Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson will do anything to get herself healthy.
The reality star will be going under the knife next month to undergo a life-saving surgery once she turns 17 on Aug. 28.
Soon after her b-day, she will be jetting off to New York City to receive a suture sculpt endoscopic sleeve from weight loss doc Dr. Steven Batash.
The suture sculpt endoscopic sleeve is a non-surgical outpatient procedure where doctors sew up 70% to 80% of one’s stomach. This allows the body to reach the sensation of fullness more quickly, resulting in weight loss.
However, the TLC personality’s young age has left people wondering if the surgery is the best option for her.
The Post spoke to Dr. David Buchin of Long Island Obesity Surgery if surgical weight loss procedures are the safest way to go for teens who struggle with health issues.
“If they are considered morbidly obese, it’s really the best way for young people who fall into this bracket to lose weight,” he said.
As for the “potential dangers” of the method, they are “mostly behavioral and psychological.”
“When you are a teen or a child, you don’t feed yourself, but rather your nutritional decisions are made by families,” he added, noting that getting any major life-altering surgery requires lifestyle changes “to be embraced by the patient and also their families.”
Since many younger patients struggle with diabetes or high blood pressure, weight loss surgery can help combat these co-morbidities, the doctor explained.
“Their lives become longer, and their quality of life becomes better, because teens and children who are morbidly obese can not always do the same things that their peers can do,” Dr. Buchin said. “The quality of life improvement is drastic, and they can do so much more with their lives.”
Thompson allegedly weighs about 275 pounds and is looking to slim down to 150 pounds through surgical means after several diets didn’t work out for her.
Her 20-year-old boyfriend, Dralin Carswell, plans to join her in reaching their respective health goals.
TMZ reported earlier this week that the surgical procedure costs a whopping $13,000. Her sister Pumpkin — who became her guardian after “Mama June” Shannon lost custody — has signed off on the hospitalization.
She plans to endure the medical operation because she’s worried that her weight gain was due to her genetics.
Dr. Christopher McGowan, a gastroenterologist and obesity medicine consultant chatted with People more about Thompson’s upcoming hospitalization and how the procedure is a “tool” and not a quick-fix to drop pounds fast.
“We definitely cannot look at a weight loss procedure, ESG or otherwise, as an easy fix. And that was one of the major concerns that I saw on this [Alana Thompson] report was someone who was clearly not ready and actually said, ‘I’m not motivated, I have no motivation. I think this will give me the motivation.’ And really the motivation has to come from inside and we can’t provide that with a surgical procedure,” Dr. McGowan pointed out.
While the ESG procedure is only authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of obesity in adults 18 and older, it can “be performed safely” on younger patients.
“It is not authorized for use in adolescents,” Dr. McGowan continued. “[However,] 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.”
Weight problems among kids and teens are a difficult and complicated issue, Dr. McGowan added. “So whether they could technically have the procedure is really not the question,” he said. “The question is, is it the right procedure for that person at that time in their life?”
The “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” personality divulged on Wednesday that while hard work and effort would give her the same weight loss results, she doesn’t want to commit to that way of life.
“I know for a fact I could get in the gym, and I know for a fact I could diet, and I know for a fact I can do this to lose my weight,” Thompson told Entertainment Tonight.
She continued: “I’ve tried. I will say I’ve tried, but the one thing with me is I have no motivation. I have no motivation to just keep going to the gym every day. I have no motivation to keep eating healthy because, like, I’m gonna eat what I think is good.”