When other methods of weight loss have not worked for you, a surgical weight loss center may provide you with the hope that you need in order to achieve a healthier weight. Gastric sleeve surgery is one of the methods that surgeons can use as a way to help you to control your food intake. Before you have a gastric sleeve surgery, the surgeon and healthcare team will meet with you to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure. This is done to help ensure that your surgery will be as successful as possible.
Body Mass Index Guidelines
In order to be a candidate for sleeve surgery, you will need to have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 35. For a woman of average height, this means being at least 100 pounds overweight. For an average man, a BMI of 40 or higher means being a minimum of 125 pounds overweight. Your surgeon will measure your height and weigh you in order to calculate your current BMI.
You may be a candidate for gastric bypass if your BMI is at least 35 and you also have a seriously disabling condition that is related to being overweight, such as diabetes, arthritis or high blood pressure. These conditions can be life-threatening and may also impact your quality of life, and losing weight may even help to cure or reduce the effects of these conditions.
Ability to Return for Follow-Up
While some weight loss surgeries require frequent checkups, the sleeve surgery does not require as many visits. You will still need to be able to return for occasional checkups to monitor your rate of weight loss, vitamin levels and nutritional status. Your doctor might also request that you see a dietician or exercise coach to help achieve your weight loss goals.
Commitment to a Healthy Lifestyle
A strong candidate for sleeve surgery must be between 18 and 65 years old and willing to commit to a long-term healthy lifestyle. Because you will not have as large of a stomach capacity, you may need to make healthy dietary changes so that you can get enough protein, vitamins and fiber in your diet. Exercise is also a part of a healthy lifestyle. Sleeve surgery candidates should not have a history of alcohol or drug abuse, should not currently be smoking and should not have any untreated mental health disorders.
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