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Is surgery for me?

All patients have pre-surgical consultations with their surgeon, registered dietitian, psychologist, and medical specialists, if indicated. You will likely require laboratory work and testing. The involvement of your primary care physician is critical. Your doctor has the advantage of knowing you and your medical issues.


Bariatric, or obesity, surgery is reserved for people who:

Are significantly obese

Your body mass index (BMI) must be 40 kg/m2 or approximately 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds overweight for women. If your BMI is between 35 and 39.9, you may still qualify if you have a serious obesity-related health issue such as hypertension, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, hypercholesterolemia or musculoskeletal dysfunction.

Have exhausted nonsurgical attempts at weight loss and maintenance

If your attempts at weight loss have been unsuccessful, despite different approaches that include diet and exercise, you are unlikely to lose weight permanently without surgery.

Have an understanding about bariatric surgery

You will become well-informed about the effects of the operation and the lifestyle changes needed.

Are motivated to lose weight and improve their health

You have the ability, the reserve and the support to make the changes these surgeries require.

Have no contraindications to surgery

The recipient of the surgery must not have an expected short life span, untreated depression or personality disorders, or active or recent addictions.

Are anticipating how life will need to change after the operation

You understand how your eating behaviors, diet and the mechanics of eating will change after the surgery. You will find ways to become more active, although this may be difficult, on a regular basis to ensure continued success after surgery.

Are aware of the potential for serious complications, dietary restrictions and occasional failure

You realize that no method, including surgery, is guaranteed to produce and maintain weight loss in everyone.

Are committed to long-term medical follow-up as well as vitamin and mineral supplementation

Successful patients understand the long-term commitment to changing behaviors and the necessity of regular medical follow up.


Video: It Starts Today – How obesity surgery helps people reclaim their lives:

Centers for Surgical Weight Loss


For more information:

The history of weight loss surgeries, both generally and specifically, visit the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.