Are You A Good Candidate For Bariatric Surgery?

Posted by Patrick Domkowski on Fri, Sep 28, 2012

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could take a pill and magically drop all of your excess weight? Unfortunately there is no magic pill, and long-term weight loss is often not achievable through medical means. 

When compared to traditional weight loss methods, bariatric surgery is sometimes thought of as an “easy” way to lose weight fast. However, while the surgery itself is straightforward, under going it and then adjusting to the lifestyle afterwards requires dedications and commitment. Weight loss surgery isn’t something that should be rushed into. Every surgery has risks, and just like with every surgery, there are bad and good bariatric surgery candidates

good-candidate-bariatric-surgeryHow do you know if you’re a good candidate for weight loss surgery?

People undergo weight loss surgery for one reason: obesity related health conditions are causing their health to fail. Weight loss surgery can eliminate and/or improve many diseases. These include type II diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and elevated cholesterol and lipids levels leading to heart disease. While weight loss surgery can also make you thinner, it should not be considered for cosmetic reasons. Weight loss surgery is not a cosmetic operation.

In order to ensure you’re a good candidate for weight loss surgery, you must meet the following medical criteria:

Your BMI is above normal.
A normal BMI is between 20 and 25. If your BMI is 25 to 30 you are considered overweight, but are not a candidate for surgery. You may qualify for weight loss surgery if you have a BMI of 30 or higher and you have one or more obesity-related health problems, such as type II diabetes or if your BMI is 40 or higher, even if you do not have a comorbidity.

You’ve tried everything.
The length of time you’ve been overweight, as well as your past attempts to lose weight are taken into account when determining if you’ll be a good bariatric surgery candidate. Weight loss surgery should be considered as initial treatment if your BMI is over 40 and you have type II diabetes. If your BMI is between 30 and 40 and your diabetes is hard to control then you should also consider surgery. Bariatric surgery is your best option in eliminating type II diabetes associated with obesity. If this is you, it’s time to talk to a bariatric surgeon.

Are you ready for change?
The weight loss process doesn’t end once you’re out of surgery. Patients considering weight loss surgery should be aware that they need to make long term dietary and lifestyle changes in order to successfully lose weight and keep it off. These changes include avoiding large meals, chewing food well, and taking vitamins. Candidates should also not drink alcohol in excess.

Bariatric surgery isn’t just about losing weight. Every bariatric surgery candidate should understand that weight loss surgery is about being healthy and being prepared to make lifelong lifestyle changes. There is no quick fix for losing weight. Weight loss surgery is a last resort for losing weight and should only be considered in the hopes of improving health. Like we said, there’s no magic pill, but your doctor can help you determine if bariatric surgery is the right weight loss option for you.

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