Requirements for Bariatric Surgery


Bariatric surgery is an intervention performed on people who are obese. Also known as weight loss surgery, the procedure involves reducing the patient’s stomach size. There are two main techniques used: gastric band or partial removal of the stomach. Studies have showed that bariatric surgery is efficient in the long run and it doesn’t offer immediate results. After the intervention the patient will eat less and thus will manage to lose weight.

The National Institutes of Health is the organization that establishes the criteria for bariatric surgery. A person who has a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or more can undergo a weight loss surgery.  On the other hand, an index that varies between 35 and 39 indicates that the patient may suffer from serious medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, as well as high cholesterol levels.

Weight – a key factor for bariatric surgery

The National Institutes of Health states that women who are at least 80 pounds overweight and men who are 100 pounds overweight can opt for weight loss surgery. Those who struggled to lose weight through a healthy diet and didn’t manage to achieve their goal can also undergo bariatric surgery. Furthermore, a person has to be at least 18 years old to go through such a complex weight loss procedure, and there’s also an age limit (60 years old).

The intervention is usually seen as a method to enhance well-being and general health. However, to qualify for the surgery, it’s important to be relatively healthy. Some conditions can affect your ability to undergo weight loss procedures: psychological diseases, drug and alcohol use and abuse, liver disease, esophagus-related issues, and past weight loss procedures.

Bariatric surgery is not for everyone

Gastric bypass surgery is not for everyone. It is considered a major procedure and it comes with side effects and health risks. The success of bariatric surgery depends on every patient’s ability to change his lifestyle completely. Dr. Paul Shekelle explains that the intervention works 100% providing that you follow post-surgery guidance given by your doctor. Patients can lose up to 100 pounds in one year. Yet, because the results are almost certain, a lot of people who are not obese are looking to go through the procedure. Unfortunately, the surgery is slowly turning into a ‘cosmetic’ intervention, which can have severe side effects on people’s health.

General Guidelines That You Have to Follow After Bariatric Surgery

After going through a weight loss procedure, there are several important guidelines the patient must follow. These guidelines were cautiously established by health care providers to help patients reduce caloric intake through balanced meals. Your new diet will seem difficult to follow at first, but after a while you will get used to it. First of all, you have to eat balanced meals in small portions. Avoid sweets and fats, and write down your daily protein and caloric intake. It’s important to eat slowly, and don’t forget to chew the food very well. Stay away from rice, fresh fruit that are too sweet (grapes, bananas), and pork meat; avoid fizzy drinks because they might introduce air into your pouch and trigger severe pain.

Fluid intake is extremely important after the surgery

After the surgery, patients are advised to drink a lot of water, as well as fluids that don’t have calories to prevent dehydration. Giving up coffee might seem extremely difficult at first, but you’ll get used to it in time. It’s essential to drink a minimum of 2 liters of water (or other recommended fluids) per day. This might seem impossible, but you’ll progressively be able to follow this guideline. Don’t consume any alcoholic beverages because they can cause serious problems. After a bariatric procedure, alcohol is assimilated in your system faster and its mood-altering effects are hard to control.

Bariatric surgery comes with plenty of advantages for people who want to lose weight and have a healthy lifestyle once again. Because the intervention limits what you eat and in what quantities, you have great chances of becoming malnourished. The risks can be greatly reduced with vitamins and supplements, and don’t be surprised you may have to take them for the rest of your life. The body needs iron, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin K, vitamin D, calcium and many others to functions properly. Ergo, when you can’t take them from food, supplementation may be required.

They say weight loss is all about math – burn more calories than you eat and there you have it, the perfect body. Unfortunately, things don’t always go our way and if we’re not paying attention, obesity kicks in. Bariatric surgery is meant only for people who are obese, and it must not be considered a ‘cosmetic’ intervention. If your body mass index is above 40, then you may qualify for the surgery; yet, if the index is below 25 you may want to consider working out some more to achieve an ideal weight.


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