Do I Qualify for Weight Loss Surgery?

If you are someone who has struggled with weight loss and gain for many years, you know how difficult it is—psychologically, emotionally, and physically—to deal with the problem of obesity.

As you age, you may develop health conditions that further exacerbate your weight problem. When you have obesity in addition to a chronic disease such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, or even sleep apnea, this is called having a “comorbidity.” Comorbidities put you at greater risk of stroke, heart attack, and cancer, and therefore, may help you qualify for weight loss surgery.

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), to qualify for bariatric surgery, you must have:

  • BMI ≥ 40, or be more than 100 pounds overweight
  • BMI ≥ 35 and have at least one or more obesity-related comorbidity such as type II diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and other respiratory disorders, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, lipid abnormalities, gastrointestinal disorders, or heart disease
  • Inability to achieve and sustain a healthy weight loss from prior weight loss efforts

How to calculate your BMI to qualify for weight loss surgery

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a way to determine overweight and obesity in all genders. BMI takes into consideration your height and weight although it does not assess body fat composition.

To calculate your BMI to qualify for weight loss surgery, use the following formula: Your weight divided by your height (times two), multiplied by 703: 

You may also find the CDC BMI calculator helpful.

Not sure whether you qualify for weight loss surgery?

Set up a free consultation with our bariatric surgeon to explore your options. Call (941) 209-4646.

The NIH, as well as the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) also recommend that surgery be performed by a board certified surgeon with specialized experience/training in bariatric and metabolic surgery, and at a center that has a multidisciplinary team of experts for follow-up care. This may include a nutritionist, an exercise physiologist or specialist, and a mental health professional. In addition, some insurance companies require that the surgery be performed at a facility that meets the ASMBS-approved quality standards (MBSAQIP). Facilities which meet high standards or quality, like those outlined in MBSAQIP, are preferable choices for patients.