Bariatric surgery is not suitable for all people who are obese. Everyone will agree that people should try appropriate dieting, exercise, and other ways to lose weight before considering surgery.
Weight Loss Surgery has been most successful for people who meet the criteria listed below. At Georgetown Bariatrics & Advanced Surgical Services, weight loss surgery is done only if a patient meets the following criteria:
Rather than relying only on the bathroom scale to tell you if you’re overweight, experts say you should also know your body mass index (BMI). BMI takes into account not just your weight, but also your height to indicate body fat.
Although your BMI does not actually “measure” your percentage of body fat, it is a useful tool to estimate a healthy body weight based on your height. The goal for most people is a BMI that’s over 18 and under 25.
There are several medically accepted criteria for defining severe obesity: more than 100 lbs. over your ideal body weight, or a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 40, or a BMI of more than 35 and severe negative health effects, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, related to being severely overweight, or inability to achieve a healthy body weight for a sustained period of time, even through medically supervised dieting.
Clinically severe obesity is a serious medical condition that demands a multidisciplinary approach for treatment. Severe obesity is often accompanied by high blood pressure, diabetes, degenerative arthritis, increased cancer risk and heart attacks. The death rate of severely obese people in every age group is about ten times higher than those of normal weight. Quality of life is threatened because severely obese people cannot move about easily or comfortably, and self-esteem and self- confidence are often affected.
In 1991 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) assembled physicians, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals and made recommendations regarding bariatric treatment. “Bariatric” means obesity. From this gathering, the NIH now recommends that weight reduction should always be recommended for patients with severe obesity. If nutrition therapy, exercise, and behavior modification cannot successfully reduce weight, bariatric surgical procedures such as the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and adjustable gastric banding are options. For many years these procedures required an incision from the breast to the groin, the open method, which comes with certain risks.
Since then, the laparoscopic method, which requires several one-inch incisions in the abdomen, has been approved as an alternative method to perform these surgical procedures.
It is important for anyone considering bariatric surgery to understand the many medical, psychological, behavioral and financial aspects. For your recovery to be successful, you will need to make some lifelong changes. Some of the changes may seem difficult, but the result can be permanent weight reduction and overall improved health.