“The procedure is quite safe. And there’s at least one large study that showed that it’s safe and effective, but there’s a much bigger issue here,” said gastroenterologist and obesity medicine specialist Dr. Christopher McGowan in an interview with PEOPLE.
McGowan thinks the issues with the procedure for adolescents is more tied to its possible mental effects, due to their lack of emotional maturity.
“The question is, is it the right procedure for that person at that time in their life?” said Dr. McGowan.
While an ESG may seem like a quicker solution for weight loss, there are still multiple lifestyle changes that need to be added in order to maintain the weight loss. These include diet changes and regular exercise. Due to these factors, Dr. McGowan personally does not recommend the procedure for anyone under the age of 21.
It’s a concern that that individual is not ready to really engage in the process long term and they just won’t do well. They won’t make the necessary changes,” he said.