The most recent data shows that, each year, more people are getting bariatric surgery to help them lose weight. In 2016, approximately 216,000 people went under the knife, and that number is continuing to increase.

The technology used in bariatric surgery has become more advanced in recent years, but it is still a dramatic weight loss option. Before you decide to proceed with bariatric surgery, be sure to ask yourself these questions to figure out if it is right for you.

1. Am I Severely Obese?

This is one of the first questions you need to ask yourself to determine whether or not you are even a candidate for bariatric surgery.

People whose BMI (body mass index) is greater than 35 (a BMI of 19-24 is considered healthy) are considered severely obese, and those with a BMI of 40 or more are considered extremely obese. If your BMI falls into either of these categories, you may be a candidate for surgery.

Some doctors believe that those with a BMI of 30 (obese) might want to consider surgery as well.

2. Does My Weight Affect My Health?

In addition to considering your BMI when trying to decide if bariatric surgery is right for you, you should also consider whether or not your weight is affecting your health.

Common medical conditions that are caused or aggravated by excess weight include:

Diabetes and pre-diabetes
Sleep apnea
Heart disease
Hypertension (high blood pressure)

While these conditions may make you a good candidate for surgery, they could also negatively affect your ability to withstand the procedure. Before you decide to go through with the surgery, be sure to talk to your doctor about the risks associated with your other health conditions.

3. Have Other Weight Loss Programs Worked for Me?

Bariatric surgery shouldn’t be your first option if you want to lose weight. Surgery is a serious undertaking, so it’s worth it to try to lose weight using more traditional methods like exercise and diet modifications first.

Some insurance companies also will not cover the cost of surgery unless you’ve spent at least six months trying to lose weight in other ways.

4. Am I Prepared for a Lifestyle Change?

Bariatric surgery, in and of itself, will not solve all your weight loss woes. Although it does help speed up the weight loss process, you still need to support your body with a proper diet and exercise.

In order to keep the weight off after surgery, you’ll need to make important lifestyle changes. Working with a physician, as well as other professionals like a dietician and a personal trainer, can help you make and maintain these changes.

5. Can I Afford Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is expensive. There’s no getting around it.

Depending on the type of surgery you choose, you’ll typically spend between $14,000 and $23,000. If you’re like most people in the country, you probably don’t have that kind of money just lying around.

Even if you have health insurance, your provider may not cover the full cost of the surgery. It’s also quite common for providers to deny patients coverage for a procedure that they deem not medically necessary. In fact, about 25 percent of patients are denied coverage three times before they get approval.

Final Thoughts

Bariatric surgery isn’t for everyone, but it could be the right choice for you, especially if you’re struggling with weight-related health conditions and haven’t had success with other weight loss methods.

He sure to ask yourself these questions (and answer them honestly) before making any drastic decisions.


Author's Bio: 

Natalie Thongrit is a freelance writer who focuses primarily on fitness, health, and wellness-related content. You can connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn, or check out her portfolio to read more of her work.