Weight Loss Surgery - Am I a Candidate for Surgery?

How to Determine if You are a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery

Since 1991, the National Institute of Health (NIH) has concluded that weight loss surgery was the most effective treatment option for long-term weight loss in severely obese patients.

Together, the NIH and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) agreed that surgery will be covered for patients meeting the following criteria:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 40 kg/m2
  • BMI greater than 35 kg/m2 with associated co-morbidities such as:
    • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Sleep apnea
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
  • Patient is well-informed and motivated
  • Patient has failed at previous attempts to lose weight through non-surgical treatments
  • Committed to lifestyle change
  • Appropriate surgical candidate
  • Non-smoker

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the Lap-Band (an adjustable gastric band) for patients with BMI's of less than 35, although these may not be covered by insurance.

To learn about Body Mass Index (BMI) (bariatric-surgery-bmi-chart.php).