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If you are morbidly obese and have struggled and failed to lose and keep off weight in conventional ways - through diet and exercise - surgery may be your best option for success.
Many factors will determine whether weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, is right for you. One important factor is your weight, and whether you have other conditions that would make bariatric surgery too risky to undertake.
If weight loss surgery is a good option for you, probably the most important factor is your commitment to making serious lifestyle changes that will enable you to remain at a healthy weight following surgery. Lifelong nutritional modification, exercise, and long-term follow up are important to success.
Weight Qualifications (Body Mass Index)
Persons who are considered morbidly obese are generally those who are than 100 pounds over their ideal body weight, or with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 with medical conditions associated with obesity or over 40 without associated medical conditions.
The BMI is calculated using a formula that includes your height and weight. If you want to know your BMI, use the BMI calculator here by entering your height and weight.
In addition to weight, other factors may make you a candidate for weight loss surgery. As noted, most people with a BMI over 40 are considered morbidly obese. If you have other conditions, which are known as co-morbid conditions, and a BMI of 35 or more, you also may be a candidate for bariatric surgery.
Co-morbid conditions are additional disorders or diseases that exist along with the disease of obesity-for example, high blood pressure, coronary disease, or type 2 diabetes. See information on co-morbid conditions in Understanding Obesity.
Summary of Requirements
Organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery have issued guidelines about whether someone is a candidate for weight loss surgery, but there is no absolute set of rules that determines which patients are accepted and which patients are not accepted for surgery.
Our expert surgeons evaluate every patient individually for bariatric surgery. They use the following as guidelines while making their assessments:
Bariatric surgery may be right for you if:
Bariatric surgery may NOT be right for you if: