Am I a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?
It’s always best to lose weight through a healthy diet and regular physical activity. If you’re among those who have tried but can’t lose weight on your own and your excess weight is causing health problems, surgery may be an option.
Weight-reduction surgery, known generally as bariatric surgery, changes the anatomy of your digestive system to limit the amount of food you can eat and digest. As a result, surgery can provide long-term, consistent weight loss if you’re a proper candidate for this procedure.
Bariatric surgery isn’t for everyone who is obese. It’s a major procedure, accompanied by significant and indefinite lifestyle changes, risks and side effects.
When Surgery May Be An Option
Generally, surgery for weight loss is reserved for people who are severely overweight and who have health problems as a result. According to guidelines developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, surgery for obesity may be considered if your body mass index (BMI) is 35 or higher, and you have a serious weight-related health problem such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Consider your lifestyle and decide if you’ve exhausted all efforts to lose weight through diet and exercise. Finally, evaluate your commitment to making lifestyle changes. If you do have surgery, its success still depends on a lifelong commitment to specific guidelines for diet and exercise.
If you wonder whether weight-loss surgery may be an option for you, use this calculator to calculate your BMI and discuss the results with your doctor.