What qualifies you for bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a method of losing weight by surgical intervention. Bariatric surgery makes changes in the person’s digestive system such as reducing the size of stomach to enable the person to eat less food or carrying out changes in the small intestine. There are many types of bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, gastric band and duodenal switch surgery.

A person needs to fulfill the following conditions to be considered eligible for bariatric surgery.

Body Mass Index

Body Mass Index is calculated by dividing the mass of the body in kilograms by square of the height in metres. A person with BMI of 40 or more is eligible for bariatric surgery provided other conditions are met. Person with BMI between 35 and 39 is also eligible for bariatric surgery provided he/she is suffering from an obesity related pathological condition such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, gastrointestinal disorders, etc.


People who are 80-100 pounds heavier than the normal body weight are considered for bariatric surgery. The maximum weight limit is 450 pounds because hospital X-ray equipment cannot support more than 450 pounds. This is the reason why people with weight over 450 pounds first need to reduce their weight before going ahead with the procedure. Help from a nutritionist may be required to lose weight.


The minimum age to be eligible for bariatric surgery is usually 18 years while the maximum age limit is usually 65 years. For people aged less than 18 years or more than 65 years, the chance of complications arising during the surgery is high.

Medical history

Medical history is an important determinant in deciding the eligibility for bariatric surgery. Pathological conditions such as diabetes and heart disease exacerbate due to abnormally high body weight. Thus, people suffering from one more health conditions which are difficult to treat due to their obesity are eligible for bariatric surgery.

History of weight loss efforts

If the person has failed to achieve a normal body weight for a long period of time despite even medically supervised diet and exercise plans and behavioural changes, then the person is considered eligible for bariatric surgery.

Patient evaluation

An experienced bariatric surgeon such as Dr. Sanjay Choudhary who is the Senior Surgical Gastroenterologist and Bariatric Surgeon at Koda International Hospital Dubai, UAE will carry out a thorough evaluation of the patient before deciding on the eligibility for bariatric surgery. 

The patient’s complete medical history and 3-5 years record of weight and diet are evaluated. Some tests are also done and the results are scrutinised. In case of contraindications and risks, the surgeon discusses them with the patient before making a decision.

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