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Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program

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When diet and exercise are not enough, weight-loss surgery may be an option for significantly overweight adolescents. The Akron Children’s Healthy Active Living program offers bariatric surgery for adolescents with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 kg/m2 or higher – or a BMI of at least 35 kg/m2 with one or more weight-related health problems.

The Akron Children’s bariatric surgery team includes pediatric surgeons, a pediatrician who specializes in pediatric obesity medicine, a nurse practitioner, dietitians, an exercise physiologist, a psychologist and a social worker.

Bariatric surgery causes weight loss by:

  • Restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold at one time.
  • Decreasing absorption of nutrients.
  • Changing hormones released by the stomach and gut. 

Weight-loss surgery is usually performed using minimally invasive techniques (laparoscopic). We perform the two most common weight-loss surgery procedures: sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass. The bariatric surgery team will explain each option, along with the risks and benefits. We also recommend visiting the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery website.   

The path to bariatric surgery includes a minimum of 6 monthly clinic visits for medical evaluation and coaching on lifestyle changes that will help you successfully lose weight before and after surgery. After at least 6 visits, and when you are ready, the team will move forward with the process of getting insurance approval and scheduling your surgery. For the first year after surgery, patients will need frequent follow-up visits. Then, patients will be seen once a year until they transition to an adult bariatric program.  

To learn more about the Akron Children’s Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program, call Healthy Active Living at 330-543-5673.

Our Doctors/Providers


Scott Boulanger, MD

Director, Pediatric General Surgery; Pediatric General Surgeon


Geoffrey Putt, PsyD

Pediatric Psychologist

Accepting New Patients


Marnie Walston, MD


Accepting New Patients


Mark Wulkan, MD, FACS, FAAP

Chair, Department of Surgery; Bruce F. Rothmann, M.D. Endowed Chair in Pediatric Surgery; Pediatric Surgeon

Nurse Practitioners/Physician Assistants:

Amy Perusek, MSN, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Accepting New Patients

Other Providers:

Amy Raineri, EP

Exercise Physiologist

Accepting New Patients

Patient Stories

Meet Riley

Following bariatric surgery in September, 16-year-old Riley Ickes has lost 63 pounds, is on steady progress to reach her post-surgery weight goal, and is enjoying life in ways she has not in years.

“For one thing, I love shopping for clothes now,” Riley said. “But I am just going to the thrift store, because I am still losing weight and don’t want to spend too much on clothes that, hopefully, will no longer fit.”

Read the rest of Riley's story here

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