Am I a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of your weight in relation to your height, and is a primary criterion to determine your healthy weight:
- BMI below 18.5 is underweight
- BMI 18.5 – 24.9 is the normal or healthy weight
- BMI 25.0 – 29.9means overweight
- BMI 30.0 and more is considered obese
Obesity is a major cause of death as well as several serious health conditions including chronic heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is considered only in patients with extreme obesity. It is a treatment option for obese patients who have not succeeded in achieving a normal healthy weight following measures such as dieting, medication, and exercise. The criteria for weight loss surgery include:
- BMI of 40 or higher
- BMI of 35 to 40 with health problems such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure
Bariatric surgery promotes weight loss by decreasing the amount of food your stomach can hold and limiting the absorption of nutrients.
You will know that it’s time to consider weight loss surgery if:
- You are ready for a new change in your lifestyle after surgery, such as following a carefully controlled diet and regular exercises.
- You are fit enough to undergo surgery under general anaesthesia.
- You are aware of the risks and benefits of the surgery.
Your doctor will also consider factors that will contraindicate you undergoing bariatric surgery. These may include serious illnesses such as liver disease and advanced cancer. As your compliance to post-operative lifestyle changes is critical to the positive outcome of the surgery, your doctor also considers factors such as alcohol or drug abuse, mental health condition, or previous history of non-compliance, which may impede this long-term commitment.
The common weight-loss surgeries include:
Depending on your individual health and personal requirements, your surgeon will determine which of these methods will help achieve the best results in weight loss.