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Am I a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

Am I a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

According to the Trust for America’s Health, 41.9 percent of American adults are living with obesity. Losing weight can be challenging for these individuals, and traditional methods, including diet changes and exercise, are not always viable options or successful. Certain medical conditions that often impact those with obesity also can make losing weight more difficult. These conditions include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Insulin resistance
  • Hormonal changes
  • Mental health conditions
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Poor gut health

If you have been trying various weight-loss methods and have found little to no success, perhaps it’s time to consider whether bariatric surgery may be an option for you.

Bariatric surgery provides a life-changing option for people who are significantly overweight. However, only about one percent of the eligible population undergoes this not only life-changing but also life-saving option each year. The following criteria for someone to be considered a candidate for bariatric surgery have been expanding as more and more data indicate its safety and benefits.

Body Mass Index

Your body mass index (BMI) is a ratio of height and weight. To find this number, divide your weight in pounds by your height in feet, or utilize a BMI calculator. To be considered for bariatric surgery, you must have a BMI of 35 or more. Patients with a BMI of 30 or more and diabetes also will be considered for this procedure.


“There is no specific age criteria for qualifying as a bariatric surgery candidate. Children may greatly benefit from bariatric surgery in the right circumstances as weight loss can avoid the development or progression of obesity-associated diseases,” explains Dr. Leslie Pristas, medical director of the Center for Bariatric Surgery at Southwest General. “An older person who is otherwise healthy enough to undergo a procedure and is expected to live for years after surgery, also may greatly benefit.”

Health Conditions

“The state of your health also could impact your ability to undergo bariatric surgery,” Dr. Pristas says. The most common conditions considered by surgeons when evaluating candidates for bariatric surgery include diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, heart disease or fatty liver disease.

All these conditions can be improved with significant weight loss; however, patients must be healthy enough to undergo the procedure before opting for bariatric surgery. “At Southwest General, a personalized approach is taken to make sure each patient will have the smoothest, safest surgical process possible and to help them achieve their health goals,” says Dr. Pristas.

Your doctor will conduct a health screening to assess your overall health and well-being to determine whether or not you are in good enough health to proceed with bariatric surgery. It is important to note that those with active alcohol or drug addiction will not qualify for surgery. Smokers absolutely must quit before they can proceed with surgery.

Bariatric Surgery in Middleburg Heights

If you believe you meet the above criteria and are interested in exploring your bariatric surgery options, reach out to our team at the Center for Bariatric Surgery at Southwest General for a consultation. We are to help you find the right solution for your weight-loss goals!