Individuals who are interested in bariatric surgery need to be aware of the ramifications. Although significant weight loss can be achieved with the procedure, patients need to have realistic weight loss expectations. Even after the surgery, most patients will not achieve their ideal body weight. Patients with a lower BMI to begin with generally lose a greater percentage of excess weight, while those with a higher initial BMI will likely lose more total weight.
Patients who approach the surgery with a goal of improving their health resulting and quality of life will have the most success.
Patients also need to be aware that bariatric surgery is just the first step. Post-surgery, they will require lifelong medical surveillance and must go into the procedure with a complete understanding of the surgery, the possible risks, and the lifelong changes it will require.
With that said, severely overweight people who have tried diets and exercise but have not achieved lasting weight loss may be candidates for bariatric weight loss surgery. To be a suitable candidate, a person must meet certain criteria prescribed by a doctor or insurance company. Example criteria include excess weight of 100 pounds (or 100 percent over ideal weight), age range between 18 and 60 ears, a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or greater.
Other qualifying criteria include a BMI of between 35 and 40 coupled with one or more of the following conditions: diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, or degenerative joint disease. Also, repeated and failed attempts to lose weight with the aid of diets, exercise, behavior modification, or weight loss drugs make bariatric surgery an attractive option. Finally, patients should show no history of drug and/or alcohol abuse.
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