Public Health

New Guidelines on Who Qualifies for Bariatric Surgery

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It’s been 30 years since the guidelines for bariatric surgery set by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have been updated. And times have changed since the last set of guidelines were standardized. Now is the time for the standards to reflect the present and future of health care with much safer surgeries and a strong track record of positive health outcomes because of bariatric surgery.

The new updates, initiated by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), will greatly increase the number of patients who are eligible for weight loss surgery. If you’re thinking about weight loss surgery and you’re not sure if you qualify, these newly updated guidelines might make you a candidate.

The ASMBS is the largest group of bariatric surgeons and integrated health professionals in the United States and the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO) represents 72 national associations and societies throughout the world.

Body Mass Index (BMI) Updates

A big part of qualification for bariatric surgery is based on something called your body mass index, or your BMI. Under the old guidelines, patients had to have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40 or a BMI of at least 35 and at least one obesity-related condition, such as hypertension or heart disease, to qualify for weight loss surgery.

Under the new guidelines, patients with a body mass index (BMI) over 35, regardless of any health-related issues, are eligible for weight loss surgery. People with a BMI over 30 are also eligible if they haven’t been able to achieve substantial or long-term weight loss.

The best way to figure out your BMI is by calculating it with your height and weight. You can try our calculator to estimate your BMI to get an idea of whether you might qualify for weight loss surgery. If you qualify under these new guidelines, it is important to check with your insurance company to ensure they are also up-to-date with the new qualifications.

Safety Comes First

Bariatric surgery has become dramatically safer in recent decades and is a proven method to reverse or improve many weight-related diseases. But the guidelines that were last set in 1991 haven't been updated to reflect the improvements. That's why the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders decided to make these new recommendations.

Now, children and adolescents at high risk of serious obesity-related illness may be eligible for the surgery too, reflecting both the safety of the operation as well as the growing obesity epidemic that impacts people of all ages.

Nurturing a Healthier, Happier You

The first step to the new healthier, happier you is making the choice. Even if you’re at the stage of just thinking about weight loss surgery, you’ve already taken that first step.

Reach out to us and we’ll help you figure out if you qualify for weight loss surgery, keeping the new guidelines in mind. If you do qualify and you’re ready for the next step, we’re here to guide and care for you the whole way through.

Visit us here to learn more and get started today.

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