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Am I A Candidate?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a calculation based on your height and weight.  Knowing your BMI will give us a good starting point to know how your weight might be impacting on your health.

BMI (Body Mass Index)

To determine if you meet the requirements for a weight loss surgery procedure, please enter your information in the BMI Calculator below.


As your weight goes up, that extra weight begins negatively affecting your health.  Did you know there are over 230 medical problems that are directly related to your weight  including many different cancers?  The good news is that as you lose weight, many of these health issue with improve or go away all together!

Once your BMI goes above 40, traditional methods of weight loss like diet, exercise, weight loss medications, etc are unlikely to help you achieve long-term weight loss.  In fact, less than 5% of people with a BMI ≥ 40 can lose a significant amount of weight and keep that weight off for 5 years with “non-surgical” treatments.  Have you seen the stories about what happens to the contestants of The Biggest Loser”?  Does that mean the 95% of people who can’t keep the weight off are “lazy”, “stupid”, or “just not motivated”?  NO!!!!  It has more to do with the way our bodies are designed.  Watch this video below to learn more about our current understanding of obesity:

Are You Taking the “Easy Way Out” By Choosing Weight Loss Surgery?

Many people falsely believe that weight loss surgery patients are taking the “easy way out”.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Weight loss surgery patients must do EVERYTHING that patients who are trying to lose weight with “traditional methods” have to do! That means they must make better food choices, increase their activity, sleep better, manage their stress better, and gain a better understanding of their relationship with food. That’s why it is critical that our patients come to their follow up  appointments after surgery and work through the program to achieve maximum success. 

Even though the surgical patient and the non-surgical patient must do the same things to lose weight, the surgical patient is WAY more likely to lose more weight and to keep that weight off for a longer period of time because of the metabolic changes that occur in the body after weight loss surgery.  In fact, greater than 70% of weight loss surgery patients will lose more than 25% of their body weight after surgery and keep it off for the rest of their life!  Hmmmm, 70% chance of keeping the weight off with surgery vs <5% chance without surgery, sounds to us like the surgery patient isn’t taking the “easy way out”, they’re taking the “effective way out”! 

Am I a candidate for weight loss surgery?


The criteria for weight loss surgery were set by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) back in 1991. Although weight loss surgery techniques have improved significantly and the operations are MUCH safer today than they were in 1991, the NIH has never gone back to change their criteria. Most insurance companies use these same criteria to decide if they will pay for your operation. 

Here are the criteria:

1) Body Mass Index (BMI) >40 or BMI ≥ 35 with significant medical problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, etc.

2) No untreated medical condition that is causing the weight problem that can be fixed without surgery (we have never seen this happen!).

3) Previous attempts at weight loss without surgery were unsuccessful (failed diets).

4) Basic understanding of how the operation will lead to weight loss and a commitment to following up after the operation.

5) No active alcohol or drug abuse issues.

6) Medical problems are controlled enough that the risk of surgery is reasonable.

In general, patient’s need to have a BMI ≥35 to qualify for weight loss surgery.  Our surgeons and staff will be able to help guide you on your options if you don’t meet the standard weight criteria.

Am I a candidate for an intragastric balloon?

Intragastric balloons are intended for patients with a BMI between 30-40 who have not been able to maintain weight loss with other methods

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