Weight Loss Surgery- Do I Qualify

Author: S. Bledsoe, M.D.

According to the 2011 report from Trust for America’s Health, 12 states have adult obesity rates over 30% most of these being concentrated in the South.  It doesn’t look like the problem will be improving anytime soon, because America’s youth are increasing in size on a yearly basis.

 

For most Americans, diet, exercise, and behavior modification is what we need to shed those pounds.  However, some should consider the benefits brought about by weight loss surgery.  How do you know if you are a candidate for weight loss surgery?

 

First, consider your Body Mass Index (BMI).  This is a calculation that considers your weight AND your height.  There are numerous BMI calculators online that can assist you with this.  If your BMI is greater than 40, you qualify for the surgery.  If your BMI is 35 or greater, and you have diseases associated with obesity (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea to name a few), then you qualify as well.  Recently, the FDA has approved the adjustable gastric band in patients with a BMI as low as 30 and certain diseases.

 

Second, review your own medical and obesity history.  In general, you should have a several year history of obesity and should have made numerous serious attempts at weight loss through diet, exercise, and behavior modification. Some medical or psychiatric problems may need to be addressed first, but only you and your Bariatric Surgeon can make the final determination as to whether or not your should pursue weight loss surgery.

 

Third, gain as much information as you can about obesity surgery, so you can make an informed decision.  Many bariatric surgeons offer free monthly seminars designed to educate you on the different procedures, potential complications, potential benefits, and long-term considerations.  At the conclusion of the seminar, you will have all the information you need to decide if weight loss surgery is right for you.

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