Is bariatric surgery right for you?
The decision to undergo bariatric surgery must ultimately be a commitment to healthy living. Success after surgery depends upon your commitment to proper nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes. The decision to move forward is made only after the medical team has performed a thorough evaluation and reached consensus.
To be considered as a surgical candidate, individuals must meet the following criteria (subject to slight variation per surgical program):
- Be between 18 and 70 years of age
- Have a Body Mass Index of 40 or above OR
- Have a Body Mass Index of 35-40 with significant associated health problems
- Made serious past attempts to lose weight
- Are dedicated to drastic lifestyle changes and follow-up appointments
- Not suffering from any disease that may be causing excess weight
- Absence of drug, alcohol or emotional problems
- Understand the surgery and associated risks
BMI is a measurement of obesity, based on your height and weight. It gives a good indication of whether your weight is healthy for your height. The higher the BMI, the more your health is at risk.
- Underweight (under 18.5)
- Ideal BMI (18.5 - 24.9)
- Overweight (25 - 29.9)
- Obese (over 30)
- Severely Obese (over 35)
- Morbid Obesity (over 40)
Your weight in relation to your height may be below the safety limit. If so, adverse health affects, such as lower immunity, may result. You should consider gaining weight through good diet and exercise habits.
If your BMI falls within this range you are at your ideal, healthy weight and at low risk for weight-related health problems. You do not need to consider a weight reduction program.
You may be at risk for weight-related health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and high blood pressure. You should consider modifying your diet and exercise habits to reduce your health risk.
You are at high risk for weight-related health problems. You should actively pursue a weight loss strategy of calorie reduction and increased physical activity. Be sure to consult your doctor.
You are at significantly high risk for weight-related health problems. Weight loss strategies may not be working for you. If you are experiencing at least two weight-related health problems, you may qualify for bariatric surgery. Consult your doctor.
You have probably already developed weight-related health problems. Most likely, you qualify for bariatric surgery. Consult your doctor to discuss your weight loss surgery options.
Please note that while BMI is generally accurate, it doesn't take into consideration large, heavy muscles (often found with athletes) or low muscle mass (often found in frail people).