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Dr. David Kim Kim Bariatric Institute

WFAA News 8 Speaks With Dr. Kim Regarding Bariatric Surgery for 12-year-old Girl

Somewhat recently in the news, you may have heard the special story of Alexis Shapiro, a 12-year-old girl from Ciobolo who underwent bariatric surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. When Alexis was just nine years old, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Although doctors successfully removed the tumor, the operation left Alexis without her pituitary gland, causing her to develop hypothalamic obesity.

Alexis’ story has garnered the support of thousands across the country, and worldwide. As her surgery date in March approached, WFAA News 8 spoke with our bariatric surgeon, Dr. David D. Kim, regarding his opinion of weight loss surgery in very young patients. “I think we have to look at this on a case by case basis,” says Dr. Kim in the interview with Shelly Slater. “No one ever goes to surgery right away. They have tried – as all patients will – nonsurgical means of trying to lose weight. But, during the course of all this, she has continued to gain weight, and now she is a diabetic.”

During the interview, Dr. Kim also goes on to explain the serious health risks poorly controlled diabetes can pose. “In 20 years, we could be looking at blindness, kidney failure, amputation. It is a drastic step to look at gastric bypass for a 12-year-old, but it may be a necessary step because of the consequences.”

Ultimately, on the day of surgery, it was discovered that Alexis’s liver was too large for a gastric bypass procedure. As a result, the surgeons performed vertical sleeve gastrectomy instead. Our bariatric team at Kim Bariatric Institute sincerely hope to witness further success in this young girl’s recovery and path to long term weight loss. As all of our patients know, weight loss surgery is the very first step towards a lifelong journey. Since Alexis’ story also brings to light other important issues regarding obesity and its awareness, Dr. Kim is going to continue his thoughts in a second blog post. Be sure and stay tuned!

To view Dr. Kim’s complete interview with WFAA Channel 8, click here.

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If you would like more information about weight loss surgery, or to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons, please contact Kim Bariatric Institute today.

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