Assessing Suitablility for Bariatric Surgery

Those considering bariatric surgery hopefully understand that this isn’t a quick fix way to get slim but a serious and complicated operation to alleviate morbid obesity and the dangers it poses on co-morbid health disease. It isn’t a cosmetic procedure to suck the fat out, leaving an open invitation to continue on with previous life style choices, but a chance to regain mobility and good health. Not all do commit to the procedure fully enough and end up the same size as before by failing to follow through with correct dietary needs and exercise.

To be considered for bariatric surgery you would need to comply with general medical guidelines outlining obesity. Those who have a body mass index (BMI) of over 40% are considered suitable for the operation, as are those with a BMI of 35% who have one medical related condition which will be improved by surgery. The medical conditions which qualify are high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and joint problems from carrying the weight.

Consideration is also given to those who are medically disabled due to obesity or who are intensely restricted in mobility. These guidelines generally fit men who are carrying an excess 100lbs and women with an excess of 80lbs, who are aged between 20 and 60, though consideration will be given to those who are in medical need outside that age group.

There are other factors which are taken into consideration too before surgery is granted. Those who drink heavily, or have smoked or used drugs in the previous year are not assessed as suitable. Neither are those with a known psychological illness. Those who do qualify but have a medical condition which makes surgery too risky are also excluded. An obese person must show that they have tried and failed to lose the weight themselves through a diet and exercise program before they will be considered suitable, whilst also given a commitment to adhering to the post surgery requirements.

Those who do undergo surgery need to commit to post operative consultations with both a bariatric doctor and a dietician. It is easy to make a commitment to do these things when wanting the surgery to lose the weight, but there is no stipulation on how much assessment is given to the potential patient having committed seriously to a diet program themselves in the past.

If a health insurance company is covering the costs of the surgery then proofs going back several years will be needed to prove that the patient has done something to try and sort out their obesity themselves before resorting to expensive surgery. The operation itself does carry risks of complications which are assessed as a 5% risk, and the surgeon needs to be sure that the patient understands all the risks.

If surgery is then advisable and arranged it needs to be remembered again that it is not a cosmetic procedure and the patient is not going to emerge from surgery as a thin person, but approximately half  of the excess weight will be lost within the next two years. It’s a lot to go through for anyone who isn’t fully committed to changing their lifestyle afterwards, but for those who are there is the probable outcome of extending their life span.