Am I A Candidate?
Bariatric surgery is not for the casual dieter and there are several requirements that you will need to meet in order to be considered. While this may seem intimidating, the criteria is actually a good thing because it helps to identify: (1) individuals who may safely undergo the procedure, and (2) those candidates who are most likely to benefit from weight loss surgery.
So how does that affect you? The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound Weight Loss Services team will work with you to determine your medical and surgical options. The goal is to help you feel comfortable about the safety and likelihood of success should you decide to undergo treatment.
Considerations for Bariatric Surgery
There are some very basic guidelines that can determine whether or not you are a good candidate for bariatric surgery. These include your:
- Age. Patients who are between 18 and 65 years old are the best candidates – although there are special circumstances that may allow surgical intervention for those who fall outside this age range.
- Body Mass Index (BMI). Having a BMI somewhere between 35 and 39.9 AND medical complications caused by obesity OR a BMI of 40 or more indicates a suitable candidate.
- Smoking preference. Non-smokers, and those who do not drink alcohol excessively or take illicit drugs, are generally better candidates.
- Dieting history. Many insurance companies consider a documented history of failed attempts at structured weight loss programs a necessary criterion.
- Commitment. Those patients who are ready to commit to permanent changes in lifestyle and are willing to regularly follow up with their doctor for a long period of time after surgery are more likely to enjoy long-term success.
Reasons You May be Turned Down for Surgery
Unfortunately, not every person who desires weight loss surgery is a good candidate. You may not be a candidate if you:
- Are over the age of 65 – although exceptions can be made.
- Have a BMI less than 35.
- Drink excessive amounts of alcohol or take illicit drugs.
- Have medical conditions that create a high risk situation for surgery.
- Suffer from a severe mental illness that is not controlled by medication.
- Are actively undergoing treatment for cancer (exceptions may be made if your cancer is in remission).
- Plan to become pregnant within the next 12 months.
If you think you are a candidate for surgery, then it’s time to do some research into the types of bariatric surgery that are available and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Ready to schedule a consult?