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Weight-loss surgery is a huge step toward a healthier lifestyle. However, not everyone is a good candidate for bariatric (weight loss) surgery. All patients considering bariatric surgery at Penn must meet specific criteria before being scheduled for a screening evaluation. These criteria are based on universal standards established by the National Institutes of Health. Surgeons at Penn Medicine evaluate other criteria, such as a patient’s age and general health, including cardiovascular health and psychological well-being, to determine if bariatric surgery is appropriate.
While bariatric surgery results in fast weight loss, certain lifestyle changes must be made in advance, says surgeon Dilendra Weerasinghe, MD, of Fawcett Memorial Hospital. Watch as he explains who may not be a candidate for weight loss surgery.
If you have had multiple heart attacks or have trouble exercising, you may not be a good candidate for bariatric surgery. In this video, Richard DiCicco, MD, a bariatric surgeon at Memorial Hospital of Tampa, describes how age also may play a role.
Those who are mentally ill or have other risk factors may not be recommended for bariatric surgery. In this video, bariatric surgeon John L. Coon, MD, FACS, of Riverside Community Hospital, explains how candidates are evaluated for surgery.
Many people with obesity have binge eating disorder. In this video, Dr. Emmet R. Bishop, of NORMAL nonprofit, discusses the overlap between the two problems -- and why it's crucial when it comes to weight-loss surgery.
A person may not be a good candidate for bariatric (weight-loss) surgery for the following reasons:
- The procedure represents an unacceptable risk to the person.
- The person doesn’t understand or accept the risks and commitments that accompany such a life-changing procedure.
- There is active evidence of alcohol and/or drug abuse.
- The person has an untreated or unmanageable psychiatric disability.
- The person has not tried potentially effective non-surgical treatments.
- The person has reversible endocrine disorders that can be the root cause of his or her morbid obesity or metabolic disease.
Many obese patients are not good candidates for weight loss surgery, including smokers and those with other medical problems that would make the operation too risky.
Weight loss surgery cannot be done on smokers until they have quit smoking for at least two months. Those who are actively abusing drugs or alcohol are also not good candidates.
Additionally, gastric bypass, lap-band, sleeve gastrectomy or other weight-loss surgeries may not be right for you if you have an inflammatory disease or condition of the gastrointestinal tract, such as ulcers, severe esophagitis or Crohn’s disease.
Those who cannot or will not follow necessary nutritional rules and exercise programs are also not good candidates.
Pregnancy is possible and safe after weight-loss surgery, but it should be delayed until your weight has stabilized and you have established a healthy new dietary lifestyle, which can normally take two years.
Weight loss surgery is a serious step toward overcoming obesity, but many people are not good candidates because they may have other underlying medical conditions or lifestyle habits, such as smoking.
Weight loss surgery is not done on smokers until they have quit smoking for at least two months. Those who are actively abusing drugs or alcohol are also not good candidates. Patients with psychiatric conditions, including depression or bipolar disease, should seek psychiatric treatment before they are considered for weight loss surgery.
Gastric bypass, lap-band, sleeve gastrectomy or other weight-loss surgeries may not be right for you if you have an inflammatory disease or condition of the gastrointestinal tract, such as ulcers, severe esophagitis or Crohn’s disease.
Patients who cannot follow necessary nutritional rules and exercise programs are also not good candidates.
Pregnancy is safe after weight-loss surgery, but it should be delayed until your weight has stabilized and you have established a healthy dietary lifestyle, which can take two years.
This surgery is obviously a very serious step. Patients with psychiatric conditions such as depression, bipolar disease, and/or schizophrenia should be under the care of a psychiatrist before they consider surgery. These conditions can become exaggerated by the body changes that are associated with weight loss. There are some medical conditions which make the surgery too dangerous to perform. These occur rarely but must be taken into account. If patients meet the eligibility guidelines that are outlined above, they are obvious candidates for success with this surgery.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.