Advertisement

Who is a good candidate for bariatric surgery?

A candidate for bariatric surgery must have:

  • a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher; or
  • a BMI of 35 or higher and an obesity-related illness, such as high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes

However, if you have a BMI of 30 or higher, you can have the adjustable lap gastric band procedure. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the operation in February 2011 for people in this group.

Prior to bariatric surgery, you have to show that you have tried to lose weight but you haven't been successful. You have to show that you are committed to attending all of the counseling sessions before and after your surgery. You may not be a good candidate for bariatric surgery if you have certain psychiatric or substance abuse disorders.

You are a candidate for bariatric surgery if you have a BMI of 35 and above with at least one associated medical condition such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In fact, gastric bypass surgery has actually been found to be a better cure for diabetes than any other procedure. You also qualify for gastric bypass surgery if you have a BMI of 40.

The selection criteria for bariatric (weight-loss) surgery are based on National Institute for Health (NIH) and American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) standards for consideration of weight-loss surgery. People wanting bariatric surgery will have tried and failed at non-surgical treatments for severe and morbid obesity, have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 or greater than 35 with significant presenting co-morbidities. People must complete a comprehensive medical, psychological and nutritional evaluation before surgery, and must be well-informed and show an understanding and acceptance of the operation’s benefits and risks. Most importantly, to ensure post-operative success, they must be willing to commit to a long-term lifestyle focusing on physical, psychological and nutritional healthy living. This is supported by long-term follow-up post-surgery.

Good candidates for bariatric surgery are those with a body mass index (BMI) of over 35 to 39.9 who have at least one medical problem that is associated with being overweight. Common things that are associated with being overweight are high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea and high cholesterol. These people are roughly 75 pounds overweight or more.

When a person has a BMI of over 40, they are considered to be candidates for weight loss surgery just based upon their weight alone, whether they have medical problems that are associated with being overweight or not. On average, these people are about 100 pounds overweight or more.

Bariatric surgery has proven to be the most effective treatment for people who are morbidly obese.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider.

Selection criteria for bariatric (weight-loss) surgery are based on National Institutes of Health (NIH) and American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) standards for consideration of weight loss surgery:

  • People who have tried and failed at non-surgical treatments for severe and morbid obesity
  • BMI (body mass index) greater than 40
  • BMI greater than 35 with significant presenting co-morbidities

Candidates for bariatric surgery complete comprehensive medical, psychological and nutritional evaluations before surgery, and must be well-informed and show an understanding and acceptance of the operation’s benefits and risks.

Most importantly, to ensure postoperative success, they must be willing to commit to a long-term lifestyle focusing on physical, psychological and nutritional healthy living. This is supported by long-term follow-up after surgery.

A good candidate for bariatric surgery meets the criteria, is ready to make a change and is committed to the process. A candidate also has to be very well informed about the bariatric surgery process and medically fit. If candidates don’t meet these criteria, they won't be successful in the long run. This is not just about the surgery or even a couple of years after. This is about five or 10 years down the road. Changing one’s lifestyle—eating and exercise habits and behavior—is a crucial part of the process over the long run.

A good candidate for bariatric surgery is a person who has tried to lose weight in the past without much success. Good candidates have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or are about 100 pounds overweight. Alternatively, the person could have a BMI of 35 or greater and co-morbidities or health issues related to weight such as high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea and so on. People must also be ready to commit to a life style change for the rest of their life, as well as supplementing the diet with vitamins. People falling into these categories must also have further testing to make sure they can safely go through surgery. They will be evaluated by a cardiologist and a dietician and will also have a psychological evaluation. This is done to make sure a person is a good candidate and will have the best outcome. Insurance companies may have other criteria as well for a person to meet before being considered a candidate.

A good candidate for bariatric surgery is anyone who is significantly overweight (typically 70 or more pounds over ideal weight) and whose life and health are being negatively affected by carrying the extra weight. Many health insurance plans now cover bariatric surgery because of the long-term health benefits that come with losing a significant amount of weight.

Dr. Keith J. Kreitz, MD
Bariatric Medicine (Obesity Medicine) Specialist

In 1991, the National Institutes of Health put out some criteria based off data they were able to glean from decades of research in bariatric surgery. The institute said, if you have a body mass index (BMI) of forty or greater, we know that you should have something done to change that, and surgery is the best long-term option.

Additionally, they found people with a BMI between thirty-five and forty, who also had a medical problems tied to their excessive weight, benefited from weight loss surgery.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Dr. Randal S. Baker, MD
Surgeon

Anyone with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or greater is a candidate for Bariatric Surgery. Someone with a (BMI) of 35 to 40 with associated diseases (i.e.: diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia) or other conditions, or someone with a BMI greater than 40 and previous attempts of medical weight loss, is a good candidate for bariatric surgery. The candidate must also be psychologically capable of tolerating the surgical changes.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Bariatric surgery isn’t right for everyone. It’s best reserved for those who are at least 100 pounds over ideal body weight or have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40, or if your BMI is greater than 35 and you have associated health problems related to your obesity, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or severe sleep apnea.

In addition to being morbidly obese, bariatric surgery candidates are expected to have tried other weight-loss treatments with little or no success, be psychologically stable, and be able to demonstrate the motivation to make a life-altering change.

Most candidates for bariatric surgery are adults who are considered morbidly obese. Your body mass index (BMI) helps determine if you are obese or not. BMI is a measurement of body fat. It's calculated using your height and weight.

However, you don't necessarily need to be morbidly obese to be an ideal candidate for bariatric surgery, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Other things that make a person a good candidate for bariatric surgery are:

  • BMI of 40 or higher
  • BMI of 35 or higher and an obesity-related medical condition (such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease)

Some things make a person not a good candidate for bariatric surgery. They are:

  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Untreated mental health condition, including eating disorders
  • Resistance to changing your lifestyle habits after surgery

The decision to have bariatric surgery is not one to be taken lightly. It’s important to be realistic about your expectations and limitations. Weigh the pros and cons of this weight loss method.

This content originally appeared on http://blog.mountainstar.com/

Continue Learning about Weight Loss Procedures and Surgeries

The Bonus Benefits of Bariatric Surgery
The Bonus Benefits of Bariatric Surgery
During the Gold Rush of the 1840s and 50s pioneers in wagon trains littered the Oregon Trail, especially in western Kansas and Colorado, with clothes,...
Read More
What are the long-term effects of weight loss surgery?
Stuart A. Linder, MDStuart A. Linder, MD
Some of the long term effects of weight loss surgery include improvement in serious medical conditio...
More Answers
Dispelling 6 Weight-Loss Surgery Myths
Dispelling 6 Weight-Loss Surgery MythsDispelling 6 Weight-Loss Surgery MythsDispelling 6 Weight-Loss Surgery MythsDispelling 6 Weight-Loss Surgery Myths
We're separating fact from fable when it comes to bariatric surgery.
Start Slideshow
Am I a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?
Am I a Candidate for Weight Loss 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.