Am I a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

Surgery is not the first choice for weight management, but bariatric surgery is suitable for individuals who have already tried to lose weight by other methods but have not been successful. Success for bariatric surgery depends largely on diet and exercise recommendations after surgery. Commitment to lifelong diet modifications and exercise, in addition to motivation to change habits, is necessary. UI Health recommends surgery for the following candidates:

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 35 or greater can be considered for bariatric surgery when it is accompanied by obesity-related illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, or sleep apnea.
  • A BMI over 40 is eligible for bariatric surgery based on weight alone.
  • For safety reasons, patients with a BMI greater than 60 may be asked to lose weight before surgery.

Body Mass Index:

If your body mass index is above 30, your weight class is Obese and you may qualify for Bariatric Surgery. See the table below to find your BMI:

BMI Chart

Bariatric Surgery is Not for Everyone

The following patients should not consider the bariatric surgery option:

  • Anyone who cannot adhere to the necessary pre- and post-operative dietary changes.
  • Anyone with a substance abuse problem will not be considered for a bariatric surgery.
  • Those with an eating or psychiatric disorder that is untreated or unresolved are not bariatric surgical candidates. If these conditions are resolved or well-controlled, and clearance is received from a psychologist, bariatric surgery can be considered.
  • Women planning pregnancy in the near future should not undergo bariatric surgery.