3 Ways to Know if You’re Ready for Weight Loss Surgery | Hartford Healthcare

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May 25, 2023

It’s not just about dropping numbers on the scale. Weight loss surgery can change your life. But how do you know when it’s the right time for you? Dr. Craig Flock suggests several ways to know if you’re ready for weight loss surgery.
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BMI guidelines

Fortunately, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has already started doing the math. The most common measure for determining eligibility for bariatric surgery is the body mass index (BMI), a number determined by comparing weight and height. The heavier you are, the higher your BMI. Recent changes in guidelines set by the NIH have made bariatric surgery available to more candidates by:

  • Lowering minimum BMI from 40 to 35 for people without medical problems
  • Lowering BMI from 35 to 30 in people with medical problems

But as Dr. Flock explains, even people with a low BMI may be considered candidates for surgery if they have co-occurring health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea. I have.

> RELATED: May be eligible for weight loss surgery under new guidelines

Worried about your age?

Please don’t. According to Dr. Flock, there are no hard and fast rules regarding patient age. “We only see adults, but there is no upper age limit. It’s at the discretion of the doctor and patient,” he notes.

Ready for weight loss surgery

But BMI isn’t the only factor to consider. The patient must be mentally and physically prepared for surgery. “There are steps. It’s not a quick fix and the rules vary by insurer,” says Dr. Flock. Here are some questions he and other healthcare providers ask potential patients:

  • Have you tried other ways to lose weight, such as diet, exercise, or medication? What have you tried?
  • Did you lose weight and put it back on? Maybe more?
  • Are you ready to take the necessary steps to ensure that your post-surgery weight loss continues? This includes working with a nutritionist and exercise physiologist to develop healthy habits for long-term weight loss. It includes wearing.
  • Are you determined to take daily vitamin supplements for the rest of your life? Surgery affects your body’s ability to absorb the vitamins and minerals it needs from food.

upward trend

The overall size of Americans has increased in recent years, with about 9 million undergoing weight-loss surgery or medical weight loss, Dr. Flock notes. Only about 220,000 people will have surgery this year. “Despite all our efforts to control obesity, the number continues to rise year after year,” he says.

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