Am I a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?

In general, the higher an adult person's age, especially above 60 years, the higher the risk of complications or unfavorable outcomes from bariatric surgery. Although age is not the sole criterion for a decision or recommendation for elective bariatric surgery, it is one of many potential risk factors that will be considered when assessing an individual's risks and benefits of a surgical approach to obesity treatment. For more information about the age and BMI requirements for bariatric surgery at Emory, please click here.

Severe obesity is a chronic condition that is very difficult to treat. Surgery to promote weight loss by restricting food intake or interrupting digestive processes is an option for severely obese people. A body mass index (BMI) above 40 – which means about 100 pounds overweight for men and about 80 pounds for women – indicates a person may be a candidate for surgery.

Surgery also may be an option for people with a BMI between 35 and 40 who suffer from chronic or life-threatening complications associated with their obesity (for example, obesity-related heart disease or diabetes, or severe sleep apnea).

As with any surgical procedure, bariatric surgery carries certain risks. Individuals with certain acute or chronic health conditions may not be appropriate candidates for bariatric surgery. Discuss your weight management options with your primary care physician, specialist or bariatric surgeon before making a decision.

Calculating Your BMI

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number that can be calculated mathematically using inches and pounds or meters and kilograms to show body weight adjusted for height. For adults aged 20 years or older, BMI numbers slot into the following categories:

  • 18.5 = underweight
  • 18.5-24.9 = normal weight
  • 25-29.9 = overweight
  • 30-34.9 = obesity level I
  • 35-39.9 = obesity level II
  • 40+ = extreme obesity

English Calculation

Height:  feet
and  inch(es)
Weight:  pounds

Your BMI:

Metric Calculation

Height:  Meters
Weight:  Kilograms

Your BMI:

Please use this calculator to determine your BMI. Note that a JavaScript-enabled Web browser is necessary for the calculator to function.

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