Am I Eligible for Bariatric Surgery?

Am I Eligible for Bariatric Surgery?

close up of stethoscope on a formBariatric surgery may be right for you. A good first step is finding out if you are eligible. There are several health and personal factors to consider that may affect your eligibility for surgery. It’s important to get all the information you need. Here are some initial steps to get you started. 

Find out if you are a candidate 

Eligibility requirements for bariatric surgery typically include1:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥ 40 
  • BMI ≥ 35 and an obesity-related condition such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, respiratory disorders, heart disease, or other serious health issues
  • Inability to lose weight, and keep it off, through traditional methods like diet and exercise 
  • Knowledge of the surgery procedures and the risks and benefits 
  • Readiness to commit to diet and lifestyles changes after surgery 
  • No medical condition that could cause serious complications during or after surgery 

Attend an information seminar  

Many bariatric surgeon offices offer free information seminars to help you learn more. These seminars cover a wide range of topics including eligibility, the approval process, surgery options, lifestyle changes, and surgery risks and benefits. Many surgeons even require you to attend a seminar before your first consultation. 

Contact your insurance company 

Find out if your insurance company covers bariatric surgery. Every health plan is different and it is important to review your benefits carefully. If covered, your insurance provider will have specific requirements to submit for approval. Being prepared with the right information may help make the insurance process easier. 

Find the right surgeon and support team 

Bariatric surgery is a lifelong commitment. Your health care team will be a big part of the process along the way. Take time to find a surgeon with a supportive staff. They can work with you to determine the best treatment for you. 

Remember, being eligible for surgery is only the first step. The decision to have bariatric surgery is complex and personal. Always consult a doctor with any questions or concerns. 


1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Web Site. Potential candidates for bariatric surgery. Accessed February 10, 2020.