SMHC logo
MaineHealth logo

Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You?

Weight loss surgery, either through gastric bypass, or gastric sleeve, has been endorsed by the National Institutes of Health as the only effective means of bringing about long-term weight loss in the severely obese. Two to five years after the procedures, patients have usually lost 50 to 70% of their excess body weight. Typically, patients' co-morbidities gradually start to resolve. These include improvement in diabetes control. In fact, many patient’s with Type 2 diabetes find that their blood sugars levels improve almost immediately after surgery and become completely normal within a year of surgery. Other improvements include: lowered blood pressure and total cholesterol, relief from sleep apnea, severe acid reflux and urinary stress incontinence, and eased lower back pain and osteoarthritis.

People who may benefit from gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery include those who:

  • Have a body mass index of 40 or higher.
  • Have a body mass index of more than 35 with significant obesity related health problems, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and other complications of obesity.
    • Click here to determine your BMI, using the American Society of Bariatric Surgery's calculator.
  • Are between the ages of 18 and 60.
  • Have tried multiple attempts at non-surgical weight loss programs without success. Studies have shown that only 3 to 5 percent of people with severe obesity have lasting success with non-surgical methods.
  • Are motivated and committed to complying with the lifelong post-operative care and lifestyle changes that weight loss surgery demands.
  • Agree to quit smoking or other forms of nicotine use prior to applying to the program and must stay tobacco and nicotine free up to and following surgery (Ask about smoking smoking cessation classes at SMHC).
  • Must have a dedicated support partner.
  • Women must agree to use birth control for one year after surgery.
  • Have physical, psychological, social or economic problems that could be significantly improved by weight loss.

Some people who meet the above requirements still may not be considered for surgery. For example:

  • Obesity caused by a metabolic or endocrine disorder.
  • Men who have a BMI of above 55 and a BMI over 60 in women.
  • A history of substance abuse.
  • Patients who do not meet psychiatric guidelines.
  • Have severe medical problems for which surgery would be dangerous.
  • Unable to commit to appointments and requirements of the program.

© Southern Maine Health Care     1 Medical Center Drive     Biddeford, Maine 04005 USA     Tel: (207) 283-7000

SMHC is a member of the MaineHealth System and a participant in the HealthInfoNet Health Information Exchange

+ Extranet/Staff Login