NIH Weight Loss Surgery Criteria

Because careful selection of bariatric patients is critical for successful outcomes, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) established patient selection guidelines for practitioners to follow.

To qualify for weight loss surgery a person must:

  • be between the ages of 18 and 64
  • have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more (about 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds for women) or a BMI between 35 and 39.9 and a serious obesity-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, or severe sleep apnea
  • be an acceptable operative risk
  • be motivated, well-informed, and able to participate in long-term care follow-up
  • be willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes to achieve long-term success.

For the obese person, the health benefits of losing weight are countless. Not only does the risk of serious disease decline dramatically, but some conditions may actually be reversed.

  • Diabetes is resolved in 80 percent of non-insulin dependent diabetics as a result of gastric bypass surgery
  • High blood pressure is resolved in about half of patients who lose weight following bariatric surgery
  • The majority of patients with sleep apnea no longer have disrupted breathing at night following weight loss surgery
  • Digestive issues, such as acid reflux and heartburn, are resolved following weight loss surgery
  • Dramatic weight loss also improves shortness of breath, circulation and mobility
  • Many people find dramatic improvements in joint pain, back pain and arthritic conditions following bariatric surgery, including Lap-Band and gastric bypass surgery
  • Some women who were struggling with infertility before surgery find that conception is possible after surgery. (Note that pregnancy should be avoided for 18 months to two years after surgery until weight becomes stable. Pregnancy is not recommended before that time because of nutritional issues related to fetal development.)

To learn more about the NIH guidelines and whether you qualify for weight loss surgery, we invite you to attend one of our informational meetings, or call our office at (254) 724-2397 and schedule a consultation. Dr. David Provost and the entire staff at Scott & White Bariatrics are here to help.

Be Sociable, Share!