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Weight Loss Surgery (Bariatric Surgery)

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Frequently Asked Questions section refers to United States-based generally standard and accepted practices. As always, please check with your physician to determine their practices, guidelines and what they recommend for you.

What is the youngest age for which weight loss surgery is recommended?

Generally accepted guidelines from the American Society for Bariatric Surgery and the National Institutes of Health indicate surgery only for those 18 years of age and older. Surgery has been performed on patients 16 and younger. There is a real concern that young patients may not have reached full developmental or emotional maturity to make this type of decision. It is important that young weight loss surgery patients have a full understanding of the lifelong commitment to the altered eating and lifestyle changes necessary for success.

What is the oldest patient for whom weight loss surgery is recommended?

Patients over 65 require very strong indications for surgery and must also meet stringent Medicare criteria. The risk of surgery in this age group is increased, and the benefits, in terms of reduced risk of mortality, are reduced.

Can Weight Loss Surgery prolong my life?

Yes, weight loss surgery has been shown in two recent publications to prolong life. There is good evidence from scientific research that if you have Type 2 diabetes (or other serious obesity-related health conditions), are at least 100 lbs. over ideal body weight, and are able to comply with lifestyle changes (daily exercise and low-fat diet), then weight loss surgery may significantly prolong your life.

Can weight loss surgery help other physical conditions?

According to current research, weight loss surgery can improve or resolve associated health conditions.

Condition Percentage found in preoperative individuals Percentage cured 2 years after surgery
Diabetes or insulin resistance 34% 85%
High blood pressure 26% 66%
High triglycerides 40% 85%
Sleep apnea 22% in males, 1% in females 40%
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