Do I Qualify for Gastric Reduction Surgery?

Although there are some exceptions, the following criteria generally must be met before an individual is considered a candidate for weight reduction surgery:  

•Previous efforts at weight loss through a diet that is nutritionally and medically safe.  

•Absence of other medical problems that would make surgery hazardous.  

•At least 100 lbs. over the prescribed weight of the height-weight chart of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company for medium frame individuals, or a body  mass index of 40 or more.  

•Individuals less than 100 pounds overweight or with a body mass index (BMI) of  35-40, should have other serious medical, obesity related conditions known to  be improved by weight loss.  

•Pediatric patients or patients who have undergone previous obesity surgery require special guidelines. Certain medical conditions, as discussed in the previous section, are aggravated by obesity and are not contraindications for surgery but rather reasons why the surgery should be performed. Significant psychiatric illness is a contraindication to gastric reduction procedures unless the illness is certified as stable and improving by a therapist.  Significant psychiatric illness not under control can be aggravated by weight reduction surgery. It should be noted that studies have shown that morbidly obese persons do not have a higher incidence of significant psychiatric illness than do their normal weight peers.

The feelings of low self-esteem lack of self-confidence, frustration, food cravings and obsession, anxiety and mild depression are present to some degree in almost all patients with morbid obesity and are not considered "psychiatric illnesses." These symptoms almost always improve after gastric reduction operations and adequate weight loss.  We have operated in a number of adolescent patients with good results.  Adolescents are good candidates for surgery after careful pre operative evaluation and consultations.