- At 5st the toddler’s legs bowed and doctors in Riyadh decided to operate
- The procedure involves part of the stomach being cut away
- International experts said that the case was ‘shocking’ and ‘very unusual’
A morbidly obese two-year-old has become the youngest person in the world to undergo a gastrectomy – where most of the stomach is cut away.
The parents of the toddler from Saudi Arabia – who weighed more than 5st and had a Body Mass Index of 41 – sought help because he suffered severe breathing problems while asleep.
Two attempts to control his weight by dieting failed, wrote his surgeons in an article in the International Journal of Surgery Case Reports.
Gastrectomy is a drastic alternative to gastric band or bypass surgery – none of which would ever be carried out on pre-teen children in the UK.
When he first presented to an endocrinologist at 14 months the toddler weighed 3st 4lb, but after dieting for four months his weight increased to more than 4st.
The doctors from Prince Sultan Military Medical City at Riyadh were unable to ascertain whether the child’s parents had stuck to the diet.
A further attempt at dieting failed and when his weight passed 5st, and his legs were bowing, doctors decided to perform surgery.
Surgeons carried out a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy on the boy which involved removing the outer margin of the stomach to restrict food intake, leaving about 30% of the stomach as a ‘sleeve’ roughly the size and shape of a banana.
‘To our knowledge LSG has never been tried in very young age children,’ the surgeons say in their report. ‘We present here probably the first case report of the successful management of a two year old morbidly obese boy.’
Within two months the boy lost 15 per cent of his body weight and two years after the 2010 surgery his weight had fallen back to 3st 10lb and his BMI of 24 was within the normal range.
International experts said the case was ‘shocking’ and ‘very unusual’.
Professor Paul Zimmett, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia, said: ‘We have no idea what effect this may have on the child’s growth and unless he has proper follow up he may suffer vitamin deficiencies.’
NHS guidelines say that any type of braiatric surgey would only be considered for British children ‘in exceptional circumstances’ and ‘only if the child is physically mature’ – typically 13 for girls and 15 for boys.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2426722/Saudi-Arabian-boys-gastric-bypass-surgery-worlds-youngest-2-years-old.html#ixzz2fXoPo962
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook