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Is Obesity an Automatic Qualifier for Weight Loss Surgery?

weight loss surgery

If you want to lose weight and are considering bariatric surgery, you first need to determine if weight loss surgery is right for you. Not everyone who is overweight qualifies for weight loss surgery.

To determine a patient’s eligibility, the surgeon must have an accurate reading of each individual’s weight and body mass index (BMI). BMI is a formula used to measure your body fat. Your BMI is calculated by dividing your weight (in pounds) by your height (in inches). The medical community has established the following BMI ranges, and they apply equally to both men and women.

  • Less than 18.5 BMI: Underweight.
  • 18.5 to 24.6: Normal weight.
  • 25 to 29.0: Overweight.
  • 30 and above: Obese.

Most doctors and medical insurers require that bariatric patients meet the following qualifications before being approved for weight loss surgery.

  • A BMI of 40 or more, or being more than 100 pounds overweight.
  • A BMI of 35 or more and a current diagnosis that the patient has contracted one or more obesity-related comorbidities, including:
    • Type 2 diabetes.
    • Hypertension.
    • Sleep apnea and/or other respiratory disorders.
    • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
    • Osteoarthritis.
    • Lipid abnormalities.
    • Gastrointestinal disorders.
    • Heart disease.
    • Inability to achieve and sustain a healthy weight with prior weight loss efforts.

You can use this online tool to calculate your BMI.

In addition to your weight, your bariatric surgeon will examine other factors to determine your eligibility. Insurers often require weight loss surgery candidates undergo both a psychological evaluation and nutrition counseling. Your surgeon may also prescribe a preliminary screening as part of the approval process. Overall, the best way to determine if you qualify for weight loss surgery and whether it is the best option for you is to work closely with a bariatric specialist.

If you’ve struggled with your weight for some time and are tired of yo-yo dieting, it may be time to talk to your doctor about weight loss surgery. Remember, bariatric surgery isn’t for everyone, but it is a viable option for those who are significantly overweight, have tried to lose weight on their own and have been either unable to lose the weight or to keep it off. If you have a BMI over 35 and are suffering from other weight-related health problems — such as diabetes, joint disease, sleep apnea, GERD or infertility — bariatric surgery may be the right choice for you.

Contact us today to speak with a bariatric specialist and learn more about your weight loss options.





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