Are you considering bariatric surgery to reduce obesity? If so, you probably want to know the bariatric surgery criteria that qualify patients for this type of surgery. But first, a quick definition:
Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery and obesity surgery, refers to a variety of surgical procedures intended for people who are considered "morbidly obese." When a person's obesity level is such that it severely affects their health and wellbeing, the person may be a candidate for bariatric surgery.
But doctors won't perform this type of surgery on just anybody. Because of the risks involved with any type of surgery, as well as the lifestyle changes inherent with bariatric surgery, doctors usually adhere to a predefined set of criteria to screen candidates.
Basic Criteria for Bariatric Surgery
Most surgeons adhere to a pre-defined set of bariatric surgery criteria established by one or more professional organization. These criteria help bariatric surgeons determine whether or not a person is qualified to undergo such a procedure.
In most cases, a patient will qualify for surgery when they meet most of bariatric surgery criteria below:
- The candidate is severely obese with a body mass index (BMI) for 40 or greater.
- The candidate has attempted (and documented) other methods of weight loss, such as dietary changes, exercise programs, etc. But these programs did not reduce the person’s weight below the obesity level.
- The candidate’s daily life is hampered by obesity, rendering them unable to perform routine tasks and activities.
- Obesity is lowering the patient’s quality of life.
- The patient understands the risks associated with bariatric surgery, as well as the life changes that will result in such a surgery.
- The patient is willing to be monitored for health reasons after the surgery, for a length of time pre-determined by the bariatric surgeon.
Each surgeon will have his or her own set of bariatric surgery criteria, but these are the basic criteria that most follow when screening candidates for this type of surgery.
What Are Your Criteria?
The criteria listed above are those used by bariatric surgeons to determine if a person is a candidate for weight loss surgery. But these are not the same as the questions you should ask yourself when considering a bariatric surgical procedure.
By Brandon Cornett
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