Finding out whether you are morbidly obese may give you the courage you need to take the first step to undergo bariatric surgery. Below are information and tools you can use to determine whether you are a potential candidate for weight loss surgery.
There are several medically accepted criteria for defining morbid (clinically severe) obesity:
- more than 100 lbs over your ideal body weight, or
- have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 40 without comorbidities (severe negative health effects due to obesity)
- have a BMI of more than 35 with severe negative health effects, such as high blood pressure or diabetes on medication
- unable to achieve a healthy body weight for a sustained period of time, even through medically supervised dieting.
BMI is a measurement of the relative percentages of fat and muscle mass in the human body, in which a person’s weight in kilograms is divided by the square of height in meters. The result is used as an index of obesity. Measure your body mass index with our BMI calculator at the bottom of this page.
Clinically severe obesity is a serious medical condition that requires a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach for treatment. Severe obesity is often accompanied by high blood pressure, diabetes, degenerative arthritis, increased cancer risk and heart attacks. The death rate of severely obese people in every age group is about ten times higher than those of normal weight. Quality of life is hampered because severely obese people cannot move about easily or comfortably, and self-esteem and self- confidence are often affected.
In 1991 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) assembled physicians, nutritionists and other health care professionals made recommendations regarding bariatric treatment. “Bariatric” means obesity. From this gathering, the NIH now recommends that weight reduction should always be recommended for patients with severe obesity. If nutrition therapy, exercise, and behavior modification cannot successfully reduce weight, bariatric surgical procedures such as the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and adjustable gastric banding or gastric balloon placement are options. For many years these procedures required an incision from the breast to the groin, the open method, which comes with certain risks.
Since then, the laparoscopic method, which requires several one-inch incisions in the abdomen, has been approved as an alternative method to perform these surgical procedures. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, adjustable gastric banding and gastric balloon placement are available at MSA and can be performed as either open or laparoscopic procedures.
It is important for anyone considering bariatric surgery to understand the many medical, psychological, behavioral and financial aspects. For your recovery to be successful, you will need to make some lifelong changes. Surgery is only a tool. Some of the changes may seem difficult, but the result can be permanent weight reduction and overall improved health and lifestyle.
It is our hope that this website provides you with information that will be useful in your recovery from surgery and also helps you lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.