Posted - May 10, 2011

Gastric Bypass Surgery Requirements

If you’ve been unsuccessful in losing weight through diet and exercise — and the excess weight is starting to cause health problems — you may want to speak with your physician to see if weight loss surgery, such as Lap Band Surgery or gastric bypass surgery is an option for you. Because there are serious risks with gastric bypass surgery, your medical team will assess your medical and psychological readiness for the procedure.

In gastric bypass surgery, which is the most common type of bariatric surgery, the stomach is dissected into two parts. When you eat, food travels to one section of the stomach (the smaller upper section) and into the small intestine. The food bypasses the remaining larger section of the stomach. Because of this structural change, the amount of food you can eat is reduced, helping you to lose weight.

To qualify for gastric bypass surgery, you must meet certain requirements.

  1. Have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 to 39.9 in conjunction with weight-related health conditions, like high blood pressure and diabetes.
  2. Have a BMI equal to or greater than 40 with no other impending health conditions.
  3. Have been unsuccessful in reaching a healthy weight through diet and exercise.

In addition to the physical qualification requirements of gastric bypass surgery, your medical team will evaluate if you’re psychologically ready for this type of weight loss procedure. For instance, some mental health conditions like binge-eating, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or childhood sexual abuse contribute to people being obese, which can make it more difficult to maintain the benefits of gastric bypass surgery. Your health care team will also evaluate your motivational level, including your willingness to carry out the post-operative recommendations made by your medical team.