How To Determine If You Qualify for a Weight Loss Procedure

October 12, 2016

Confusion, uncertainty and fear often keep those struggling with obesity from getting the help they need. The thought of asking for a better solution over another diet can be intimidating. However, armed with the right information, you have the means of doing a self-evaluation to determine if you might be a candidate for weight loss surgery.

Step 1. Calculating Your Body Mass Index

Your body mass index, or BMI, is a primary criterion for determining whether you qualify for bariatric surgery. It’s a fairly simple measurement that gives you a ratio of weight to height:

  • If you use metric measures for weight and height, you can simply divide your weight in kilograms by your height in centimeters squared: kilograms/centimeters2 = BMI.
  • If you want to use standard measures, you still divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared but then must multiply that figure by 703: pounds/inches2 x 703 = BMI.

Your BMI number then fits within a range of categories, with 18.5-24.9 considered healthy, 25.0 to 29.9 overweight, and 30.0 and above obese.

Step 2. Identifying Your Physical Condition

While BMI is a primary qualifier, it is not the only one. Weight problems often cause or result from other physical conditions. Frustrated men and women find themselves facing a cycle of weight gain and lack of mobility that can seem impossible to change. Certain chronic diseases and conditions are considered health risks and may also be qualifiers for weight loss procedures:

  • Diabetes mellitus, also known as type 2 or adult onset diabetes.
  • Hypertension, or high blood pressure.
  • Heart disease, such as an enlarged or dilated heart or the damage caused by plaque buildups and arteriosclerosis.
  • Sleep apnea, which causes pauses in breathing during sleep. Pauses can last seconds to minutes and can occur 30 times or more within an hour.
  • Respiratory problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS), for example.
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which causes inflammation, scarring and, eventually, irreversible damage.
  • Osteoarthritis, associated with joint pain and inflammation as well as losses of mobility.
  • Lipid abnormalities, more commonly termed high cholesterol.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, such as gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Step 3. Applying Your BMI and Medical Conditions to the Qualifications

General guidance in most areas and according to most insurance coverage uses a combination of BMI and medical conditions to assess an individual’s need for a surgical solution to weight loss. In most cases, you are a candidate if you:

  • Have a BMI of 40 or greater, or are at least 100 pounds overweight.
  • Have a BMI of 35 or greater and have at least two of the chronic conditions or diseases listed in step 2.
  • Have been unable to maintain a healthy weight through other, nonsurgical means.

Step 4. Finding the Right Option for You

Once you realize that you or someone close to you is a likely candidate for a surgical weight loss solution, the next step is to find a board-certified surgeon who specializes in bariatric and metabolic surgery. Look for individuals who have extensive, in-depth training, experience and resources. You want someone who can coordinate a professional support team to address your nutritional, physical activity and mental health needs as well as your insurance and financial concerns. You’ll also want to ensure that your surgery will be performed at a quality facility that meets American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery standards for weight loss procedures.

When you think you’ve found the right team for you, then, it’s time to make an appointment and get some professional medical advice. If you think that Acadiana Weight Loss Surgery has just the right team for you, call us at 337-233-9900, or visit our website. You’ve determined that you might qualify. Now, trust us to make it official.