Who Qualifies for Weight Loss Surgery?

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Weight loss surgery is sometimes used as a treatment for patients who are very overweight, and requires a life-long commitment to weight loss through accompanying changes in diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Also known as bariatric or metabolic surgery, it can help to achieve significant weight loss for those patients who have been unable to lose weight through other means.

However, the decision to undergo surgery should not be taken lightly, and it is not recommended for everyone. There are several factors that your bariatric surgeon will assess before they recommend you for weight loss surgery.

Weight loss surgery criteria


1. BMI

Bariatric surgery is only recommended if you are seriously overweight, with a BMI of 40 or more. You may also qualify if you have a BMI of between 35 and 40 and a health problem that could be improved if you lost weight, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnoea, or mobility problems.

You can use our BMI Calculator to check if you’re a healthy weight. ‚Äč

2. Your weight loss attempts

If your efforts to lose weight using duet and exercise have been unsuccessful, and you have been unable to achieve or maintain a beneficial level of weight loss for at least 6 months.

3. Your health and fitness


You are generally fit and healthy and without any medical condition that could make it impossible to be administered anaesthetic or that could make the surgery dangerous for you. You also need to be fit enough to fully recover from surgery.

4. Your understanding

You should be fully aware of your weight loss surgery options as well as understand the commitment to long-term changes after surgery, such as lifestyle changes and regular check-ups.

5. Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. It puts you at greater risk of heart disease, stroke, and other conditions that affect the blood vessels.

Metabolic surgery uses a set of bariatric operations to treat and cure diabetes and other weight-related problems in some overweight patients that may not strictly met the criteria of morbid obesity.

6. Your mental health

Weight loss surgery is unlikely to be recommended if a mental health condition or other underlying factor meant you would be unable to commit to long-term lifestyle changes. For example, untreated schizophrenia or active alcohol or drug abuse.

How to know if you’re ready for weight loss surgery


Even if you meet some of these criteria, the process for qualifying for weight loss surgery will involve an extensive screening process to ensure it’s an appropriate option for you. Our weight loss specialist will discuss your requirements with you, and your dieting and medical history, to ensure the most appropriate surgical treatment is chosen. 

Weight loss surgery is just the first step on a long journey of aftercare and lifestyle changes, and we know how important support is throughout this process. Our weight loss surgery aftercare programme is designed to help you achieve your goals and maintain them long after your surgery.

About Ramsay Health Care Weight Loss Surgery

Ramsay Health Care is a leading provider of weight loss surgery in the UK. We work in partnership with some of the highest qualified and experienced weight loss surgeons in the UK. These consultant bariatric surgeons have undergone intensive training in the specialism and work with specialist nurses specialist, dietitians and psychologists to ensure you receive the best treatment for your individual needs.

We offer weight loss procedures including gastric bandingsleeve gastrectomygastric bypass, and gastric balloons. A comprehensive aftercare programme including diet, and assistance is available to support you throughout your weight loss journey.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss bariatric surgery in more detail.

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