Strong4Life Clinic: Surgical Track

At Children’s, we offer a multidisciplinary program for families struggling with weight and weight-related health issues. Offering both medical and surgical treatment options, our family-centered, motivational approach begins with complete medical assessments of obesity-related illnesses, nutrition, physical activity and mental health support needs.

Our approach | Why Children’s?

The Strong4Life Clinic at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is the leading comprehensive adolescent bariatric program in Georgia. Because we specialize specifically in treating teens, we are uniquely prepared to offer your child a warm and nurturing environment of pediatric specialists under the direction of a bariatric surgeon and board-certified obesity medicine pediatrician.

Our expertise covers:

  • Pediatric-friendly and adolescent–supportive environment
  • Pediatric pain management
  • Pediatric psychological support
  • Assistance with transition to college (meal plans, exercise scheduling)

At Children’s, we believe treating childhood obesity requires integrated clinical, behavioral, educational and family support services coordinated by a single group to adequately address the issue. For teens with severe weight issues, the Strong4Life Clinic could recommend participation in our Strong4Life Bariatric Program.

This program offers a similar foundational medical curriculum, coupled with more intensive psychological and behavioral components. Here, patients attend a minimum of six visits preoperatively, learning skills and strategies that will help them achieve success postoperatively.

The laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy is the most common procedure performed.

Our team

The Strong4Life Clinic is a team of medical providers, dietitians, psychologists and exercise physiologists who work with patients and families to provide comprehensive medical care and treatment for the promotion of a physically active lifestyle, healthy eating habits and behavior changes.

Led by medical director Stephanie Walsh, M.D., and surgeon-in-chief Mark Wulkan, M.D., the team works with patients and families to provide medical management and to develop personalized physical activity, nutrition and behavior plans that are supervised and coordinated by the clinical staff to help achieve success.


Eligibility for the program follows National Institutes of Health guidelines for adolescent bariatric surgery.

Patient must:

  • Be between the ages of 13 and 19
  • Have a BMI (Body Mass Index) greater than 35 (with weight-related health problems) or have a BMI greater than 40—For a BMI calculator, click here
  • Be done growing
  • Participate in a weight management program for a minimum of six months

Contact us

Contact us at or 404-785-KIDS (5437).