Am I a Good Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

Am I a Good Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

Have you tried to lose weight on your own with no long-term success? Are the extra pounds endangering your health? If so, it might be time to consider bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery alters your digestive system, limiting how much food you can eat. But bariatric surgery is just one part of an overall weight-loss plan — albeit a major part.

But not everyone is an optimal candidate for bariatric surgery. Dr. Michael Sutker, our board-certified surgeon in Dallas and McKinney, Texas, screens candidates before recommending gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery. Here’s what could make you a good candidate.

You meet the general physical requirements

To qualify for bariatric surgery, you should have a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or higher. That generally means you're 100 pounds (or more) overweight. 

You have medical conditions related to obesity

People with a BMI of 35-40 may also qualify for bariatric surgery if they have health conditions related to obesity. Obesity greatly increases your risk of certain diseases and aggravates existing chronic conditions. These include diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. 

Obesity is also related to sleep apnea, infertility, sexual dysfunction, arthritis, and asthma. If you experience any of these conditions and our doctors determine that losing weight could ease your symptoms or prevent complications, bariatric surgery might be right for you. 

You’ve tried and failed to lose weight on your own

You might be a good candidate for bariatric surgery if you’ve been unable to achieve a healthy size and sustain it, even after trying noninvasive weight-loss methods. Those who have lost weight in the past, but have been unable to sustain it, also qualify.

Concerted weight-loss efforts don’t mean trying to follow the latest fad diet for a couple of weeks. You should have been under the guidance of a medical professional, nutritionist, dietitian, or other specialist and, despite their interventions and guidance, have not had weight-loss success. If you’ve not lost notable weight after at least six months of supervised weight-loss attempts, bariatric surgery may be an answer.

You’re willing to commit to lifestyle changes

While bariatric surgery can limit your appetite and the amount of food you take in, it can’t do all the weight-loss work. You’ll need to adjust your dietary choices and physical activity habits. 

Our team will evaluate your motivation to make these changes and your history of weight-loss programs in the past. If you have irregular eating behaviors, like nighttime eating or binge eating, we may refer you for treatment.

We’ll also look at your alcohol, tobacco, and drug use — all of which can interfere with the success of weight-loss surgery. We can help you overcome addictions or mood disorders that may make weight-loss surgery fail. 

You’ve been cleared for surgery by a professional medical team

Prior to bariatric surgery, you’ll meet with professionals here at Michael Sutker, MD, and possibly other specialists. These include your primary care physician, a dietitian, a nurse specializing in weight management, and a psychiatric specialist.

You’ll also talk to your bariatric surgeon and anesthesiologist. We want to make sure you understand what to expect before and after the procedure. These professionals also evaluate your health and mental state to make sure you’re ready for surgery. 

If you’re ready to get started with your weight loss surgery evaluation, click here to schedule your consultation. 

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