Of all the different types of bariatric surgery, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is the one that’s most frequently performed, accounting for nearly 60% of all weight loss procedures. There are some good reasons why it’s the top choice.

Sleeve gastrectomy is a simpler procedure than a gastric bypass, yet patients who undergo a sleeve gastrectomy usually lose the same amount of weight as those who have a gastric bypass procedure. Our patients at Bay Surgical Weight Loss also find that having a sleeve gastrectomy improves Type 2 diabetes.

There’s no doubt that a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is effective and beneficial for your overall health. At the same time, not everyone is a good candidate. Here are the guidelines used to determine whether you qualify for a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.

Weight requirements to qualify for laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy

Your weight must meet specific BMI guidelines before you’ll be considered for laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. BMI (body mass index) is a standard measurement of body size. It uses your weight and height to come up with a number that indicates your overall size:

  • BMI below 18.5 is underweight
  • BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 indicates a healthy weight
  • BMI of 25 to 29.9 means you’re overweight
  • BMI of 30 or above is considered obese

As your BMI increases, and especially when you go over a BMI of 30, your risk of developing serious health problems goes up significantly.

When you’re obese, you’re more likely to have:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Lipid abnormalities
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Asthma and other respiratory disorders
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Your risk for developing chronic disease isn’t just slightly higher. Patients with obesity are about 10 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes compared to people who maintain a healthy weight. And it’s estimated that 75% of all cases of hypertension are related to obesity.

These are the BMI qualifications you’ll need to meet to be considered for laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy:

  • BMI of 40 or higher, or more than 100 pounds overweight
  • BMI of 35 or higher and one or more of the obesity-related diseases in the list above
  • Inability to achieve a healthy weight loss and sustain it for a period of time

When you come in for your first consultation, we perform a thorough medical screening to determine whether you meet these guidelines.

Physical tolerance for laparoscopic surgery

Another important qualifying factor is whether your body can handle a surgical procedure. Surgery and general anesthesia come with risks for everyone. When you’re obese, these concerns are compounded because surgery puts more stress on body systems, like your heart and lungs, that are already overstressed due to your weight.

After evaluating your health, we work with you to treat any problems you have that are a concern for undergoing bariatric surgery. While we want to help you lose weight and regain optimal health with a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, our top priority is to protect your health and safety.

Psychological readiness for laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy

Your long-term weight loss results are determined by your willingness and determination to stick with a rigorous diet and exercise regimen. Although your bariatric surgery initially leads to dramatic weight loss, you won’t continue to lose weight or maintain your new weight unless you make lifestyle changes.

We’ll help you find the support you need to get to the bottom of emotional issues or behavioral habits that are likely to sabotage your weight loss efforts after your surgery. Here at Bay Surgical Weight Loss we also offer a monthly therapy group that provides ongoing support.

Smoking is a deal breaker for laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy

We ask all smokers to stay smoke-free for three months prior to their scheduled bariatric surgery. Smokers who undergo surgery are at risk for anesthesia-related complications, a heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, and infections. Obesity already increases your chance of encountering these same problems, so it’s essential to eliminate the added risk of smoking.

Smoking also affects your recovery after surgery. It takes longer to heal because smoking decreases the amount of oxygen available to cells throughout your body.

If you have questions about laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy or you’d like to learn whether you’re a good candidate for bariatric surgery, contact Bay Surgical Weight Loss. Call our office in St. Petersburg, Florida, or schedule an appointment online.