Gastric Lap-Band Criteria
Do I qualify for weight loss surgery?
Gastric Lap-Band Criteria: Do I weigh "enough?"
Your BMI (Body Mass Index) is used to determine whether your weight makes you a good candidate for weight loss surgery.
< 18.5 = Underweight
18.5 - 24.9 = Normal
25.0 - 29.9 = Overweight
30.0 - 34.9 = Obesity (Class I)
35.0 - 39.9 = Obesity (Class II)
40.0+ = Extreme Obesity (Class III)
According to NIH Guidelines (National Institute of Health), you're a good candidate for gastric banding surgery if:
- Your BMI is 40 or higher
- Your BMI is 35-39.9 and you have have one or more weight related health conditions (called "comorbidities") such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, reflux, heart disease, stroke, respiratory problems, osteoarthritis, joint problems, etc.
- You're at least 100 pounds over your estimated ideal weight
However, meeting the technical weight criteria for gastric lap-band surgery is not the same thing as being a good candidate for weight loss surgery.
Just because your weight puts you in a category eligible to qualify for bariatric surgery doesn't mean it's necessarily right for you.
That's why most insurance companies require that you meet with a psychologist and/or a dietitian (like me!) before surgery as part of your pre-op evaluation.
Gastric Lap-Band Criteria: Will a Dietitian Give Me the OK?
When I interview a potential gastric band candidate, I'm assessing:
- Have you made adequate diet attempts?
- Have you exhausted all traditional dieting methods?
- Have you truly given past dieting attempts your all?
- How long have you been overweight?
- Are you an emotional eater?
- Have you made adequate attempts to exercise?
- Have you made adequate attempts at behavior modification?
- Do you have realistic expectations of weight loss surgery?
- Are you committed to making lifelong changes in your diet and lifestyle?
- Do you understand and are you willing to follow the diet after lap-band surgery including changing how much you eat, what you eat and how you eat?
- Do you have a good support system?
Ultimately, I'm assessing if a client is "nutritionally appropriate" to proceed.
Gastric Lap-Band Criteria: Will a Psychologist Give Me the OK?
Weight loss surgery is life altering. You'll likely have to meet with a psychologist pre-op who will assess whether you're mentally and emotionally prepared to proceed with this life changing event.
Gastric lap-band surgery may be right for you if:
- You're at least 18 years old
- Your BMI is greater than 40
- You're at least 100 pounds overweight
- Your BMI is 35-39.9 and you have one or more obesity related health conditions
- You've exhausted all other traditional methods of weight loss including diet, exercise, and behavior modification
- You're committed to making changes in your diet and lifestyle
The ULTIMATE Gastric Lap-Band Criteria: YOUR DEGREE OF COMMITMENT
Weight loss surgery does not guarantee weight loss success. Gastric banding is only a TOOL. A good candidate for bariatric surgery recognizes this fact and is willing, motivated, and committed to following the post-op diet and exercise guidelines.
If you meet the weight criteria for gastric lap-band surgery and think you're a good candidate, your next step is to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss it in more detail!
Leave gastric lap-band criteria and read more About Gastric Banding