Who Can Have Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery is not a weight loss program for people who are mildly overweight. Bariatric surgery is designed to treat severely obese people who are 100 pounds or more overweight and their health is at risk.
A person’s body mass index or BMI is currently the best way to determine the degree of obesity. This is because BMI measures both a person’s height and weight and adjusts for men and women.
BMI—Body Mass Index
If you don’t know what your BMI is, please take a minute to calculate your BMI. If your BMI is 40 or greater, you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery.
If your BMI is more than 35 and if you have one or more of the following, you may also be a candidate for bariatric surgery:
- High blood pressure
- Coronary artery disease
- High levels of fats in your blood (hyperlipidemia)
- Breathing difficulties during sleep (apnea and hypoventilation)
Do I Qualify for Weight Loss Surgery?
Patients with the following BMI can be candidates for bariatric surgery*:
- Your BMI is greater than or equal to 40 (about 100 lbs. overweight)
- Your BMI is greater than or equal to 35 and you have weight-related medical problems that can include the following:
- High blood pressure or heart disease
- High cholesterol or high levels of fats in your blood
- Breathing difficulty during sleep (sleep apnea)
- Joint pain or arthritis
Is Weight Loss Surgery For Me?
Although you may meet the physical qualifications, you should only have bariatric surgery if you are well-informed and motivated. In order to have bariatric surgery, you must:
- Understand and be willing to accept surgical risks.
- Change your diet and eating habits.
- Commit to long-term follow-up care.
There are also several types of bariatric surgery. Learn what weight loss surgery is best for you.
Diet & Lifestyle Changes Before Bariatric Surgery
Part of the evaluation process for bariatric surgery is having a consultation with our dietitians about your diet and lifestyle habits. Understanding your eating habits—in addition to making healthy lifestyle changes—is key to your weight loss success.
Before your surgery, our dietitians will coach you through a supervised weight loss process. In fact, your insurance company may require you to lose weight before your surgery to make sure
We will also ask you to complete a two-day food diary.
Psychiatric Evaluation Before Bariatric Surgery
We understand that successfully losing weight after bariatric surgery involves the entire person. Because psychological and social factors are so important to successfully losing weight long-term, all participants in our bariatric surgery program will have a comprehensive pre-surgical psychological assessment.
This psychological assessment will help us make sure you have the best outcomes after your surgery.
Psychological evaluations are standard protocol for our bariatric surgery team. Most health insurance plans also require patients to have a psychological assessment before having bariatric surgery.
During your psychological assessment, you will have two appointments:
- During your first appointment, you will complete a broad psychological testing that evaluates your eating behaviors, mental health, alcohol and drug use, physical health, quality of life, and social support. For many patients, these factors help predict whether you will successfully lose weight after your surgery. The first appointment usually takes two to three hours.
- During your second appointment, you will have a two-hour meeting with one of our psychologists. Our psychologist will discuss your eating behaviors, coping and adjustment, emotional and psychological frame of mind, and social relationships.
We use the information from your psychological assessment to make recommendations to our bariatric surgeons that help improve your outcomes after surgery, enhance your overall well-being, and help you lose as much weight as possible.
Are You Emotionally Prepared to Have Surgery?
The decision to have weight loss surgery is a serious commitment. Even though bariatric surgery is life-changing for many patients, many patients have mental and emotional challenges during their recovery.
You must also be willing to do the following:
- Attend these consultations:
- Diet evaluation and education with a dietitian
- Undergo medically supervised weight loss (which may be required by your insurance)
- Understand health risks during surgery
- Commit to long-term follow-up care and recovery
Start the Process
Meet Our Patients
Finding a New Quality of Life after Gastric Bypass Surgery
“It has been a hard road, but it has been the best thing I ever did for myself.” This is how DeAnn Barfuss describes the emotional weight loss journey she embarked upon two years ago after deciding to undergo gastric bypass surgery.