Are You Eligible For a Weight Loss Surgery?

Obesity is at its worst ever today. About 40 million people in the United States are obese. Around 3 million are morbidly obese. Obesity comes hand in hand with all the co-morbidities like Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, sleep apnea, liver diseases etc. In order to manage and control the co-morbidities in obese and morbidly obese people an aggressive approach is recommended known to be weight loss surgery.

Weight loss surgery is a quicker and effective way of bringing about a massive weight loss. When all traditional methods of weight loss fail, these surgeries come into the picture. Gastric bypass surgery is the most time tested one of all the surgeries available for weight loss. However, these surgeries are not for everyone.

weight loss surgery

Factors which determine who are eligible for weight loss surgery (Gastric Bypass):

There are some laid down guidelines as to who can be considered for the procedure. The guidelines are as follows:

  • Someone who has failed to reverse weight gain through the traditional methods of diet and exercise.
  • Someone who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher (super morbid obesity).
  • Someone with a BMI between 35 and 39.9 but with serious co-morbidities like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, steatohepatitis etc.
Comprehensive evaluation of the candidate:

A team of heath care providers (doctor, dietitian, surgeon and psychologist) will examine a candidate before deciding whether he/she is ready for the procedure. These professionals decide whether the health objectives from the surgery when achieved will outweigh the risks associated with the procedure. The following factors will be taken into consideration as a part of the comprehensive evaluation.


The guidelines have been laid down for patients between the age of 18 and 65. Before or beyond this age interval the decision has to be taken based on case specific parameters.

Nutrition, Demographics and weight graph over the years
Weight Loss Surgery
The weight loss graph, eating patterns, profession, stress level, family background, etc are considered in determining one’s eligibility.

Medical condition

The current medical status needs to be assessed. If the individual is predisposed to post surgery complications having conditions such as a blood clotting disorder, liver disease, kidney stones to begin with, then he/she may not be the right candidate for it. Smoking and alcohol may increase complications later on.

Emotional status

Emotional stability is assessed to determine whether an individual is ready for the surgery. Having a history of trauma and abuse makes one vulnerable to weight gain. An emotional eater turns to food for comfort and solace. Substance abuse, binge eating, addictions, depression and other such psychological disorders can negate the advantages of the surgery. So the surgery may be delayed until the patient is mentally and psychologically ready to face and take up the challenge.


Finally the motivation to reverse the weight gain and maintain it is very essential. The surgery is complicated and comes with a lot of follow up suggestions. The ideal candidate would stick to the recommendations of the physicians and be patient through the recovery process.

If the weight loss surgery is approved then the patient is put on a preparation drill for a period of time prior to the surgery. The patient may be asked to go on a restricted diet which does not include smoking or alcohol. The patient will be educated and informed to make the right diet choices and engage in a physical activity program. If the person is seen to falter on the given recommendations or gain weight in the mean time, the surgery will be postponed.

One fact needs to be realized that weight loss surgery comes with substantial risks. They are not magic wands which can just make the pounds vanish into thin air. Perseverance, patience and precaution are needed to go through one and evolve healthy and safe at the other end.

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