How to Know If You Qualify For Weight Loss Surgery?
If you are having a hard time shedding off extra weight with regular diet and exercises, then you can opt for surgery as the last treatment option for obesity. If you are suffering from excess weight, it is important to address it at an early stage to avoid any future complications. However, people with obesity or weight problems have to meet certain criteria to be qualified for the surgery. If you do not meet the set criteria, there are higher chances that having a weight loss surgery could cayuse higher risks and problems. This article looks at the eligibility criteria of how to know if you qualify for weight loss surgery.
- Body Mass Index
Body mass index (BMI) is a numerical value that determines whether a person is overweight or underweight. It is achieved by dividing a person’s weight by the square of their height. The body mass index of a person is considered optimal if it falls between the ranges of 18 to 24.9 BMI. An individual with a BMI score of 40 or more is considered critical and is often related to morbid obesity. If you have a BMI of 35-39, you qualify for weight loss surgery and should be accompanied by significant health problems like high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and Type 2 diabetes.
- Inability to Achieve a Healthy Weight Loss
Some people may have a hard time losing weight through natural means that include regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. You may qualify for a weight loss surgery if you are unable to lose weight for a sustained period even after medically supervised dieting. Before undergoing a surgical procedure, you may be required to work closely with dietitians and exercise specialists to improve your health in the months preceding the surgery. This information collected during this period is very useful as it makes the surgery safer and more effective.
- Patient Knowledge of What is Involved
There are many different types of weight loss surgery and each type of weight loss surgery may not be ideal for everyone. Your healthcare provider may take you through the various types of weight loss surgery to help determine the best procedure for you. The type of weight loss surgery that works best for you may depend on several factors such as your health goals, individual preferences, and your overall health. Having an idea of what is involved in a surgical procedure prepares you psychologically as you will be required to consent to the requirements of the procedure before the surgery.
- The Severity of Weight-Related Illnesses
The selection criteria for bariatric surgery is based on the severity of weight-related illnesses and their associated biomarkers. Comorbid conditions in patients suffering from obesity increase the chances of serious complications from weight loss surgery. This includes a higher risk of perioperative mortality and can increase your healthcare costs due to health complications that may arise after surgery. Elevated insulin levels are used as a selection criterion for patients with obesity as it predicts the effects of surgical treatment on cardiovascular events.
- Preparedness for Surgery
Choosing to undergo a weight loss surgery means that you will have to deal with pain, long recovery times, and sometimes health complications that may arise afterward. Someone who is not prepared psychologically or emotionally may find it difficult to undergo the procedure. Some people get scared especially if they have never been to a surgery room before. Although your healthcare provider may take you through the different types of weight loss surgery, the ultimate decision will depend on your preferences and how prepared you are for the procedure.
- Willingness to Accept New Lifestyle Changes.
Another criterion is comparative effectiveness research to match a surgical procedure to the specific characteristics of a patient and their health condition. This helps to optimize the outcomes of the surgery of a patient and their quality of life. Long-term weight loss maintenance involves the willingness to accept new lifestyle changes that comes with weight loss surgery. This includes following a healthy diet plan, using nutritional supplements, performing regular exercises, and showing up to all your medical appointments. The success of a weight loss surgery depends significantly on sticking to your new lifestyle after the procedure.
The qualifications for a weight loss surgery go beyond the BMI score since doctors have to assess several factors before you are selected for the surgical procedure. You may also need the support of family members, dietitians and exercise specialists to help you stay on track. Before having a weight loss surgery, it is important to talk to your surgeon about the possible benefits of the procedure and the risks involved to help you understand the outcomes.
Dr. Saniea F. Majid, MD, FACS, FASMBS, is our founder, director, and award-winning surgeon with more than 10 years of experience treating patients. She is the President of the New Jersey state chapter of ASMBS, a member of the Board of Directors at New Jersey Doctor-Patient Alliance, and Chair of the Post Operative Weight Recurrence Task Force (POWER). Dr. Majid has devoted her life to helping people like you lose weight and transform their lives and not only started and directed the Metabolic and Bariatric Center at Saint Michaels Medical Center but also achieved the National Center of Excellence. Dr. Majid is one of only three bariatric doctors and surgeons featured in the 2023 Healthy Living magazine published by NJ Top Docs. She is also a regular guest speaker for the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) where she trains bariatric surgeons on the latest methods and techniques.