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Am I A Candidate for Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery?

Is Weight Loss Surgery right for me?
Is Weight Loss Surgery right for me?

Bariatric surgery may be the next step for people who remain severely obese after trying non-surgical approaches, or for people who have an obesity-related disease. Surgery to produce weight loss is a serious undertaking. Anyone thinking about undergoing this type of operation should understand what it involves. Answers to the following questions may help you decide whether weight-loss surgery is right for you. Am I a Candidate for Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery?

Are you?

  • Unlikely to lose weight or keep weight off long-term with non-surgical measures?
  • Well informed about the surgical procedure and the effects of treatment?
  • Determined to lose weight and improve your health?
  • Aware of how your life may change after the operation (adjustment to the side effects of the operation, including the need to chew food well and inability to eat large meals)?
  • Aware that you will need to avoid smoking, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated or sugary drinks after the operation to avoid problems?
  • Aware of the potential for serious complications, dietary restrictions, and occasional failures?
  • Committed to lifelong medical follow-up and vitamin/mineral supplementation?

Remember: There are no guarantees for any method, including surgery, to produce and maintain weight loss. Success is possible only with maximum cooperation and commitment to behavioral change and medical follow-up—and this cooperation and commitment must be carried out for the rest of your life. Surgery mainly works by helping with appetite control, not with the desire for carbs.

Am I a Candidate?
Am I a Candidate?

Weight loss surgery is not right for everyone.  You should take into consideration of all the hard work, lifestyle change and motivation it will take after surgery.  Obesity surgery is an effective treatment for morbid obesity, although the pounds do not come off by themselves.  The surgery is an aid to help achieve lasting results by limiting your food intake.

Additionally, patients with complex medical conditions and limited mobility increase the surgical risks; patients are thoroughly evaluated and considered on a patient-by-patient basis.  Individuals may be candidates if they meet the NIH Guidelines for morbid obesity surgery. Click here for more information on the NIH Guidelines.

Indications/qualifications (Click here to calculate your BMI)

  • You must be at least 18 years of age. If you are over 60 years old, you must be referred by your doctor and be in good health, since surgery is higher risk in patients over 60 years old even with testing before surgery.
  • Your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 40 kg/m2.  Or you are about 100 pounds overweight for men or 80 pounds overweight for women?
  • Your BMI is between 35-39.9 kg/m2 and you have a serious obesity-related health problem, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea or degenerative joint disease
  • Overweight for more than 5 years
  • You have taken serious attempts to lose weight and only had short term effect
  • You do not drink alcohol in excess
  • You do not smoke
  • You are not diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome
  • You have no serious disease that may have caused your obesity, such as steroid-secreting tumors as in Cushing's syndrome
  • Have no serious untreated, underlying psychiatric disorders, or current issues with substance abuse, or narcotic dependency
  • You are willing to be monitored by specialists who are treating you
  • An understanding of the operation and the lifestyle changes you will have to and want to make
  • Be medically healthy enough to tolerate major surgery with general anesthesia
  • You are not extremely limited in activity. You must be able to perform aerobic and anaerobic exercise as with any weight loss program.

Contraindications for SurgeryDr. Feng will perform a comprehensive consultation with you regarding the surgery criteria and different options of Bariatric surgery that fits your specific needs.

If you are interested in making an appointment, have questions, or want to send us a referral, please call the main number at (650) 853-6671 and ask for the Department of Surgery Bariatric Surgery Scheduler, Vira Lopez. Mention that you found Dr. Feng from his website.

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