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When she was just 17 years old, Kylie began losing her eyesight as a result of her weight. This complication of obesity—known as pseudotumor cerebri—is usually only found in adult women.

At the time, Kylie weighed more than 250 pounds. She says her obesity caused spinal fluid to build up between her optic nerves and brain, causing severe migraines and eyesight loss. To avoid permanent damage, she took drastic measures.

Kylie underwent gastric bypass surgery, an irreversible operation that reduces the stomach from the size of a melon to the size of a walnut. Doctors do this by creating a tiny pouch at the top of the stomach and sealing off the rest. Then, they cut the small intestine in two and attach the lower part to the small pouch. The new stomach can only hold about six grapes.

Once the new stomach is in place, food moves quickly through the digestive system to the small intestine, which means fewer calories are absorbed.
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FROM: Should a 340-Pound Teen Have Gastric Bypass?
Published on March 14, 2008

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