Honey Boo Boo is making some serious life changes!
The Here Comes Honey Boo Boo star, born Alana Thompson, will undergo weight loss surgery after her 17th birthday on August 28! Her manager, Gina Rodriguez, confirmed the news to Page Six on Wednesday, explaining the reality star will travel to New York City for the procedure sometime after her big dqay.
According to TMZ, the Toddlers & Tiaras alum will be getting a suture sculpt endoscopic sleeve from weight loss doctor Steven Batash, which can cost about $13,000. According to the Mayo Clinic, the procedure is “minimally invasive” and involves a device traveling through the throat to the stomach. The doctor “then places sutures in your stomach to make it smaller.” On his website, Dr. Batash says he’ll “reduce the size of your stomach by up to 70%-80%.” Wow!
All this at just 17?!
That seems SO young to be having this kind of treatment done, but age isn’t an important factor for this kind of thing, apparently. While some clinics suggest you must be at least 16 years old to undergo the procedure, most neglect to state an age requirement. Instead, doctors look at BMI (which must be over 30). Also, the patient’s ideal weight must be at least 100 pounds lighter than their current weight. That seems to match up with Alana’s goals. TMZ reported that she currently weighs 275 pounds, but is hoping to drop to 150.
Apparently, this decision comes after she’s spent the last year trying several diets and amping up her workout routines, making little progress toward her goals. She now thinks her weight might be affected by genetics, so that’s why she believes surgery is the best option for her.
We love that Alana’s eager to improve her health, but we hope she has the right people walking her through this journey. So many young girls struggle with body image issues and significant weight loss can be a challenge for many, so we hope her mental health is also in a good state of mind as she heads into this procedure. Interestingly, the Mayo Clinic did suggest that anyone undergoing this weight loss surgery is required to “commit to healthy lifestyle changes, regular medical follow-up, and participate in behavioral therapy.” So, it seems we’re not the only ones worried about her mental health! Alana’s doctor also provides patients with “monitoring for a year along with a lifetime of nutritional counseling.”
Lucky for her, she won’t be alone! Her 20-year-old boyfriend, Dralin Carswell, is also planning to undergo the same procedure as he works toward his own fitness goals. What a unique bonding activity for the couple!
As Perezcious readers know, the duo has been hit with a ton of backlash ever since they went public with their relationship in September (they began dating in mid-2021) – mostly because of their age gap (though the legal age of consent is 16 in their home state of Georgia). Mama June defended her daughter’s romance in a chat with Too Fab in May, arguing:
“She is getting a lot of hate because she’s in an interracial relationship.”
“[Dralin] is older but, at the end of the day, Alana’s not that 6/7-year-old child y’all fell in love with 11 years ago. People need to realize that she’s going to be 17 in August and that [Lauryn “Pumpkin” Efird] and Josh were the same age as they were. Alana has grown up. She’s graduating high school next year, guys!”
In a Teen Vogue interview published in August, the Mama June: Road To Redemption star revealed that she struggles with making friends, suggesting her boyfriend is one of her only confidants these days, saying:
“To be honest, I do not have many friends. At all. Because I feel like folks are so much like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m friends with Honey Boo Boo.’”
She also expressed struggling with trust issues after gaining fame at such a young age, sharing:
“I don’t trust nobody really, so I don’t have friends.”
We’re glad she has someone in her circle who will be able to understand what she’s going through. And, of course, her new guardian, big sis Pumpkin, will be by her side through all of this, too, since she signed off on the teen getting the procedure. Thoughts, Perezcious readers? What do you think about Alana getting this done at such a young age??
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