Qualifying for Bariatric Surgery

The National Institutes of Health set minimum requirements for recommending bariatric surgery as a treatment option:

  • 100 pounds or more above ideal body weight or a BMI of 35-40 or greater
  • BMI of 35 or greater with two or more obesity-related health conditions: diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, DVT/PE, PCOS, stress urinary incontinence, venous stasis disease, gallstone disease, appniculitis, GERD, pseudotumor cerebri, frequent urinary tract infections, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, asthma, among others.

Other qualifying factors may include:

  • History of documented dietary weight loss attempts
  • Lifelong commitment to dietary, exercise, and medical guidelines and follow-up care
  • Psychological evaluation

Who’s not a candidate?

Generally, the following health conditions will cause you to be considered not a good candidate for bariatric surgery: wheelchair bound, oxygen-dependent, crippling irreversible cardiopulmonary disease, active malignancy or infection, cirrhotics, schizophrenia or untreated psychiatric disease, untreated alcohol or drug abuse, smoker (you must be smoke free for six months).

Together, you and your bariatric surgeon take steps to determine:

  • If surgery is the right treatment for you
  • Which type of procedure is right for you
  • If you are mentally and emotionally prepared to make lifelong lifestyle changes
  • That you have, or will have, the necessary support system around you