Who is Bariatric Surgery For? See if You Qualify

Who is Bariatric Surgery For? See if You Qualify

If you’ve ever struggled with weight loss, then you know as well as us how hard and frustrating it can be to see the numbers on the scale not go down. You have tried everything: every diet, regime, and exercise program available. And still, nothing. You may have even considered weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery. But how can you know if bariatric surgery is right for you? Who exactly qualifies for weight loss surgery? Read on to find out more. 

What Is Bariatric Surgery?

We’ve already covered the definition of bariatric surgery and its different procedures in this article. To summarize, bariatric surgery is a procedure in which changes are made to your digestive system in order to help you lose weight. These changes may come in the form of a gastric bypass, a gastric band, a sleeve gastrectomy, or a BPD/DS (Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch). At Colorado Bariatric, we focus on robotic bariatric surgery for gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy

These procedures can aid in weight loss efforts by limiting how much food a person can ingest, reducing the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, or both. 

Who Is Bariatric Surgery For?

In order to qualify for weight loss surgery, a few requisites need to be matched. Normally, those who qualify for bariatric surgery are morbidly obese. 

  • When a person has a BMI (Body Mass Index) of over 40. 
  • When someone is over 100 pounds overweight. 
  • When they have a BMI greater or equal to 35 but with an obesity-related illness (such as type II diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, etc.)
  • Have at least six months of supervised weight-loss attempts

Also, bear in mind that all likely candidates who are seeking to undergo a weight loss surgery will need to fulfill a series of surgical, medical,  nutritional, and psychological evaluations before being cleared for the process. This is because bariatric surgery is a long term commitment, not a short term solution.

How To Know If You Are A Candidate

Discover Your BMI

Your BMI (Body Mass Index) is one of the key components to determine if you qualify for bariatric surgery. BMI is a numerical value of your weight in relation to your height, thus calculating the amount of fat in your body. An optimal BMI falls under the 18-25 range, while morbid obesity is cataloged with a BMI of 40 or more. 

However, BMI is not always an accurate way to determine if you need to lose weight. For example, bodybuilders tend to have a very high BMI due to the fact that muscle weighs more than fat. To determine if you are overweight and qualify for weight loss surgery, your doctor will need to take into account factors like your weight circumference, your waist-to-hip ratio, your blood pressure, your blood sugar levels, your cholesterol levels, your diet, and other health factors. 

Get A Team Of Experts

According to Mayo Clinic, you will also need to meet with a team of health experts who will help you determine if you qualify for bariatric surgery. This team may include a primary care doctor, a surgeon, an anesthesiologist, a dietitian, a psychologist or psychiatrist, a nutrition expert, and other specialists depending on your medical and health conditions.

If these specialists find that you have blood-clotting disorders, severe heart disease which doesn’t allow for anesthesia, or other conditions that increase the risk of using anesthesia.

Evaluate Your Mental & Behavioral Health

Weight loss surgery is only one part of the weight loss process. For it to be successful, it will depend entirely on you and your ability to change your eating and exercise habits.

“Weight-loss surgery is only one part of an overall treatment plan. Your treatment will also include nutrition guidelines, exercise, and mental health care. You’ll need to be willing and able to follow this long-term plan to achieve your weight-loss goals.”

Mayo Clinic, “Weight-loss surgery: Is it an option for you?”

Eating disorders, mood disorders, alcohol, and drug use, and suicide risk will be evaluated in order to determine if a patient qualifies for bariatric surgery. This is why psychological and mental assessments pre-surgery are so important. While you need to be motivated enough to lose the weight and keep it off, your mental health must also be in the right place for you to undergo surgery and have successful results. Your mental health and diet and exercise habits will play a major role in your weight loss journey post-surgery. 

So Is Bariatric Surgery Right For Me?

During the pre-surgery process, “a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists will help you determine whether this is an appropriate option for you.” These experts will help determine if you are a candidate for weight loss surgery if you are mentally and physically prepared to undergo surgery, and if you are ready to commit to long-term changes in your daily habits. During this process, we highly recommend that you consider all benefits and risks of undergoing surgery, which you can also discuss with your medical team. 

So while bariatric surgery isn’t right for everyone, it may just be right for you. It might be the push you need to regain control of your health, your habits, and your lifestyle. Find out more about our robotic bariatric surgery processes or contact us to find out if bariatric surgery is right for you

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