Center for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery

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Weight loss surgery is now recognized as the most effective treatment available for adolescents suffering from severe obesity. Through our program, you will find world-class surgical experts in weight loss, as well as a comprehensive and multidisciplinary program designed to ensure each patient loses and keeps off excess weight for life.

  • Since opening in 2005, the Center for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery (CABS) has provided bariatric surgical care for over 500 adolescents throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
  • Our multidisciplinary program for weight management includes experts in pediatric gastroenterology, endocrinology, nutrition, mental health, surgery, and many other specialties.
  • Patients enrolled in our program lose an average of 60 percent of their excess weight, or about 80 pounds.

To make an appointment with our Center for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery, please call (212) 305-8862 or complete our appointment request form.

About Adolescent Obesity

Key Facts

Obesity is a significant problem that can lead to serious illness, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as a lower quality of life. In the past 20 years, the prevalence of obesity in U.S. children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years old has increased from about 10 percent to almost 20 percent. While there are many possible explanations for this rise, obesity itself is a complex disease that can be affected by multiple factors, such as behavior, genetics, socioeconomic status, and the environment.

Obesity among adolescents is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile for a specific age and gender. In contrast, severe (or morbid) obesity in adolescents is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of at least 120 percent above the 95th percentile. This typically translates to a BMI of 40 or above, or 35 and above with significant weight-related illnesses. Whereas typical obesity can generally be treated through a supervised program of diet and exercise, severe obesity may require more significant interventions, such as surgery, in order to reduce the health risk. 

Services We Offer

Highlights of Our Program

Comprehensive Evaluation and Monitoring Programs

Our team takes a comprehensive approach to weight loss. For instance, six months prior to surgery, we require prospective patients to demonstrate healthy eating habits and follow prescribed exercise guidelines, as well as undergo a psychological evaluation. After surgery, we continue to closely monitor and provide care for each patient long-term. This approach helps ensure patients lose weight for life.

Multidisciplinary Team

As part of The #1 Children's Hospital in New York, our program is led by world-class surgeons and our staff includes a panel of experts in pediatric gastroenterology, endocrinology, nutrition, mental health, and other specialties. This multidisciplinary approach ensures patients receive the very best care — both now and for years to come.

Columbia Virtual Visits

We offer telehealth appointments through virtual visits, so you can see your doctor from the comfort of your own home. You’ll receive the same quality care you’ve come to expect from an in-person visit, without having to come into the office.

Our Team

Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery

Dr Jeffrey ZitsmanJeffrey L. Zitsman, MD
Director, Center for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery
Pediatric Surgeon

Dr Jennifer DeFazioJennifer DeFazio, MD
Pediatric Surgeon

Lori Lynch, DNP
Surgical Nurse Practitioner

Gastroenterology and Nutrition

Jennifer Woo-Baidal, MD, MPH
Director, Pediatric Weight Management

Elina Bank, RD
Pediatric Registered Dietitian

Kristina Parkinson, MSN, APN, CPNP
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner


Ilene Fennoy, MD, MPH
Pediatric Endocrinologist

Our Location

Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital
Adolescent Center
3959 Broadway
New York, NY 10032

Make an Appointment

The Center for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery is ready to help build a personalized weight loss program for you. We accept most major insurance plans and can verify your plan when you call to make your appointment.

For all appointments, please call (212) 305-8862 or complete our appointment request form, and our office will follow up with you soon.


Planning and Preparing

Stories and Perspectives