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Weight Management Services

Am I a Good Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?

Undergoing surgery for the purpose of losing weight and improving the risk of developing serious or life-threatening conditions is clearly a big decision.  If you are considering weight loss surgery, it is important to understand that the operation is not a magic solution. Surgery is usually performed only after many other methods of weight loss have been tried and failed.  Surgery is not foolproof. It is important to work closely with the bariatric team to start making lifestyle changes to ensure that weight loss is safe and successful.

Criteria for Weight Loss Surgery

In 1991, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) developed guidelines for the selection of patients for weight loss surgery. The American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons (ASMBS) adopted these guidelines as well.

  1. Patients should exceed ideal body weight by 100 lbs or have a BMI greater than 40. Patients with a BMI between 35 and 40 may be considered in the presence of significant obesity-related risks, including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and high cholesterol.

  2. They should have no know causative metabolic or endocrine causes for the morbid obesity (i.e., treatable causes)

  3. They should have attempted weight loss through conservative methods and been unsuccessful at sustained weight loss.

  4. They should be capable enough to understand the full importance of the surgical procedure, including risks and complications.

Patients must be able to care for themselves and be willing to comply with needed long-term follow-up care.

For more information, contact the Weight Loss Clinic at (717) 336-6578.


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