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Am I a Candidate for Weight-Loss Surgery?

What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a procedure designed to make the stomach smaller so the patient feels satisfied with less food. It is intended for people who are 100 pounds or more overweight (with a Body Mass Index of 40 or greater) and who have not had success with other weight loss therapies such as diet, exercise, medications, etc. A person with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or greater and one or more co-morbid condition also may qualify for bariatric surgery.

What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

BMI is a measure used to index a person’s height and weight. BMI allows healthcare professionals and patients to better understand health issues associated with a specific weight classification (classifications such as obesity and morbid obesity).

You can use the tool below to calculate your BMI, and get a detailed report:



How do I know if I qualify for bariatric surgery?

Patients should have at least one of the following:

  • 100 pounds or more of excess weight
  • A BMI of 40 or greater
  • A BMI of 35 or greater with one or more co-morbid condition such as hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea or others

Other common guidelines include:

  • Understanding the risks of bariatric surgery
  • Committing to dietary and other lifestyle changes as recommended by the surgeon
  • Having a history of weight loss treatments having failed the patient
  • Undergoing a complete examination including medical tests
Is bariatric surgery right for me?

Talk with your surgeon about the different surgical treatments, as well as the benefits and risks. Remember:

  • Bariatric surgery is not cosmetic surgery.
  • Bariatric surgery does not involve the removal of adipose tissue (fat) by suction or surgical removal.
  • The patient must commit to long-term lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, which are key to the success of bariatric surgery.
  • Problems after surgery are rare, but corrective procedures may be required.
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