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Health News

Morbidly obese two-year-old from Saudi Arabia youngest person to have gastric bypass surgery

The child had a Body Mass Index of 41 had continued to gain weight despite efforts to control his diet

A morbidly obese two-year-old in Saudi Arabia is the youngest person in the world to have gastric bypass surgery.

The boy, who weighed 72.2lb - five stone - suffered from sleep apnoea and bow legs as a result of being massively overweight.

Sleep apnoea is a condition which causes people to stop breathing while asleep.

The child had a Body Mass Index of 41 and had continued to gain weight despite efforts to control his diet.

The procedure, a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), involves the removal of a section of the stomach and is irreversible. According to the International Journal of Surgery Case Reports the LSG proceedure was 'well tolerated and without complications'.

The report notes that at the age of just 14 months the child weighed 46lbs and already had a Body Mass Index of 29.

On seeing an endocrinologist the child was put on a doctor-prescribed diet, but over the next four months gained 17 more pounds.

"Although the parents were informed about the importance of a strict dietary regimen a full compliance cannot be ascertained mainly due to the different socio cultural habits and the absence of the practice of calculating the calorific value of the diet," the report said.

The severe weight gain led to the severe sleep apnoea as well as “bowing of the legs", after which the child was referred to an obesity clinic.

Despite the dietary advice of the clinic he gained a further 18 pounds.

When he hit 72 lbs at 30-months-old the doctors decided to perform the Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy. Following the surgery the child's weight dropped to 52.9 lbs.

Despite the success of the operation the report notes that after the surgery the parents missed follow-up appointments: "The parents of the child did not comply with the provided instruction/s and more often showed a tendency to miss appointments and hence a regular time bound follow up was not possible."