BMI Guidelines for Bariatric Surgery: What Patients Should Know

Nov 29, 2016 — by Daniel Huacuz, MD
Tags: Bmi Bariatric Surgery

How body mass index (BMI) worksCountless people come to Tijuana in order to undergo bariatric surgery. When they meet with reputable and experienced surgeons such as ours, they undergo state-of-the-art weight loss procedures at a reduced cost but without increased risk. It's a sensible way to save money on surgery that can improve your overall health.

Candidacy for bariatric surgery depends on a number of things, particularly your body mass index. Let's explain how this is calculated and what your BMI category says about eligibility for surgery.

What Is a Body Mass Index (BMI)?

Body mass index (BMI) refers to a ratio of a person's weight and height. More specifically, the BMI is a person's body mass divided by the square of the body height. The number arrived at from these calculations provides a number that determines where on a range a person's weight falls with regard to their height. A normal BMI is roughy 18.5 to 24.9. Higher numbers indicate being overweight or obese.

While the BMI is not always an accurate assessment of health in all people, it is a good way of assessing weight and potential obesity in the general population.

Why Body Mass Index (BMI) Is Important

BMI is important because it will help determine whether a person is overweight or obese, and further, it can help clarify what classification of obesity a person faces. BMI can help assess whether or not bariatric surgery is an ideal solution for a patient, as well as what type of surgery should be considered.

Normal Body Mass Index (BMI)

As noted above, a normal BMI usually ranges from 18.5 to 24.9. Number below that are considered underweight.

Overweight Body Mass Index (BMI)

If you are overweight, your BMI ranges from 25 to 29.9. In these cases, you will generally not be a good candidates for bariatric surgery. Instead, regular exercise and a healthy diet should be able to help reduce your weight or, at the very least, ensure good overall health in this weight range. Keep in mind that people who are muscular and in good shape may be classified as overweight just given their muscle mass.

Obesity (Class 1) Body Mass Index (BMI)

Obesity begins with a BMI of 30 to 34.9. In these cases, people may be good candidates for bariatric surgery if they also suffer from an obesity-related illness, such as diabetes. That said, it's important for people to try to lose weight through natural means first, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Severe Obesity (Class 2) Body Mass Index (BMI)

Severe obesity has a BMI of 35 to 39.9. In these cases, people tend to be good candidates for bariatric surgery and may suffer from obesity-related health conditions.

Morbid Obesity (Class 3) Body Mass Index (BMI)

Morbid obesity has a BMI of 40.0 to 49.9. Many people who are morbidly obese run an increased risk for numerous health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and joint problems later in life. Bariatric surgery is recommended in these cases in order to promote safe and rapid weight loss.

Superobesity/Extreme Obesity Body Mass Index (BMI)

Superobesity or extreme obesity refer to people who have a BMI of 50 or greater. Bariatric surgery is certainly a good option for people in this BMI range. However, their weight and size can pose some challenges for bariatric surgeons. The surgeon must have experiences operating on patients with a very high BMI in order to reduce the risk of surgical and post-op complications.

Learn More About Bariatric Surgery

For more information about your options for bariatric surgery and how we can help you lead a healthier overall lifestyle, be sure to contact our team of weight loss surgery specialists today. We will work with you to ensure you receive the proper care you need.

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