The question of whether or not you are an appropriate candidate for weight loss surgery has two parts to the answer with the second part being a critical determination as to whether you will be a successful candidate.
Physical Requirements for Bariatric Surgery
In order to undergo bariatric surgery, you must first meet a simple set of medical criteria. Surgeons agree that patients who meet these criteria will benefit from bariatric surgery and should consider it as an appropriate medical intervention. Undergoing surgery involves a lower risk than continuing to live at the current excessive weight. In fact studies have shown that bariatric surgery is the only method proven to help patients who meetÂ this BMI criteria toÂ lose weight and keep the weight off long-term.
The physical requirements for bariatric surgery include:
- Body Mass Index (BMI) is greater than 40, OR
- BMI is greater than 35 with at least one medical condition that is caused or worsened by excess weight, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, GERD, high cholesterol or degeneration and pain in weight-bearing joints.
Bariatric surgery usually makes good medical sense for patients who meet these criteria.
Mental Preparations for Bariatric Surgery
In addition to meeting the physical requirements for bariatric surgery, it is important for you to be mentally prepared for this surgery. Determining whether you meet this part of the criteria is not as easy as the first part. After bariatric surgery, patients must make a commitmentÂ to an active and healthy lifestyle in order to achieve the most successful results from their procedure. You are the only one who can make this decision. In choosing to have bariatric surgery, you should feel strongly that:
- Your excess weight is affecting your health in a negative way
- You have done all that you can do to lose weight without surgery
- You are ready to change your current thought process about food and exercise
- You are willing to commit to a lifetime of follow up with your surgeon
- You are committed to making these changes for the rest of their life
Other Medical Considerations
For bariatric surgery to be truly successful for you,Â you must commit to a lifetime of diet changes, nutritional supplements, regular exercise, follow-up appointments and more. These commitments are known as your ability to comply with medical recommendations, and must seem possible and likely that you will meet these requirements to maintain the results of the procedure.
Most doctors do not perform these procedures on patients with an uncontrolled psychiatric problem, who have a lack of social support, who are immature or suffer from mental retardation.
Performing bariatric surgery on teenagers is a controversial topic for many doctors who take into consideration whether or not a teenager can comply with the lifetime changes required by this kind of procedure. However, reducing weight at a young age can often help prevent permanent physical or psychological damage. At Premier Surgical, surgery is currently not offered on patients younger than 18 years of age.
Concerns also arise when performing bariatric surgery in patients over the age of 60, because the risk of surgery increases with age. Older patients are considered on a case-by-case basis, but should be in good overall health and able to maintain an active lifestyle if considering bariatric surgery.
Patients with severe existing medical conditions may be advised to not undergo surgery, although this decision should only be made by a surgeon experienced in bariatric surgery. This situation is known as prohibitive risk, and helps prevent serious complications during surgery.
Calculate your body mass index
Please refer to the Body Mass Index Calculator below to compute your BMI.
Healthy BMI: 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight: 25 to 29.9
Obese: 30 to 34.9
Severely Obese: 35 to 39.9
Morbidly Obese: Greater than 40