Many of us struggle with weight problems and body image issues. Society puts a lot of pressure on us to look perfect all the time, especially girls. So reflect back to when you were twelve years old. Middle school is a time when bodies start changing and the pressure on how we look begins. Now imagine you are twelve and not only growing, but growing a rate much faster than anyone around you. Before you know it you are the center of attention for the wrong reasons.
Twelve-year-old Alexis Shapiro from Texas knows this feeling. Despite being only twelve she is considered morbidly obese, but it is not her fault. At just nine years old Alexis was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. She has a successful surgery to remove it; however, side effects left her with a rollercoaster metabolism. She needs gastric bypass surgery to curve her appetite and give her a normal life again. In her current state she gains two pounds a week while trying to adhere to a strict diet and exercise plane- her parents have had to padlock the kitchen cupboards. Without the surgery her diabetes will worsen and she will continue to balloon in size.
Gastric bypass will allow her to have more control over her body. She will be one of the youngest patients to ever undergo the surgery. In the first year she might be able to lose up to forty pounds. On the day of the surgery doctors changed the plan to a sleeve gastrectomy due to the size of Alexis’ liver. The new surgery will still allow the obese preteen to lose weight while also shrinking her liver.