Qualifications for bariatric surgery in most areas include:

  1. BMI ≥ 40, or more than 100 pounds overweight.
  2. BMI ≥35 and at least two obesity-related co-morbidities such as type II diabetes (T2DM), hypertension, sleep apnea and other respiratory disorders, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, lipid abnormalities, gastrointestinal disorders, or heart disease.
  3. Inability to achieve a healthy weight loss sustained for a period of time with prior weight loss efforts.

For example, an adult who is 5’11” tall and weighs 290 lbs would have a BMI over 40. Calculate your BMI.

The NIH, as well as the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) also recommend that surgery be performed by a board certified surgeon with specialized experience/training in bariatric and metabolic surgery, and at a center that has a multidisciplinary team of experts for follow-up care. This may include a nutritionist, an exercise physiologist or specialist, and a mental health professional. In addition, some insurance companies require that the surgery be performed at a facility that meets the ASMBS-approved quality standards (MBSAQIP). Facilities which meet high standards or quality, like those outlined in MBSAQIP, are preferable choices for patients.