How to Qualify for Bariatric Surgery
If you’re considering a surgical procedure for weight loss, you might be curious about how to qualify for bariatric surgery. Doctors consider many factors when recommending different weight loss surgeries to patients. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose and meet certain other criteria, bariatric surgery could be a life-changing decision that helps lead to a healthier, more fulfilling life. In fact, in many cases, it can be a life-saving measure.
Understanding the factors that influence a doctor’s decision to recommend bariatric surgery can help you identify whether you’re a good candidate for a weight loss procedure. If you’ve tried other non-surgical interventions or a number of diets over the years with no luck, then you might be asking yourself, should I get bariatric surgery? We’ll address this and a number of other common questions when considering bariatric surgery.
Top Questions About Bariatric Surgery
Is my weight high enough for me to be considering bariatric surgery?
Most physicians will address this question by looking at your Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a calculation based on the ratio between your height and weight. BMI calculations place people into categories of underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obesity. Candidates for weight loss surgery have BMIs that place them in the obesity category.
The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery lists more specific criteria to qualify for bariatric surgery based on BMI. These benchmarks include:
- A BMI >40
- A BMI >35 with accompanying health issues such as high blood pressure, degenerative joint disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, or high cholesterol
In general, people with obesity are at a higher risk of developing associated health conditions that impact or shorten their lives, like heart disease, stroke, respiratory issues, diabetes, and cancer. Bariatric surgery can be an effective intervention to reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases in patients who can’t achieve weight loss by non-surgical methods.
Are there other factors to help me understand how to qualify for bariatric surgery?
In addition to your BMI category, there are other factors you and your doctor may discuss when considering bariatric surgery. Some of these factors include age, past attempts at weight loss, your commitment to lifestyle changes (diet, exercise), and any other medical conditions you might have.
Ideal candidates for bariatric surgery should also be willing to commit to making long-term lifestyle changes post-surgery involving healthy eating habits and regular exercise. A highly trained nutrition team can help with this.
Should I get weight loss surgery?
Each person will need to answer the question, “Should I get weight loss surgery?” for themselves. No one knows you — your past attempts at weight loss, your goals, your expectations — like you do. Weight loss surgery can significantly impact your physical and mental health, so thoughtfully discussing your case with your physician can help you decide whether weight loss surgery is right for you.
What is the difference between weight loss surgery and bariatric surgery?
Weight loss surgery and bariatric surgery are two terms that refer to the same thing. The term “bariatric” means relating to or specializing in the treatment of obesity. Bariatric surgery involves specialized procedures that aim to help patients lose weight. There are many different types of procedures, and each case is unique.
What are my next steps?
To move forward with bariatric surgery, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of the surgery, the risks, prospective outcomes, and whether you’re a good candidate. The best way to establish this is to schedule a consultation with a specialist who can address your particular medical history, diet and weight history, risk factors, and options. Your surgeon will take the time to answer all your questions and help prepare you for any further steps along the way.
The Barix Team is Here for You
At Barix Clinics, we have an entire team of experts dedicated to helping you. If you’re considering bariatric surgery, the next step is to schedule a consultation to get all of your questions answered and visit our BMI calculation page. Here you can find your BMI for yourself as well as other helpful information and guidance on how you can continue this journey toward a healthier life.