Weight loss surgery isn’t for everyone. It is a last resort for healthy, emotionally well adults who have tried and failed to lose weight — and have a body mass index (BMI) above 35, which usually indicates extreme obesity.
Patients who elect to have bariatric surgery also must choose to make significant lifestyle changes through diet and exercise after their gastric procedure. Nearly 25 percent of all bariatric surgeries are not successful because many people regain the weight they initially lose by eating the wrong types of foods or eating quantities large enough to stretch the stomach.
Plus, like any major surgery, gastric surgery poses risks and potential side effects such as serious medical complications during surgery. After surgery, a few patients sometimes develop nutritional deficits that can lead to osteoporosis or anemia.
Your insurer may require you to meet certain conditions before having the gastric procedure, or to demonstrate that other weight-loss methods have failed.
Weight-reduction surgery candidates must meet the following requirements:
- Be severely obese (BMI of 35 and above) for more than five years
- Have made serious, unsuccessful nonsurgical weight-loss attempts
- Be willing to make significant lifestyle changes
- Calculate your BMI