June 17, 2021


Keep Fit & Healthy

Akron Children’s Hospital offers new bariatric surgery program

7 min read

Riley Ickes didn’t used to like going to school, but now the 16-year-old can’t wait until her school gets back to in-person sessions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Riley thinks a lot of her Ellet High School classmates may not recognize her. 

She’s nearly 100 pounds lighter than last March when classes went online at her heaviest — 324 pounds. As of this week, she has lost 94 pounds and is still going, thanks to drastic changes in her lifestyle, including nearly daily exercise, diet and bariatric surgery. 

More:Summit County Public Health gives drive-thru COVID-19 vaccinations

Riley Ickes shows off how much weight she has lost since having bariatric surgery in September in a photo on Jan. 19. Riley has lost 94 pounds since having the surgery. The shorts she has on were snug last summer, she said.

In September, Riley was one of the first patients to undergo bariatric surgery in a new program at Akron Children’s Hospital. The surgery is not for everyone, but for some patients who have medical conditions that make it difficult for them to lose weight it can be an option, said Dr. Marnie Wagner Walston, a pediatrician who specializes in pediatric obesity medicine and adolescent bariatric surgery. 

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