You may be a candidate for surgery if you are an adult with:
- A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more (about 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds for women) or a BMI between 35 and 39.9 and a serious obesity-related health problem such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, or severe sleep apnea (when breathing stops for short periods during sleep).
- Acceptable operative risks.
- An ability to participate in treatment and long-term follow-up.
- An understanding of the operation and the lifestyle changes you will need to make.
Bariatric surgery may be the next step for people who remain severely obese after trying nonsurgical approaches, especially if they have an obesity-related disease. Surgery to produce weight loss is a serious undertaking. Anyone thinking about undergoing this type of operation should understand what it involves. Answers to the following questions may help you decide whether weight-loss surgery is right for you.
- Unlikely to lose weight or keep it off over the long term with nonsurgical measures?
- Well informed about the surgical procedure and the effects of treatment?
- Determined to lose weight and improve your health?
- Aware of how your life may change after the operation (adjustment to the side effects of the operation, including the need to chew food well and inability to eat large meals)?
- Aware of the potential risk for serious complications, dietary restrictions, and occasional failures?
- Committed to lifelong healthy eating and physical activity habits, medical follow-up, and vitamin/mineral supplementation?
- Remember: There are no guarantees for any method, including surgery, to produce and maintain weight loss. Success is possible only with maximum cooperation and commitment to behavioral change and medical follow-up—and this cooperation and commitment must be carried out for the rest of your life.
Source: Weight Control Information Network, September 15, 2009