According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one out of every three Americans may be a good candidate for Weight loss surgery. Medically known as bariatric surgery, weight loss surgery is recommended for patients suffering from severe obesity, meaning that they have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 and above.
Most adults are good candidates for a weight loss procedure, though the first criteria that physicians look at are your BMI. There are three main categories of people who can benefit from bariatric surgery:
- People with mild obesity and BMI of 30 to 35
- People with moderate obesity and BMI of 35 to 40
- People with severe obesity and BMI of over 40
Physicians recommend that patients consider bariatric surgery when dealing with moderate obesity, and a BMI between 35 and 40, rather than waiting until their BMI is over 40 or even 50 when the patient is less likely to enjoy the full benefits of the procedure.
Why choose surgery?
Bariatric surgery is a fast, safe, and effective way to reduce your weight while warding off the dangers of obesity, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, among others.
Weight loss surgery involves reducing the size of your stomach to directly reduce your food intake. The procedure also causes changes in your appetizing hormone levels, which helps to lower your appetite and boost insulin sensitivity, which often causes diabetes remission.
There are many different approaches to bariatric surgery, though the most common ones are:
- Sleeve gastrectomy – Used by around 60 – 70% of obese patients, the procedure requires the doctor to remove 80% of your stomach. This procedure is particularly suited for patients with a BMI of 35 to 40.
- Gastric bypass – This procedure is recommended for severely obese patients. It involves bisecting the stomach and small intestines into two segments and then linking the smaller ones together to reduce both your food intake and absorption in the intestines.
Please keep in mind that surgery is usually considered as a last resort, when diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes fail.