Adolescent Weight-Loss Surgery Program

Obesity can be difficult to treat with diet and exercise alone. For teens with obesity, frustration with their weight may be coupled with related health and social issues as well. We understand how challenging that can make the teen years.

At Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, we want teens to be healthy and happy. That’s why we offer an adolescent weight-loss surgery program especially for teens ages 15-17* — the first of its kind in South Florida.

Helping Teens Take Control of Their Health

Our goal with this program is to help teens with obesity enjoy healthier and more active lives. For teens, weight-loss surgery can:

  • Increase self-esteem
  • Improve or eliminate Type II diabetes
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce cholesterol
  • Improve or resolve sleep apnea

Bariatric surgery is not for everyone. It requires understanding and making a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. When weight-loss surgery is the right option for a teen, our team of experts can help with a supportive, compassionate program that teens and their families can trust.


  • Ages 15-17*
  • Body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or 35-39 with other significant medical conditions
  • Failure to lose weight with physician-guided diets and exercise regimens

*With parental consent

Our Team of Experts

We provide comprehensive care and expertise for the physical and mental well-being of the teen. Our adolescent weight-loss surgery team includes:

  • Bariatric Surgeon
  • Dietitian
  • Pediatric Endocrinologist
  • Mental Health Professional
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Pediatric Cardiologist
  • Pediatric Pulmonologist
  • Patient Navigator
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What to Expect

If adolescent weight-loss surgery is determined to be right for a teen with obesity, he or she starts the 4-6 month program:

  • Pre-Op Treatment – personalized care plan, testing and assessment, including with a behavioral specialist
  • Pre-Op Education – review of dietary requirements and process
  • Surgery – gastric sleeve, which removes about 75% of the stomach
  • Post-Op Treatment – follow-ups with surgeon, dietitian, mental health professional and others as needed
  • Ongoing Support – teen-specific support groups
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A Florida Leader in Adolescent Weight-Loss Surgery

Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Adolescent Weight-Loss surgery program helped Ryan finally lose the weight
A New Lease on Life

Ryan’s weight-related health issues, including Type II diabetes, went away after weight-loss surgery in his late teens. Watch his story.

Brett Cohen, MD, Chief, Bariatric Surgery with patient
Frequently Asked Questions

Watch for answers directly from our medical experts, like Brett Cohen, MD, Chief, Bariatric Surgery, and Lital Reitblat, MD, Pediatric Endocrinologist.

Nutritional Chart
Changes in Diet

Watch to learn more about dietary changes and nutrition before, during and after adolescent weight-loss surgery.

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