Weight loss surgery is not for everyone. Unlike other cosmetic surgeries, bariatric surgery is not designed for people who just want to shed a few pounds or maintain their body’s curve. In fact this procedure is designed to help people who are suffering from “morbid obesity” and other obesity related problems.
While the idea of weight loss through surgery might be appealing to some of us, you can’t just undergo this procedure without undergoing certain tests to determine if you are a suitable candidate or not. Like any other surgical procedures, it can pose significant health risks and complications if performed on someone unfit for the procedure. Moreover, the success of bariatric surgery greatly depends on the patient’s ability to permanently change his or her lifestyle.
Qualifications for Weigh-Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgeries are major and life changing procedures. While it can help people who are suffering from weight-related health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and sleep apnea, it can also result to major complications if not done by the book and properly. Generally, you can qualify for bariatric and other weight loss surgeries if:
• You are having a hard time achieving and sustaining an ideal body weight even after undergoing medically supervised diet programs.
• You are 100 pounds or 45 kilograms over your ideal weight.
• You have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40.
• You have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 35 and suffering some weight-related conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes.
Evaluating If You Are Fit for Weight Loss Surgery
Even after you meet the general qualifications for weight loss surgeries, you still need to go thorough medical screening before you can be deemed fit for the procedure. Normally, a team of heath professionals composed of surgeon, dietician, doctor and psychologist will perform the screening. This is to evaluate what type of weight loss surgery is appropriate for the patient and to determine if the benefits it will give will outweigh the serious complications that it might pose to the patient.
Here are some of the things they consider when conducting an evaluation for weight loss surgeries:
• Nutrition and Weight History: The first thing your medical team will look into is your weight history. This includes your diet trends, progression of weight gain, eating habits, diet attempts, workout and exercise regimens, weight loss motivation and other factors.
• Medical Condition: Some medical conditions like liver disease and heart problems may be worsened by this kind of surgeries. The medical team will look into the medications you take, if you drink too much alcohol or smoke regularly. You will also need to undergo medical examinations such as blood tests, ultrasound and the like.
• Psychological Condition: Because there are some mental related conditions that can affect the person’s ability to maintain the health benefits of weight loss surgery, the medical team needs to rule out first if you are not suffering from such. This includes eating disorders like depression, anxiety disorder, binge-eating disorder, and the like.
• Age and Motivation: While there is no age limit for weight loss surgeries, health risks are greater for older people. People under 18 years old are also usually not advised to undergo the procedure. Your doctor will also look into your motivation to carry out the treatment plans that might come after the surgery.
Is It For You?
Weight loss surgery is not some kind of miracle procedure that guarantees you will lose your weight and maintain a great body. As a matter of fact, you can gain more weight after the procedure if you won’t stick to the treatment plan your doctor has prepared for you. The success of this procedure depends on your ability to eat healthier and maintain a better lifestyle after the surgery.
If you think you qualify for the procedure, talk with your doctor about how you should proceed. However, if you think you are not a suitable candidate, there are still other options you can choose from if you want to lose weight.