To find out if you are a candidate for weight loss surgery, refer to the following criteria as a guide and make sure to check with your doctor and insurance company's requirements.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) consensus conference, you may be a candidate for weight loss surgery if you meet the following criteria:

  1. Severe Obesity, BMI 40 > (about 100 pounds more than your ideal body weight)
  2. BMI between 35 and 40  (may be considered if accompanied by a serious obesity-related health problem such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or sleep apnea)
  3. Acceptable operative risks.
  4. Motivated and well-informed.
  5. Able to participate in treatment and long-term followup.
  6. Have failed attempts at diet and exercise (medical supervised weight loss).

Is Weight Loss Surgery for You?

A decision to have bariatric surgery is very personal and very important. It will change your life in an irreversible way for the most part, not just because of the quick weight loss it produces. Being careful with a decision like this is the right thing to do. You should research the various weight loss surgeries and the various surgeons. Then you and the surgeon should, together, agree that weight loss surgery is the best choice you can make.

There are no guarantees for any method, including surgery, to produce rapid weight loss and maintain it. Success with weight loss surgery is possible only with maximum cooperation and commitment to behavioral change and medical follow-up and this cooperation and commitment must be carried out for the rest of your life.

Considerations prior to weight loss surgery:

Can you comply with the therapy and follow up that is so necessary after weight loss surgery?

You have to follow the directions of your surgeon, especially diet, exercise, labs and office follow up. The surgery is a tool only. Rapid weight loss and maintenance depends on your use of this tool. It would be disastrous if one depends on the surgery alone to take care of the obesity. There will never be a break in following the guidelines set forth by your surgeon regarding diet, exercise and follow up. You are making a life-long commitment.

Have you made many attempts at weight loss?

Only you can decide if you have reached the point where you have exhausted all other options to lose weight. You are making a serious decision that only YOU can make, once you feel you are well informed about the risks and benefits of weight loss surgery.

Are you comfortable with your decision? Are you apprehensive?

Once you are feeling comfortable with your decision to make a lifestyle change forever and you know you can do it, you are ready. If you know exactly and feel comfortable with how the weight loss surgery rearranges your digestive system and the short and long-term risks of bariatric surgery, you are ready. If you have found a surgeon that you feel very comfortable with, you are ready. If you are apprehensive about the whole process, you are normal!

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