A morbidly obese 2-year-old boy from Saudi Arabia is the youngest person ever to have gastric bypass surgery. The toddler weighed almost 73 pounds and had a body mass index (BMI) of about 41. In addition, the child also suffered from severe sleep apnea. Two years after surgery, the now four-year-old weighs about 53 pounds and his BMI has dropped to 24, which is within the normal range.
The severe step was taken only after other weight-loss measures had failed.
The boy weighed a normal 6.6 pounds at birth, but was overweight by the time he was six months old. At 14 months, he weighed 47 pounds and had a BMI of 29, according to the New York Post. Despite two efforts to control his weight by using a strict diet combined with medications, he gained more than 14 pounds within four months, according to an article published in the International Journal of Surgery, although his excess weight couldn't be attributed to either genes or heredity.
The severe step of bariatric surgery on so young a child was taken only after weight-loss measures had failed — although his doctors were unsure if his parents had strictly adhered to the diet — and his legs began to bow from the added weight. So, at the age of two-and-a-half years, the tot underwent a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.
The procedure removed part of his stomach to limit the amount of food it could hold, leaving a sleeve of stomach about the shape and size of a banana. Unlike lap band surgery, the sleeve gastrectomy is not reversible.
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