If you are overweight, you may be wondering whether you are an ideal candidate for a weight loss procedure. With this five-minute quiz, you can determine if one of our procedures is likely to be right for you.
What is weight loss surgery?
During weight loss surgery, a specialized surgeon alters the size of your small intestine, stomach or both. At BMI of Texas, this is accomplished through one of four popular weight loss procedures: gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding, or duodenal switch.
You may be qualified for bariatric surgery if:
- You are at least 16 years old. Although there is technically no age limit for weight loss surgery, the risks of surgery do increase the older you get.
- You have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or more. BMI is a simple measure for determining whether an individual has a healthy weight relative to their height. Although there are more accurate methods for making this determination, your BMI is easily calculated using only your height and weight. An individual with a BMI of 40 or over is considered severely obese.
- You are willing to take vitamin supplements indefinitely. Due to the smaller portions you will be consuming after surgery, you will need to take vitamin supplements to support adequate nutrition for the rest of your life. This is an important lifestyle consideration for those contemplating a weight loss procedure.
- You do not consume alcohol in excess. When consumed in excess, alcohol can cause weight gain, liver disease, and serious complications for any type of major surgery. For these reasons, we strongly recommend moderation in alcohol consumption before and after surgery, and as part of a general approach to your weight, liver, heart, and overall wellness.
- You do not smoke tobacco in excess. If you are currently a smoker, that doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t qualify for weight loss surgery. However, smoking increases all risks of surgery, including death. Specifically, tobacco consumption increases the risk of blood clots, and can also lead to gastric ulcerations and erosions within your post-surgery stomach. For these reasons, we strongly recommend that weight loss surgery candidates quit smoking to minimize the risk of surgical complications — and to protect their long-term health.
- You do not have serious, untreated psychiatric disorders, or current issues with substance abuse. Certain mental health conditions can not only contribute to obesity, but also make it harder for patients to maintain the resulting health benefits of weight loss surgery. Disorders of particular concern include binge eating, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. These conditions may not disqualify you from weight loss surgery, but your doctors may prefer to postpone your procedure until a particular condition is adequately treated or managed.
- You are willing to attend follow-up appointments throughout your life. Maintaining weight loss surgery results over the long-term requires commitment to annual follow-up appointments with a specialist. Depending on your individual needs, these visits may involve consultations with a variety of bariatric team members, including a surgeon, a physician assistant, a registered dietician, and a mental healthcare provider.
- You are willing to make permanent lifestyle changes to ensure a successful surgery. Making weight loss surgery results last over time requires commitment to sustained lifestyle changes. If you are willing to stick to a sensible diet and exercise plan, and make use of the resources available through BMI to remain accountable over time, you are in a good position to benefit from your surgery over a lifetime.
- You are sufficiently healthy to withstand major surgery. Surgery of any kind poses certain risks. Although weight loss surgery is considered to be generally safe, it is important to consult a medical professional to confirm that you are sufficiently physically fit to undergo such a procedure.
- You are not extremely limited in activity. As with any weight loss program, you must be able to perform basic aerobic and anaerobic exercise to be a good candidate for surgery. However, patients with significant mobility limitations may still be strong candidates for weight loss surgery.
If the above qualifications describe your life situation, there is a good chance that you are a strong candidate for weight loss surgery. Please bear in mind that moving ahead with your procedure will require you to meet with a surgeon, who will review your medical history and determine the most appropriate weight loss procedure for you and your lifestyle.