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Criteria for Bariatric Surgery

When to Consider Weight Loss Surgery in Washington DC

Weight loss surgery is a serious undertaking, and should be considered a last-resort effort for an individual who must lose weight to alleviate debilitating chronic disease.

The decision to consider weight loss surgery for morbid obesity is both complex and intensely personal.

Many factors must be considered in determining who may be a candidate for surgery. Following the National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines for weight loss surgery, candidate selection criteria include:

  • Be at least 100 pounds over their ideal body weight
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or greater with one or more obesity-related health conditions
  • Have a BMI of 40 or greater regardless of other medical conditions
  • Have documented multiple failed attempts to maintain weight loss through medical therapy, diet programs, exercise and behavioral change
  • Be committed to life-long nutritional and behavioral changes including diet modification, regular exercise and medical follow-up

An appropriate candidate must also:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Understands the mechanics of how the surgery works
  • Have realistic expectations for how the surgery may assist with weight loss
  • Have the ability to engage in vigorous exercise after surgery
  • Understand and accept the possible risks, potential complications and their implications
  • Show how they have made a sincere effort towards nutrition and behavioral change prior to surgery

Weight loss surgery may not be appropriate for candidates with:

  • Certain gastrointestinal disorders
  • Severe pulmonary or cardiovascular disease
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Certain mental health disorders
  • Pregnant, or who may be pregnant within 18 months after surgery

Who Can Benefit from Bariatric Surgery?

The decision as to whether a patient would benefit from bariatric surgery is made on an individual basis after a consultation between the patient and a bariatric surgeon.

General considerations for weight loss surgery are as follows:

  • BMI Criteria
    • BMI ≥ 40
  • BMI ≥ 35 with a medical co-morbidity
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Patient Stories

  • Weight Loss Surgery Success - Chuck Carroll

    At my heaviest, I weighed 420 pounds with a 66-inch waist and wore a size 6XL shirt. Walking up a single flight of stairs took every ounce of energy I had while walking across the street felt as though I had run a marathon. I couldn’t even fit in a regular chair. Flash forward nearly 10 years and I am 275 pounds lighter! I proudly shop off the rack for 32-inch waist pants and small shirts. And I don’t just walk up the stairs now, ...

  • Tiffany’s Bariatric Surgery Story

    Making the decision to have Gastric Bypass Surgery in 2016 was one of the toughest, but best decisions I have made in my life. At my heaviest I was 340+ pounds and I felt defeated, ashamed, lonely, and depressed. Anytime I would walk past a mirror I would just want to cry and hide. Now almost two years later I feel better than I have ever felt in my entire life. I can climb a flight (or four) of stairs without feeling like I’ll ...

  • A Patient's Story

    Battling high blood pressure and immobility, Arlene knew she had to lose weight. With more than 40 years of combined experience, she turned to our surgical weight loss providers for gastric bypass to jump start her journey to improved health. Listen to her story.