The following is a summary of “Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Assess Body Composition Change in Adolescents With Obesity After Sleeve Gastrectomy,” published in the December 2022 issue of Gastroenterology and Nutrition by Berg, et al.

The best weight loss solution for extreme obesity is metabolic and bariatric surgery. Teenagers getting sleeve gastrectomy procedures is on the rise. For a study, researchers used whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (WB-MRI) to look at changes in body composition in adolescents who had sleeve gastrectomy 12–26 weeks after surgery.

The 18 obese teenagers in the prospective cohort research, aged 14 to 19, 89% female, and with a body mass index z-score of 2.6±0.25 (range 2.16–3.2), had abnormalities in their visceral, subcutaneous, and intermuscular adipose tissue compartments as well as their muscle. They were all subjected to WB-MRI 1.5–17 weeks before surgery and again 12–26 weeks thereafter.

All adipose tissue compartments were reduced both pre-and post-operatively, along with the fat proportion of the skeletal muscle and liver (P< 0.0001) and all adipose tissue compartments (90.5%, 5.0%, and 4.5%, respectively) and adipose tissue loss in the subcutaneous, visceral, and intermuscular compartments (89.0%, 5.8%, and 5.2%, respectively) was identical to that in the corresponding pre-operative compartments in post-operative percentage terms. It should be noted that participants with obstructive sleep apnea had considerably more subcutaneous and intermuscular adipose tissue at the time of surgery than participants without the condition (P = 0.003).

Contrary to what was believed to happen in adults, they discovered that in adolescents 12-26 weeks after sleeve gastrectomy, the percentage loss of adipose tissue in the subcutaneous, visceral, and intermuscular compartments was similar to the percentage loss of the corresponding compartments after surgery.