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Why Bariatric Surgery? Am I a Candidate?

Obesity is a serious medical condition that can decrease your lifespan by 10 to 15 years. Severe obesity can adversely affect every organ in the body. Morbidly obese patients are usually 100 pounds over their ideal body weight. Obese individuals are often stigmatized with public disapproval, leading to poor self-image. Many people blame obesity on a lack of willpower; however current evidence shows that it is a complex condition with genetic, environmental, cultural, and psychological causes.

An increasing number of obese patients consider bariatric - or weight loss -  surgery because of difficulty in maintaining weight loss with exercise and diet alone. The National Institute of Health (NIH) recognizes bariatric surgery as the only effective treatment to combat severe obesity and maintain long-term weight loss.

The NIH has set the following requirements for those considering weight-loss surgery.

  • You should have a BMI of 40 or higher or 35 or more with obesity-related problems, such as Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, or high blood pressure.
  • You should have attempted and failed previous weight-loss efforts with diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, or medications.
  • You must be knowledgeable about the possible risks, benefits, and side effects of the procedures.
  • You must understand and be committed to the lifestyle changes necessary to succeed.
  • You should be committed to long-term follow up care.
  • You must be treated for any psychiatric or emotional conditions that would prohibit long term success after surgery.

Take the Quiz


BMI Calculator and results gauge

You can use our "BMI Calculator" that calculates your Body Mass Index for you. This is a reliable indicator of body fat for most people.



BMI Calculator
Height (in feet):
Weight (in pounds):
Your BMI is:
Gauge Your Results
BMI Range Meaning
Under 19 Underweight
Between 19 and 24 Ideal
Between 25 and 29 Overweight
Between 30 and 34 Obese
Over 35 Qualifies for surgery