bariatric surgery criteria and weight loss
In Bariatric Surgery Criteria and Weight Loss, we will look at the criteria you need to meet if you are to be found suitable to undergo the surgery.
Gastric surgery, which changes the stomach and digestive system to reduce the amount of food you consume and the amount of nutrients you absorb, can be lifechanging, but like any major surgery, it carries risks and is not suitable for everyone, and a decision to offer you surgery is not taken lightly.
There are many factors to be considered and certain bariatric surgery criteria to be met before you may be offered surgery.
If you feel you can benefit from bariatric surgery first consult your doctor, if the doctor thinks it can help, you will be referred to a team of specialists who will perform a thorough and complete assessment as to your suitability for surgery.
will you meet the bariatric surgery criteria?
Gastric surgery is normally only carried out as a last resort when everything else has failed. If you have not made the effort to reduce you weight by following weight loss programs, diets, etc, then you may not be considered for surgery. Below is the main bariatric surgery criteria you have to meet to be considered for surgery:
- A body mass index of 40+ (morbidly obese)
- A body mass index of 35-39.9 (severely obese) which is causing serious obesity related health problems.
- A body mass index of 30-34 may be considered if the specialists believe it is contributing to weight related health problems.
First of all don’t labor under the misconception that gastric surgery is the magic wand that will solve all your weight loss problems, it won’t. Like any other form of losing weight, it takes a change of lifestyle, dedication, willpower and a determination to succeed, the surgeon can only perform the operation, with aftercare the rest is up to you.
What other bariatric surgery criteria is considered?
Even though your may meet the general guidelines, there is still a lot to be assessed before a decision is made as to your suitability for surgery:
- Your General Health
As with any major surgery, your medical condition will feature largely in any decision. Health problems such as high blood pressure, heart conditions, kidney or liver problems, as well as any medication you may be on, will be taken into account.
You will also be asked if you drink alcohol, how much, and do you smoke? You will then undergo an intensive medical examination and tests as to your suitability for surgery.
- Weight and Diet History
You will be asked questions such as does your weight fluctuate, what are your eating habits, do you do any form of exercise, have you previously tried various weight loss and diet programs in an attempt to lose weight before considering surgery.
If the answer to this last question is no, then you may be refused surgery and maybe referred to nutritionists and dietitians who will prepare a diet and exercise program to help you lose weight naturally.
- Psychological Issues
As well as your general health, your medical records will also be examined to see if any psychological or mental health problems exist that may lead to weight gain even after surgery. These may include:
- Binge-Eating Disorder (Compulsive Overeating).
- Substance Abuse, including Alcohol, Amphetamines, Barbiturates, Cannabis, Cocaine and Heroin.
- Depression (Major Depressive Disorder).
- Anxiety Disorders, including Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)
- Personality Disorder, which may lead to “Comfort Eating”.
Although you may be suffering from any of the above mental health problems, they will not necessarily prevent you from having gastric bypass surgery, but surgery may be postponed until doctors are satisfied any conditions that may exist, are appropriately treated and managed.
- After Care
This is the final assessment to establish your level of motivation, willingness and ability to carry out any recommendations, including prescribed changes in your diet and exercise routine, as required by your health team.
If you have been accepted for surgery, these changes will include restrictions on what you eat and drink, carrying out a planned exercise routine, quitting smoking, and counseling in order to help you adapt to the change in lifestyle. In certain cases losing weight may be required before surgery can go ahead.
Even if you have been accepted for surgery, there is still some way to go. A date will now be set for the surgery, but this can delayed or even canceled depending on how you react to the recommendations of the medical and health care teams. For example, surgery may be delayed or canceled through:
- Not keeping appointments with the pre-surgery health care team.
- Not adhering to the diet and exercise program prepared for you.
- Not attempting to change your lifestyle, such as if you smoke, giving it up and reducing alcohol consumption if you drink.
As previously mentioned, the surgeons can only perform the operation, your commitment, both pre and post surgery, is essential in bariatric surgery being successful in the long term. If you can’t fulfill the health care team’s guidelines to bariatric surgery criteria, it is very unlikely you will fulfill them after the surgery.
That completes Bariatric Surgery Criteria and Weight Loss. Next we’ll take a look at what types of bariatric surgery procedures are available: Bariatric Surgery Procedures and Weight Loss
This post is not meant to give advice or recommend weight loss surgery, it is for information only to help you understand what bariatric surgery criteria you have to meet and what you have to commit yourself to if you are contemplating weight loss surgery. As always, consult your doctor, who will help decide if bariatric surgery will help you.