Bariatric and weight loss surgery offer you a range of possible solutions to losing weight, depending on your individual needs and preferences. Surgery that alters your digestive system can be an effective way to kick-start weight loss, leading to improved health and a better quality of life. However, not everyone is suitable for these surgeries–they need to meet certain weight loss surgery qualifications.

Weight loss surgery qualifications are necessary to make sure you have a better chance of achieving your weight goals. Qualifications help to identify those who are at risk for complications, have existing conditions that could get in the way, and are emotionally prepared.

Overall, weight loss surgery qualifications help doctors decide which patients are best suited for the procedure. It also helps you understand the risks and benefits of weight loss surgery when used to help your personal health goals. By qualifying you upfront, our surgeons can help you reach your weight loss goals.

Weight Loss Surgery Qualifications


First and foremost, you should have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher. If your BMI is lower than this threshold, there are situations where surgery is available. This includes severe weight-related health problems which are not improving despite medical management. These issues could include type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, heart disease, or high blood pressure.

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery has a site where you can calculate your BMI here. This will give you a starting point as to whether or not you begin to meet the qualifications for bariatric surgery. You can also discuss weight loss surgery with your primary care physician for some preliminary information.

In addition to meeting certain BMI requirements, you must demonstrate that you are motivated to make positive lifestyle changes following the operation. It is strongly recommended that you attend counseling prior to being approved for the procedure in order to understand the implications of surgery.

During these sessions, you will learn about dietary guidelines as well as activity recommendations. It is important that these suggestions are followed before and after the operation in order for it to be successful and long-lasting. Furthermore, other mental health conditions such as depression or binge eating disorder may need to be addressed before bariatric surgery can go ahead.

You may also be required to have had unsuccessful attempts at medically supervised weight loss programs before being eligible for bariatric surgery. The medical team will assess all relevant medical history during the first consultation so that they can decide if you meet all of the necessary qualifications before approving them for the procedure.

This goes beyond your weight loss surgeon, too. While weight loss surgery continues to gain acceptance in the world of healthcare insurance coverage, there are steps that you need to follow. If you are planning on using insurance to pay for some of all or most of the surgery, make sure to get in touch with your insurance company.

Other Potential Disqualifications

If you have had previous abdominal surgeries, you may not be suitable for some types of bariatric procedures. This is because of potential complications involving scar tissue between organs and tissues that were formed during past operations. There are other types of bariatric operations that could still be considered in cases like this though depending on individual circumstances.

Short-term roadblocks include active infections or illnesses, pregnancy, recent substance abuse, and other health-related problems. These don’t necessarily disqualify you from any bariatric surgeries in the future, but they must be addressed before a procedure. You can discuss future steps with your surgeon if these are an issue for you.

Bariatric and weight loss surgery can offer you a great deal of help when it comes to achieving healthy and sustained weight loss goals. But it is important that you meet specific criteria to receive approval for the procedure itself. Meeting certain BMI requirements and making positive lifestyle changes post-surgery is essential if you want to qualify for bariatric operations.

If you think that bariatric and weight loss surgery could be an option for you, then it is best to discuss your individual circumstances with a healthcare professional in order to get the most accurate advice. Reach out to New York Minimally Invasive Surgery to schedule a consultation and let’s see if you qualify for bariatric surgery, whether it’s a gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or any of our other weight loss solutions.