Qualifying for Weight Loss Surgery
Before you can qualify for weight loss surgery, there are certain of physical and mental criteria that must be met to ensure that bariatric surgery is the right step for your weight loss. The National Institute for Health (NIH) has developed several criteria to help determine if you are a candidate for surgical weight loss.
These criteria include a person’s body weight, history of obesity and medical history.
Prior to having weight loss surgery, your bariatric surgeon will review the criteria and determine if you are a candidate for this method of weight loss. Factors taken into consideration include:
- Personal and family history of obesity
- Past attempts at weight loss through dietary, exercise and behavioral modifications
- Level of motivation for weight loss
- Level of commitment to lifelong dietary, exercise and medical guidelines, as well as follow-up care
- Awareness and acceptance of operative risks
- Age between 18 and 65 (Exceptions may be made based on your specific circumstances)
- Mental stability, as well as history with drug or alcohol abuse
- Currently pregnant or women attempting to conceive
Your surgeon will discuss the risk factors, complication rates and lifestyle changes associated with each procedure you are considering. It is important that you are fully aware of what your decision will mean for the rest of your life.
Am I a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?
One of the leading factors that determine a person’s eligibility is his or her BMI or body mass index. This is a ratio of your height to weight that estimates how healthy your weight level is.
A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy. A BMI greater than 25 indicates that you may be overweight, while a BMI over 30 indicates obesity.
Your BMI will play a significant role in determining your eligibility for weight loss surgery. You may qualify for weight loss surgery if:
- You have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, which is often equivalent to about 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds for women
- You have a body mass index (BMI) that is greater than 30 and you are coping with serious obesity-related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or severe sleep apnea.
Bariatric surgery is a life changing procedure and your eligibility is determined based on your ability and willingness to make the changes that will help you be successful.