Ohio doctors released a report today from the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center that they were not able to give Texas teen Alexis Shapiro, age 12, the full gastric bypass surgery she was scheduled to have because during the surgery they had complications from her liver. It had become enlarged due to the weight she had gained. The young girl weighs over 200 pounds and suffers from a rare condition known as hypothalamic obesity which causes her to always feel hungry.
During her operation, doctors instead gave her a sleeve gastrectomy, which will diminish the size of her stomach to around 25 percent of its original size. Her symptoms began back in 2011 after Alexis had to have removed a benign brain tumor. It caused damage to her pituitary gland and also to a part of the hypothalamus in her brain, which affected how her body identified hunger signals that came from her digestive system.
Dr. Thomas Inge, who works as both a surgeon and also a professor of pediatrics at the children’s hospital that is located in Cincinnati, Ohio, explained that the young girl had put on so much weight so fast that it has caused her liver to enlarge. That meant they were unable to execute a total gastric bypass procedure. However surgeons were able to move a piece of her liver in order to complete the sleeve gastrectomy.
Dr. Inge stated that doctors would watch and see how the young teen was able to get along and also just how much weight she would be able to lose after this first operation before they chose to see if they decided to go through with a complete bariatric operation that would shrink her stomach even more so.
He also explained that what their intent was in performing the gastric bypass on Alexis was to be able to treat more effectively the biological type of obesity that she has to suffer from. In the long term it will remain to be seen if this first operation will aid her in reaching the weight she wants to get to. It is believed that this first surgery will possibly help shrink down the young teen’s enlarged liver and aid her in losing weight, so that if she needs one, a complete gastric bypass will be conceivable for her to have in the upcoming future.
It was also revealed that in addition to the planned bariatric surgery, surgeons had to abort an extra procedure which was also scheduled to happen today. It was to take out a part of Alexis’ vargus nerve, which is believed to send strong hunger signals from the brain down to the pancreas. It had to be abandoned because the nerve is located behind the liver and was unable to be reached safely. Yet even with all the setbacks, Dr. Inge said physicians were pleased with how everything turned out. He added that the surgery was not a disappointment. Their main goal was to perform a safe surgery under conditions that were not 100 percent foreseeable.
Doctors from the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center released a report that they were not able to give Alexis Shapiro, age 12, the full gastric bypass surgery she was scheduled to have because during the surgery they discovered her liver was enlarged. The young girl weighs over 200 pounds and suffers from a rare condition known as hypothalamic obesity which causes her to always feel hungry. The surgery was to hopefully be a treatment.
By Kimberly Ruble