Cleveland Clinic
 
 


             Home >> Am I a Candidate?             
            
Am I a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?
            
            
Research supports the benefits of  weight loss surgery for those with a BMI between 35 and 39.9 with obesity related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and other obesity related conditions. You could be a candidate for surgical weight loss if you meet any of the following criteria:
            
                           
             Calculate Your BMI             
                           
            


feet inches
pounds
Male Female
 


BMI Classification Health Risk
Under 18.5 Underweight Minimal
18.5 - 24.9 Normal Weight Minimal
25 - 29.9 Overweight Increased
30 - 34.9 Obese High
35 - 39.9 Severely Obese Very High
40 and Over Morbidly Obese Extremely High

            
                           
            


Think You May Be A High Risk For Surgery? Read More Here.

Is My BMI Too High For Surgery? Find Out More By Clicking Here.



Bariatric Patient Fact Sheet
Our bariatric patient fact sheet answers all the questions you may have about weight loss surgery, from the reasons to consider it to the procedures performed (Gastric Bypass vs. Laparscopic gastric banding) From eligibility to post-surgical support, let us be your guide.

Why should someone consider having bariatric surgery?
Who is eligible for bariatric surgery?
What bariatric procedures are performed by surgeons at Cleveland Clinic?
What is the recovery time following weight loss surgery?
Is there support from surgeons and staff following weight loss surgery?
How much weight loss can be expected?
What are the dietary restrictions following weight loss surgery?
Is it possible to gain the weight back after surgery?
What are the risks of bariatric surgery?
Can bariatric surgery be reversed?
Will insurance cover bariatric surgery?
Why Choose Cleveland Clinic?


back to top

Why should someone consider having bariatric surgery?
Obesity is harmful to a person’s health. Someone who is 40 percent overweight is twice more likely to die prematurely than an average-weight person. (This effect is seen after 10 to 30 years of being obese.) In this country alone, about 300,000 deaths per year can be blamed on obesity. Obesity is a risk factor for many serious, life-threatening diseases, including:

Diabetes
Cancer
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Heart disease
Obstructive sleep apnea
Stroke

Studies show that the risk of death from these conditions returns to normal after weight loss. Within the first six months of having weight loss surgery, patients usually no longer need to take medications for these conditions. In addition, women who were struggling with infertility before surgery find that conception is possible after surgery.

back to top

Who is eligible for bariatric surgery?
To be eligible for bariatric surgery, you must be between 16 and 70 years of age (with some exceptions) and morbidly obese (weighing at least 100 pounds over your ideal body weight and having a BMI of 40). A BMI between 35 and 39 also may qualify you for the procedure if pre-existing co-morbidities, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, or sleep apnea, are present.

If you are a woman of childbearing age and planning a pregnancy, it’s vital to know that you MUST NOT get pregnant within the first 18 months to two years following surgery. The rapid weight loss and nutritional deficiencies associated with bariatric surgery make pregnancy very dangerous for you and for a developing fetus.

A consultation with a Cleveland Clinic bariatric surgeon is a mandatory step prior to surgery, and will help you screen for eligibility.

back to top

What bariatric surgical procedures are performed by surgeons at Cleveland Clinic?
At Cleveland Clinic, we carefully evaluate all patients being considered for bariatric surgery. Nutritional and behavioral counseling are conducted, and patients are required to attend at least one weekly support group session prior to weight loss surgery.

Procedures: The restrictive procedure most commonly performed is called laparoscopic gastric banding. This method makes the stomach smaller, thereby restricting the amount of food that can be eaten. Gastric banding surgery is performed laparoscopically, which means the procedure doesn’t require incisions. Laparoscopic surgery generally offers a shorter operative time, less scarring and a faster recovery; patients generally can return to work after one week. One of the major benefits of the laparoscopic gastric band is the ability of surgeons to adjust the band to the individual patient's needs. In addition, the band can be removed through a minimally invasive procedure. Compared to gastric bypass surgery, the laparoscopic gastric banding procedure typically allows patients to eat a more varied diet.

The most commonly performed malabsorptive procedure is called the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. This method makes the stomach smaller and alters digestion. Less food can be eaten and fewer calories can be absorbed. The bariatric surgeon creates a small pouch by dividing the upper end of the stomach. Next, a Y-shaped section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch to allow food to bypass the lower stomach, the duodenum (the first segment of the small intestine), as well as the first portion of the jejunum (the second segment of the small intestine). The procedure creates a direct connection from the stomach to the lower segment of the small intestine, literally bypassing portions of the digestive tract that absorb calories and nutrients.

In select patients, a Cleveland Clinic bariatric surgeon can perform the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure using minimally invasive surgical techniques, which offer smaller incisions, fewer complications and a quicker recovery.

back to top

What is the recovery time following weight loss surgery?
Most patients recover from surgery without complications. The hospital stay for patients who undergo the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is usually two to four days. Patients who have the laparoscopic gastric banding procedure may stay one to two days.

back to top

Is there support from surgeons and staff following weight loss surgery?
The Cleveland Clinic gastric bypass surgery health care team is there to guide patients after each procedure. Regular follow-up visits are scheduled during the first year after weight loss surgery to check overall physical and mental health, metabolism and nutritional status.

back to top

How much weight loss can be expected?
Most patients will lose between 66 and 80 percent of their excess body weight, most of which is lost 18 to 24 months following bariatric surgery.

back to top

What are the dietary restrictions following weight loss surgery?
Following surgery, you will need to follow specific eating guidelines. Registered dietitians at Cleveland Clinic work directly with bariatric surgery patients to help plan healthful, appropriate meals.

back to top

Is it possible to gain the weight back after surgery?
Bariatric surgery has an excellent long-term track record for helping morbidly obese individuals lose weight. However, there are no guarantees with any method of weight loss, even surgery. Success is possible only if you are committed to making lifestyle and dietary changes for the rest of your life.

back to top

What are the risks of bariatric surgery?
All surgical procedures have risks, particularly when the patient is morbidly obese. Different procedures involve different risks, and depending upon your individual circumstances, your risks may be higher or lower than average. It’s also important to know that bariatric surgeons with more experience performing weight loss surgery techniques report fewer complications. Potential risks of surgery should be discussed with your surgeon so you can make an informed choice.

back to top

Can bariatric surgery be reversed?
Laparoscopic gastric banding surgery is reversible in a minimally invasive manner. Gastric bypass surgery is potentially reversible. Reversal requires another operation of the same, or greater, magnitude with the same, or greater, risks.

back to top

Will insurance cover bariatric surgery?
Many insurance companies now recognize obesity as a substantial health risk and are paying for bariatric surgery. Contact your insurance provider to find out if gastric bypass surgery (CPT code 43644) is a covered benefit under your insurance contract. If you have other questions, contact Debra Cash at 216-445-1745/800-223-2273, ext 51745 or Tammy Hall at 216-444-4529/800-223-2273, ext 44529.

back to top

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic?
Our board-certified bariatric surgeons meet the highest standard of qualifications and credentialing for bariatric surgery and have performed hundreds of bariatric procedures. Active members of the American Society of Bariatric Surgeons to American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, our surgeons emphasize minimally invasive or laparoscopic procedures for 90 percent of bariatric surgeries performed at Cleveland Clinic, thus minimizing complications and speeding recovery.

For the last 15 years, U.S.News & World Report has ranked Cleveland Clinic among the nation’s top hospitals. Cleveland Clinic also is one of only 72 hospitals throughout the entire United States to achieve Magnet status for excellence in nursing services. Cleveland Clinic is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO).

If you have determined that you are a candidate for a bariatric surgery,
click here to get started on your Pathway to Surgery.

 

            
Awards and Accolades

Meet Our Team | Am I a Candidate? | Informational Seminars | Medical Weight Loss Program | Patient Testimonials | Insurance & Financing | Support Programs
The Learning Center | Contact Us | The Cleveland Clinic | Endocrinology & Metabolic Institute | Terms & Conditions | HIPAA | Privacy Policy | Physicians Only | CMS Login

© 2015 The Cleveland Cinic. All Rights Reserved. Powered by MDnetSolutions.