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Posted: 8:43 a.m. Friday, Sept. 20, 2013

Morbidly obese 2-year-old has gastric bypass

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Morbidly obese 2-year-old has gastric bypass
CDC BMI index chart for boys photo
CDC
CDC BMI index chart for boys

A Saudi Arabian toddler has become the youngest patient to ever undergo gastric bypass surgery. The morbidly obese 2-year-old weighed a shocking 70 lbs. and was suffering from a dangerous case of sleep apnea which doctors say caused him to stop breathing when sleeping.

Doctors had tried to get the child to lose weight through dieting before undergoing the radical procedure. The International Journal of Surgery Case Reports that despite two attempts to get the boy's parents to keep him on a strict diet, his weight actually increased.

Video: Gastric bypass surgery explained

The boy continued to gain weight at a rapid pace. After dieting for just four months, doctors say the boy gained 17 pounds.

In addition to the sleep apnea and other weight-related health issues, the boy was also suffering from bowing of the legs due to his extreme weight. The boy's body mass index of 41. In comparison, the Centers for Disease Control lists a BMI of a child more than twice his age at 23. 

The surgery was performed in 2010 at the Prince Sultan Military Medical City at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A gastric bypass, or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, involves removing the outer sections of the stomach to restrict the amount of food the patient can take in. The patient is left with a "sleeve of a stomach" that is about the size of a banana.

The surgery appears to have been a success, doctors say. Within two months the boy lost 15 percent of his body weight. Two years later, his weight had dropped from 72 pounds to 52 pounds. 

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