Qualifications for Weight Loss Surgery

There are specific qualifications for weight loss surgery you must meet in order to be considered. That’s mainly because surgery is often seen as the last resort — the point when medical intervention is needed to reduce the high health risks caused by obesity.

Who is the Ideal Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

Chart that shows what a person's body looks like based on their body mass index (BMI).

Use our BMI calculator to find out if you qualify for surgery.

Weight loss surgery is intended for people who have a high Body Mass Index (BMI), typically of 30.0 or higher. People below this BMI are not considered good candidates for bariatric surgery unless they are at risk for diseases or life-threatening conditions because of their obesity.

Additional health factors that would influence a doctor’s recommendation on whether or not you’re a good candidate for bariatric surgery include:

  • Type II Diabetes
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Asthma
  • Sleep Apnea

People who suffer from obesity due to genetic factors could be considered good weight loss surgery candidates as well.

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Reasons You May Not Qualify for Weight Loss Surgery

There are typically age restrictions for weight loss surgery candidates; 18-65 years of age are acceptable ages.

In addition, There are certain health conditions that may prevent you from qualifying. If you have blood clots, there is a risk of blockage following the surgery. Smokers should not have the surgery because tobacco use impairs healing afterward.

Other medical issues like heart problems, kidney stones, or autoimmune diseases may keep you from getting the surgery because your body may be too fragile to withstand surgery. Weight loss surgery is not designed for people who abuse drugs either. It also requires that you have good mental health.

Weight loss surgery is typically only recommended if other weight loss attempts have failed. Before looking into weight loss surgery, you should have already attempted to lose weight solely by dieting and exercising. So, if you have not attempted to lose weight on your own, that should be your priority.

We consider people to be good candidates for weight loss surgery if their obesity has existed for more than five years. People who have been considered obese — based on their BMI — for less than that may not be considered the best candidates for bariatric surgery.

Additional Health Factors to Consider Before Committing to Weight Loss Surgery

You need to be prepared to make significant changes both before and after surgery. Before surgery, you might need to decrease fat and sugar intake to make the surgery safer. You also need to be able to take about three weeks off work to recover.

Long-term, you’ll need to follow a reduced-calorie, high-protein, low-carbohydrate and low-fat diet. Those who are not willing to change their eating habits and exercise following surgery may experience unhealthy side effects or not get the results they want.

If you are planning to have children, it is possible to get pregnant following bariatric surgery. However, it can make pregnancy a higher risk. Doctors recommend waiting at least 12 months between surgery and conception.

Talk to a Professional if You Believe You’re a Good Weight Loss Surgery Candidate

Contact us if you believe you are qualified for weight loss surgery. Our team of USA based English speaking weight loss surgery coordinators have been in your position and have had weight loss surgery themselves. Talk to a specialist today and discuss your different weight loss surgery options.

Patient information on bariatric surgery may be required for candidacy. Knowledge of the risk factors associated with bariatric surgery and weight loss surgery expectations are sometimes required for candidacy as well.