Bariatric surgery is not suitable for all people who are obese. Everyone will agree that people should try appropriate dieting, exercise and other ways to lose weight before considering surgery.
Weight loss surgery has been most successful for people who meet the criteria listed below. At Vanderbilt, we perform surgery only if you meet the following criteria:
Clinically severe obesity is a serious medical condition that demands a comprehensive 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. Often, severely obese people cannot move about easily or comfortably, affecting their self-esteem, self-confidence and quality of life.
There are several medically accepted criteria for defining severe obesity:
BMI measures the relative percentages of fat and muscle mass in the human body, in which weight in pounds is divided by height in inches. The result is used as an index of obesity. Measure your body mass index with our BMI calculator at the bottom of this page.
Rather than relying only on the bathroom scale to tell you if you're overweight, experts say you should also know your body mass index (BMI). BMI takes into account not just your weight, but also your height to indicate body fat. The goal for most people is a BMI that's over 18 and under 25.