A photo of a surgery in progress for someone who wants to lose weight.

If you’re struggling to lose weight through traditional methods, weight and body fat loss surgery may be a viable option. However, qualifying for weight loss surgery isn’t as simple as just wanting it.

Strict requirements must be met to undergo weight loss surgery, and it’s essential to understand these requirements before you move forward.

Understanding Body Mass Index (BMI)

One of the most critical factors in determining whether or not you qualify for weight loss surgery is your body mass index (BMI). BMI is a number calculated based on your height and weight, and it’s used to determine whether or not you fall within a healthy range of ideal body weight.

You can use an online calculator or do the math yourself to calculate your BMI. Simply divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. The resulting number is your BMI.

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery criteria, a BMI score of 40 or higher is considered severe obesity. In some cases, a BMI score between 35 and 39.9 is also regarded as severe obesity if you have an obesity-related condition such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or severe sleep apnea.

Types of Weight Loss Surgery

There are several types of weight loss surgery, each with its benefits and risks. Some of the most common types of weight loss surgery include:

  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Sleeve gastrectomy
  • Adjustable gastric banding

Your surgeon will help you determine which type of weight loss surgery is best for you based on your needs, age, and health conditions.

Who Qualifies for Weight Loss Surgery?

In addition to having a BMI score in the severe obesity range, other requirements must be met to qualify for weight loss surgery. Some of the most common weight loss surgery requirements include:

  • Being at least 18 years old
  • Having a BMI score of 35 or higher with an obesity-related condition, or a BMI score of 40 or higher without any obesity-related conditions
  • Demonstrating a willingness to make lifestyle changes, including changes to your diet and exercise habits
  • Being in good overall health and having no medical conditions that could increase the risk of complications during or after surgery

Medical Conditions and Weight Loss Surgery

If you have certain medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, you may still be a good candidate for bariatric surgery. However, you’ll need to work with your primary care provider to manage these conditions before and after bariatric surgery.

It’s also important to note that not all insurance companies cover weight loss surgery. If you’re considering weight loss surgery, you must check with your insurance company or provider to see if they have any requirements or restrictions.

Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery

Preparing for weight loss surgery requires a lifelong commitment to healthy choices. Before you undergo weight loss surgery, you’ll need to work with your surgeon to develop a plan that includes exercise and dietary changes.

In some cases, you may also need to undergo additional testing or evaluation to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for weight loss surgery.

The Weight Loss Surgery Procedure

The weight loss surgery typically takes several hours to complete and may be done laparoscopically or through open surgery. During the procedure, your surgeon will change your stomach or intestines to restrict your food intake.

After surgery, you must follow a strict diet and exercise plan to get the proper nutrition while losing weight.

Recovery and Aftercare

Recovering from weight loss surgery can take several weeks or even months. You’ll need to take it easy and avoid strenuous activities during this time.

Over time, you’ll be able to gradually increase your exercise plan and begin making lifestyle changes that will help you maintain your weight loss goals.

Risks and Complications of Weight Loss Surgery

Like any surgical procedure, weight loss surgery comes with its own set of risks and complications. Some of the most common risks associated with weight loss surgery include bleeding, infection, and the risk of blood clots.

It’s important to work closely with your surgeon to manage these risks and to follow all post-operative instructions carefully.

Firming Creams and Collagen Synthesis

Loose skin is one of the most common concerns after weight loss surgery. As you lose weight, your skin responds by losing elasticity and becoming looser.

To combat this issue, there are several things you can do. One option is building muscle mass through exercise, which can help fill loose skin areas. You can also use collagen-enhancing products like firming creams or collagen hydrolysate supplements to increase blood flow to the skin and encourage collagen synthesis.

It’s also essential to protect your skin from sun exposure, which can cause collagen loss and further contribute to the appearance of loose skin.

In some cases, surgery such as a thigh lift or other skin removal procedures may be necessary to address significant amounts of loose skin.


Qualifying for weight loss surgery requires a firm commitment to making lifestyle changes and improving overall health. By working closely with your surgeon and primary care provider, you can determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for weight loss surgery and take steps to ensure a successful outcome.

Remember, weight loss surgery is just one tool in the fight against obesity. To achieve long-term health success, it’s essential to continue making healthy choices, including diet and exercise, and to maintain a lifelong commitment to your health and well-being.

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