What are the Minimum Requirements for Bariatric Surgery?
If you have struggled with your weight, you know how challenging it can be to not only lose those extra pounds, but to keep them off permanently. No matter how much effort and discipline you put into maintaining that weight loss, many times the weight start to creep back up.
Even though you have followed all of the right diet and exercise plans, sometimes it just isn’t yielding the results you want or need. If this sounds familiar, you’ve probably started researching bariatric surgery.
Weight loss surgery is hard work and it isn’t the right solution for every person. So, how do you know if you are you a candidate for this kind of surgery?
You may qualify for bariatric surgery if you meet some or all of this criteria:
- You’re more than 100 lbs over your ideal body weight
- You have a weight-related health condition such as type-2 diabetes or high blood pressure
- You have a body mass index (BMI) of over 40 (calculate your BMI)
- You cannot reach a healthy body weight, even with medically-supervised diets
- You have read and are aware of all the risks and benefits of weight loss surgery
- You are ready to commit to making a lifestyle change to keep the weight off
Is there a minimum recommended age for bariatric surgery?
Countries around the world will perform weight loss procedures on children as young as 10. While there isn’t a legal minimum, the average age of adolescents that undergo bariatric surgery is 16 years old.
Young patients should have a complete understanding of what the surgery entails and what type of lifestyle changes are required in order for the surgery to be a success. Counseling with medical professionals and doctors to explain the process is key with any patient, no matter what age they are.
There are currently four main types of weight loss surgery available:
- Gastric bypass is one of the most common methods, where the surgeon leaves a small part of the stomach, called a pouch, inside the patient. Because the stomach will now not hold much food, the patient will start eating less and will not gain as much weight.
- Another surgery type allows the surgeon to put an adjustable gastric band around the top of the patient’s stomach. This band is filled with saline in small increments which limits that amount of food required to feel full.
- The next type of surgery available will remove most of the stomach and leave just a narrow portion of the upper part of the stomach, called the gastric sleeve. This will reduce the amount of hunger cravings the patient has.
- The last surgery, the duodenal switch, is the most complex and will remove most of the stomach in the form of a gastric sleeve as well as bypass part of the intestine. This will not only control how much the patient can eat, but it can also limit the ability to absorb nutrients from the food.
Making the decision to undergo bariatric surgery is a serious decision and it’s something that should be researched in great detail. Talk to your support system of friends and family, as well as your doctor before you make your choice.
Committing to a “new you” is exciting and our team at Weight Wise can help. Contact us today for information on options on how to take control of your health and how weight loss surgery might benefit you.
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