Step 1: Am I a Candidate?
STEP 1: Am I a Candidate?
BMI (Body Mass Index)
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a calculation based on your height and weight. To calculate your BMI, enter your height and weight into the calculator to the left. Knowing your BMI will give us a good starting point to know how your weight might be affecting your health.
As your weight goes up, your health and quality of life are likely to decline. Learn more about the medical problems that are directly related to weight.
Am I a candidate for bariatric surgery?
The criteria for bariatric surgery were set by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) back in 1991. Although weight loss surgery techniques have improved significantly and the operations are MUCH safer today than they were in 1991, the NIH has never gone back to change the criteria. Most insurance companies use these same criteria to decide if they will pay for your operation.
Here are the criteria:
1) Body Mass Index (BMI) >40 or BMI ≥ 35 with significant weight related medical problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, etc.
2) No untreated medical condition that is causing the weight problem that can be fixed without surgery (we have never seen this happen!).
3) Previous attempts at weight loss without surgery were unsuccessful (failed diets). Learn why "traditional" weight loss methods are unlikely to help those with severe obesity achieve long-term weight loss.
4) Basic understanding of how the operation will lead to weight loss and a commitment to following up after the operation.
5) No active alcohol or drug abuse issues.
6) Medical problems are controlled enough that the risk of surgery is reasonable.
What if I don't meet these criteria?
In general, patient’s need to meet the above criteria to be eligible for bariatric surgery but there are always exceptions. Our surgeons and staff will be able to help guide you on your options if you don’t meet the standard NIH criteria.
Ready to learn about the different surgeries our surgeons perform? Go to "Step 2" to find out more!