This is one of the most common questions we hear from people researching weight loss surgery. If your life has seemed like one big uphill battle to try and achieve a healthier weight and you still suffer from obesity, you may need medical intervention. We find that many people who enquire with us worry that seeking a bariatric solution for weight loss may be seen as a last resort or failure on their part to shift weight. This is simply not true. There can be a range of factors that contribute to an inability to lose excess weight including genetics, psychological disorders conditions and medical conditions. Your eligibility for weight loss surgery will ultimately depend not just on your size, but your entire medical history and current emotional state. Your eligibility will ultimately be determined by your bariatric surgeon.
What qualifies as obese?
A GP can formally diagnose you with an obesity condition, but there are some basic widely accepted criteria that can be used to check if you are a candidate for surgery. These criteria are based on the Body Mass Index (BMI) system, but a detailed medical history and thorough physical examination will be needed from a surgeon before surgery is assigned.
Weight loss surgery criteria
- BMI >35 by itself or >30 if there is an associated obesity illness such as diabetes or sleep apnoea
- Reasonable attempts at other weight loss techniques
- Age 16-65
- Obesity-related health problems
- A capacity to understand the risks and commitment associated with the surgery
These are basic guidelines and there is flexibility exercised with each patient. If a patient suffers from co-morbidities, a lower BMI between 30-35 may be accepted.
Weight Loss Surgery evaluation
Because weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is a life-changing procedure, your surgeon will need to assess you physically, mentally and emotionally. This will include in-depth discussions about your complete weight loss history, diets, eating habits and any disorders you’ve suffered. Essentially, weight loss surgery will limit the amount of food you can eat. Because the shape and function of your digestive system will be changed, it’s important you understand the impact this surgery will have on your life. This is also why your mental health will undergo an assessment. Your team will want to understand your motivation as well as identify any behavioural or psychological risk factors. Conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or other mood disorders could have contributed to your obesity, so your surgical team will need to make sure they will not inhibit your ability to follow post-surgery diet instructions.
Why consider weight loss surgery?
If you’ve struggled with your obesity for as long as you can remember, no matter what diet you’ve tried, you may be a candidate. Successful weight loss surgery and post-surgery lifestyle changes will not just result in a healthier weight but could reverse and lower the risk of medical conditions such as joint pain, heart disease, sleep apneoa, type II diabetes, fertility problems, lethargy, blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease, liver disease and cholesterol. If you are concerned that you cannot afford weight loss surgery, there are a range of payment options.
Check if you are eligible with Winnett Specialist Group
Surgeon Jason Winnett and the team at Winnett Specialist Group will help you determine if you qualify for life-changing weight loss surgery. If you would like to book a consultation, get in touch with our team by calling 03 9417 1555 or contact us online.