Bariatric surgery requires a planning timeline.
There are many types of bariatric surgery to help with weight loss for the obese or those with chronic conditions that result from obesity. Once you’ve made the decision for bariatric surgery, there is a checklist to follow to fully prepare for this step. You will work with your healthcare bariatric medicine team to best prepare your body and your mental outlook for this surgery.
While bariatric surgery can be considered high risk, the after surgery care is equally important because the long-term success of the surgery requires a commitment to dietary changes that affect your digestive system.
You can expect an extensive screening and evaluation, usually by a doctor, surgeon, dietitian, and psychologist to determine that you meet medical and emotional guidelines. They will evaluate whether the risks of the surgery and its potential side effects outweigh your current health risks from being overweight.
The following are some of the necessary considerations for the surgery:
- Body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, if you also have health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea. You can qualify with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher if you do not have any health problems. Your doctor can help you assess your correct BMI.
- Authentic yet unsuccessful efforts to exercise and lose weight.
- You are a teenager with a BMI of 35 or higher, and you have type 2 diabetes or sleep apnea.
- Cost. This is an expensive surgery, so it is necessary to investigate if your health insurance plan covers bariatric surgery.
Your evaluation team will also consider your motivation to maintain the required changes in nutrition and exercise that will be needed after surgery. Your age is also part of the evaluation; studies show that there can be a higher risk for those older than 60 years old.