to one specialist and then turning to the magic fix for bad fatness is . . . I don’t know a properly descriptive word that isn’t obscene. I hope they haven’t shortened his life.

  32. How long until this sort nof thing starts happening in the USA? What will happen with Obamacare? There is no telling what’s coming down the pike. I am so sorry for this poor little man. Makes me sick to my stomach to think what his life will be like. Dammit!

  33. This feels like they put a toxic bandaid on a rattlesnake bite hoping the bandaid toxin and venom would cancel each other out. But that’s still too reasonable since they’d still have to know what’s wrong with him. There is so much fail here that it boggles the mind. “What the actual fucking fuck,” in-very-deed.

  34. How could they do this to a CHILD??! He/she couldn’t even decide for him/herself


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