Bariatric Surgery Candidate

Bariatric surgery is generally only considered if your body mass index (BMI) is over 35 or if your BMI is over 30 and you have a medical condition that would improve with significant weight loss. Lower BMIs may be considered for different ethnic groups due to their propensity for associated diseases at lower BMIs.
Bariatric surgery has proven to be a very effective method for achieving sustained weight loss.
Mr Alan Thomas
Bariatric surgeon Perth

Who is a candidate for bariatric surgery?

If you have battled with obesity for some time without success, you may be a sleeve gastrectomy candidate. The first step is to see if you fit into the following categories:

  • Aged over 18 and under 70 (in some circumstances we will review and see under 18 year old individuals and likewise we will see and offer surgery to some individuals over 70). Ultimately the decision to offer surgery is tailored to each individual
  • A BMI over 35 without obesity-related health conditions or over 30 with obesity related health conditions
  • A BMI over 30 if you have metabolic syndrome, or other risk factors.
  • Unable to lose weight or maintain weight loss with conservative measures
  • Depending on your ethnicity, you may be suitable for surgery if your BMI is less than 30 and you have co-morbidities. This is particularly relevant for those of Asian decent.
  • You need to be a non-smoker and have either never smoked or have quit smoking for at least three months prior to a surgical date
  • Committed to lifelong dietary and lifestyle changes and follow up
  • Free of uncontrolled psychiatric or psychological conditions
  • Be an acceptable risk for surgery
  • Able to comprehend the relevant risks and make an informed decision to undergo surgery
  • Have optimised medical co-morbidities (eg have a HbA1C < 8 if you are a diabetic)

Bariatric Surgery Candidate

Weight loss is beneficial for all obese individuals but more so if you have metabolic syndrome or other comorbidities. There are over 200 associated medical conditions related to obesity that are improved by sustained weight loss.

Why should I consider bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is by far the most successful tool for losing weight if you are obese. Bariatric procedures have the added advantage of almost instantly causing hormone  and receptor changes which in turn start improving metabolic syndrome and other conditions before you leave hospital.

Success after bariatric surgery will reduce your risk of getting many serious health issues later in life including certain cancers. However, weight loss surgery carries some associated risks and potential side effects.

"Weight loss surgery candidates must meet certain criteria. It’s important that you don’t have drug or alcohol dependency problems. You must be a non-smoker or have quit smoking for at least three months. And you must not plan to get pregnant within 12 months of surgery."
Assoc Prof Mo Ballal
Gastric Sleeve Surgeon Perth

About Body Mass Index (BMI)

A commonly used guide to define if you are suitable for bariatric surgery is your BMI. BMI is calculated by a simple formula (BMI = Weight (kg) / Height (m) squared ).

But our specialists at Upper GI West in Perth recognise this is not a perfect index. It is a helpful reference guide to determine whether you are a suitable bariatric surgery candidate, but we believe that it is not the only aspect to consider.

The distribution of fat is important. “A big belly is worse for health.” Hip and waist ratios may be more relevant in some individuals as would be the discovery of additional medical conditions and co-morbidities.

Ethnicity and social circumstances are also important considerations. This is where you can count on our extensive experience as a group of surgeons and assessment team to advise, guide and manage you appropriately in your weight loss journey.

Key Points

BMI is used as a rough guide for suitability for obesity and metabolic surgery but there are other factors to be considered
You should understand the risks, requirements and be prepared to follow the recommendations of our team
You need to be a non smoker or have quite smoking for at least 3 months prior to having any surgery

Which type of bariatric surgery do I need?

There are several different types of bariatric surgery. If you are a suitable bariatric surgery candidate, your surgeon will discuss what’s best for you. Options may include but are not limited to :

"Each type of weight loss surgery has its advantages and disadvantages. Some are often referred to as ‘restrictive’ procedures. Some are referred to as malabsorptive procedures.

In reality, these operations probably work by causing significant hormonal and receptor changes as well as increasing calories burnt off by the body compared to those consumed. Their malabsorptive effect is minimal and the restriction felt is probably related to hormone signals of satiety rather than actually filling.

Nonetheless, it is important to utilise and build on the sensations and metabolic benefits by adopting a low-calorie non-processed diet and being active. We discuss the options with bariatric surgery candidates based on your needs and health risks."

Mr Sanjeeva Kariyawasam
Bariatric Surgeon Perth