Half the teens had at least four major illnesses linked with their excess weight. Three out of four had cholesterol problems; almost half had high blood pressure or joint pain; and many had diseased livers or kidneys.
Complications were uncommon during the first month after surgery.
There's no official data yet on how much weight they lost, but anecdotal reports suggest these kids are now doing well.
The study involved more than 200 teens operated on a few years ago at five U.S. centers. Results were published online Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
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