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Am I a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?

Weight loss surgery isn’t for everyone. Doctors take a number of factors into account to determine if you’re a good candidate for a bariatric procedure.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

The first and most obvious factor to determine if you qualify for weight loss surgery is your body mass index (BMI), which measures overall body fat based on height and weight. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, patients with a BMI of 30 or greater are considered obese. Generally speaking, this translates to 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds overweight for women.

If your BMI is 40 or greater, you’re a candidate for weight loss surgery, providing you meet additional criteria. You’re also a candidate for bariatric surgery if your BMI is 35-39.9 and you have at least one obesity-related risk (or “comorbidity”) such as diabetes, sleep apnea or hypertension.

Calculate your body mass index (BMI)

Other Factors to Consider Before Weight Loss Surgery

Other considerations help determine whether or not you’re a candidate for bariatric weight loss surgery, such as the following:

  • You’ve attended an informational seminar
  • You’re at least 18 years old
  • You’re a non-smoker
  • You’re not a heavy drinker
  • You’re well informed and motivated about necessary lifestyle changes
  • You’ve received pre-surgical mental health, medical and nutritional counseling
  • You’re willing to commit to supervised after care (support groups, nutritional counseling, exercise)
  • You’ve been overweight for more than five years
  • You’re healthy enough to tolerate surgery
  • You understand the risks associated with surgery