bariatric surgery

A new observational study involving adolescents with severe obesity post bariatric surgery showed considerable improvements in functional mobility and musculoskeletal pain.


It is no secret that obesity in adolescents has more than doubled in the past few decades. The influx of hormone-laden and fatty foods coupled with sugary drinks have increased the risk of obesity exponentially. This has led to harsh health related complications.

Functional mobility refers to the ability to execute a wide variety of moments to complete or participate in daily activities. Musculoskeletal pain is characterized as pain plaguing the ligaments, tendons and muscles. Bariatric surgery is elementarily a surgical procedure which induces weight loss. It is predominantly done on the stomach or intestines.   ‘Changes in Functional Mobility and Musculoskeletal Pain After Bariatric Surgery in Teens With Severe Obesity’ suggested that this form of surgical procedure can drastically improve functional mobility and mitigate pain in the joints and muscles of obese teens.

The method encompassed 242 adolescents aged 19 and older who were undergoing bariatric surgery from March 2007 to February 2012. The analysis was done in November 2015. The activities the participants were asked complete included a 400-m walk before the surgery, at 6, 12, and 24 months after surgery. The following data was recorded and analyzed: Time of completion, resting heart rate (HR), post HR, HR difference, in addition to pre and post musculoskeletal pain.

The outcome of the study showed an improvement in the time of completion of the 400 m walk test, resting HR, and HR difference compared to the baseline and at 6, 12 and 24 months after surgery; statistical reductions in musculoskeletal pain was also noted.

This confirms that bariatric surgery has associated successes deeply beneficial to the life of adolescents impacted by obesity. The procedure was found to improve both functional mobility and musculoskeletal pain which in essence improves their respective quality of life.




Written By: Tarique Plummer, BSc Hons Biochemistry & Biotechnology

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