Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is a safe and effective treatment for those individuals suffering from morbid obesity, a serious health condition that can interfere with basic physical functions such as breathing or walking. Those who are obese are at greater risk for illnesses including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gallstones, osteoarthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
To be considered morbidly obese, he or she must have a BMI of 40 or more, or be 35 or more and experiencing obesity-related health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
People seeking weight-loss surgery are not usually considered candidates unless they have tried and failed to lose weight through traditional forms of treatment. People at high risk for disease or who have a life-threatening condition, including those with a disabling condition from obesity, are often considered good candidates for surgeries such as gastric bypass. People with a genetic condition that causes obesity are candidates as well.
Are you a Candidate?
Weight loss surgery may be right for you if:
- Your BMI of 40 or more.
- Your BMI is 35 or higher, and you also suffer from one or more health problem such as Type 2 Diabetes or Hypertension.
- Your past attempts to lose weight have been unsuccessful.
- You do not have any other disease that may have caused your obesity.
- You are prepared to make substantial changes in your eating habits and lifestyle.
Other guidelines can include an extremely high body mass index, obesity that exists for five or more years, no history of alcohol or drug abuse and no untreated psychiatric disorder. Candidates are typically between the ages of 18 and 65. Certain adolescents may be eligible for weight loss surgery, too.
Being a good candidate means having realistic expectations. Weight loss surgery can help reduce your risk of life-threatening conditions and improve your overall health and appearance, and these changes should improve your quality of life; however, su
rgery alone is often not enough to turn your life around. Significant behavior modifications are necessary.
To make a decision about the gastric bypass procedure and to find out if you are a good candidate for weight loss surgery, talk to Dr. Heidi Ryan. She and her team of experts can help you find the right weight-loss treatment for your unique situation.