Gastric Bypass Surgery: Do I Qualify?
Gastric bypass surgery accounts for about 80% of all weight loss surgery in the U.S. Although gastric bypass surgery is the most common type of weight loss surgery available, it isn’t for everyone. It’s a major, life-changing procedure that can have an extremely positive effect on your life if you’re able to make permanent changes to your lifestyle afterwards. In order to qualify for the procedure, you must undergo an extensive evaluation. Below are some of the things that doctors will look for during the gastric bypass screening process.
You Have a BMI of 40 or Greater
In order to qualify for gastric bypass surgery you must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher. This is considered an extreme form of obesity. In terms of pounds, this includes anyone who is 80 to 100 pounds overweight.
You Have a Weight-Related Condition
There are many benefits of gastric bypass for those who have weight-related conditions. If your BMI lies between 35 and 39.9 and you have one or more serious weight-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, severe arthritis, acid reflux disease, or low back and joint pain, you automatically qualify for gastric bypass surgery.
You’re Under 60 and Over 18
Risks of the procedure increase as you age, so it’s better to have the surgery if you’re under the age of 60 and over the age of 18 (when you’re likely done growing). Keep in mind that some surgeons won’t be willing to operate on someone who is 60 or older.
You’re Ready for Surgery
In order to undergo gastric bypass surgery it’s important to identify any serious medical conditions you may have that could cause complications during or after the surgery. Just like any other surgery, if you’ve been experiencing symptoms of another underlying health condition, it will not be safe to have the surgery.
You’ve Been Unsuccessful in the Past
There are many other forms of weight loss besides surgery; however, simple diet change and exercise isn’t for everyone. Gastric bypass surgery could be a great option if you’ve been having trouble keeping weight off that you’ve lost from traditional diet and exercise. On the other hand, if you haven’t made a strong effort to lose weight in the past, you probably won’t be considered for the procedure. Doctors will need to know how you’ve attempted weight loss in the past.
You’re Ready to Commit
Before qualifying, your team of doctors will assess your willingness to follow through with all of their recommendations they’ve made for successful weight loss after the surgery. These include changes in diet and exercise. Remember, gastric bypass surgery doesn’t guarantee weight loss. You have to be willing to make changes in your diet and exercise habits and commit to an entirely new and healthy lifestyle.
Mentally, You’re Ready
Weight loss surgery, in general, can be extremely emotional. Many people with severe obesity also have severe mental health conditions such as binge-eating and depression. If you happen to have a mental health disorder, it’s extremely important undergo a mental health screening to ensure that you are ready for a life-changing surgery.