Who can benefit from weight loss surgery?

The option of undergoing weight-loss surgery is becoming more popular for those who are severely obese and have been unable to get results with diet and exercise alone.

However, it is not for everyone who may be obese. While generally safe, weight-loss surgery (also called bariatric weight-loss surgery) has its risks. Losing weight after bariatric surgery is never a guarantee; and it takes commitment to changes in life-long eating patterns and lifestyle, including maintaining an exercise program in many cases.

Your doctor will make the proper evaluations to determine if you are a good candidate for weight-loss surgery.

Evaluations will likely include physical considerations, such as body mass index, and your overall readiness. For example, your doctor may determine if you are ready to commit to permanent lifestyle changes after surgery. And that you fully understand the risks and benefits of surgery.
Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics

Morbidly obese adults who have tried multiple diets without success. Someone who is 100 pounds or more overweight, and those who have experienced yo-yo dieting. Yo-yo weight due to dieting has been shown to be just as bad for health as obesity. For adults that have experienced yo-yo dieting, with extreme ups and downs. The weight loss and Weight-loss surgery is particularly helpful for the reversal of type 2 diabetes as well as other obesity related conditions. Often people with obesity related chronic diseases are recommended weight-loss surgery.

Stephen Handisides
Health Education

The ideal candidate for bariatric surgery is morbidly obese with a lot of fat to lose. A person is categorized as morbidly obese if they have a BMI over 40. You must also have tried all other non-surgical weight loss treatments without successful weight loss before undertaking bariatric surgery.

Before surgery it is important to have a detailed consultation with a cosmetic surgeon and to clearly outline your expectations of the procedure. It may be the case that a less invasive option such as liposuction can deliver the results you desire.

Surgery may be a weight loss option for people with:
  • Body mass index (BMI) greater than 40.
  • BMI 35-40 who also have other health risks such as type 2 diabetes.
One of the benefits of this type of weight loss approach is that people usually experience rapid weight loss right after the surgery. However, there are risks associated with surgery that include surgical complications, gall stones, and problems absorbing nutrients.

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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.