Qualifications for Bariatric Surgery

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Qualifications for Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is weight loss surgery. There are a number of bariatric surgeries performed and these include vertical banded gastroplasty, biliopancreatic diversion, sleeve gastrectomy, sleeve gastrectomy with duodenal switch and gastric bypass surgery. These procedures will involve either reducing the size of the stomach or bypassing a portion of the small intestine where most of the absorption of food occurs. When these procedures are successful, patients are found to experience significant weight loss. It has also been shown that bariatric surgery can cure type 2 diabetes, mainly because of the reduced weight.

Like all surgeries, bariatric surgeries have some risk and this fact should be weighed carefully. However, surgery is not an option for everyone as there are certain qualifications for bariatric surgery that must be met. Even though there are different types of bariatric surgeries, these qualifications are basically the same for all of them.

Here are some of the qualifications for bariatric surgery:

Obesity – This is probably one of the most important qualifications for bariatric surgery. To be considered a candidate for this procedure, you should have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 and above. A person with a BMI of over 40 is said to be morbidly obese. People with a BMI greater than 35 may also be considered if they have co-morbid medical condition that may improve with weight loss. These conditions include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, infertility, metabolic syndrome, gall stones, asthma, congestive heart failure and coronary heart disease. Patients with a family history of co-morbid medical conditions that are related to obesity may also be considered.

Weight- Patients who weigh 100 pounds more (men) or 80 pounds more (women) than their ideal weight may also be considered suitable candidates for bariatric surgery.

Attempt at other ways to lose weight – A suitable candidate for bariatric surgery must have made a good effort to lose weight by following a structured weight loss regime supervised by a professional or a physician for at least 6 months and been unsuccessful.

Dedication to lifestyle change – This is one of the more subjective qualifications for bariatric surgery as the physician has to form an opinion about the candidate’s dedication and commitment to adopting a healthy lifestyle which includes a regular exercise program for the rest of his life. The patient will also be required to make regular long term follow up visits after surgery.

Age – Patients must be between the ages of 18 and 65 to qualify for weight loss surgery. The age limit may be waived if the patient is at high risk of death from a co-morbid health condition.

Health – A person needs to be in relatively good health despite their obesity in order to be a suitable candidate. They should not have a liver disease, be an alcoholic or a substance abuser or have a psychological condition that has not been treated.

Other qualifications for bariatric surgery include a good support system, not currently pregnant and an understanding of the risks of bariatric surgery.