Do I Qualify?
The criteria for weight loss
Do I qualify for weight loss surgery?
To assess whether you qualify for weight loss surgery we use a formula known as the BMI1, which means Body Mass Index. There is no standard weight over which you become a suitable candidate for weight loss surgery. This is because the taller you are, the more weight you can safely carry.
How is BMI calculated?
Your BMI is calculated using the formula BMI = Weight (kg)/Height(m)². By taking your weight in kilograms and dividing this by your height in metres, the answer is then divided a second time by your height in metres to produce the result.
What BMI is healthy?
Your BMI should be within the upper limit of 25. A BMI between 25 to <30 is classed as overweight, followed by 30 or higher where you are classed as obese.
A BMI of 30 and above is subsequently divided into several additional classes as part of the weight loss surgery eligibility criteria² outlined by NICE:
- 30 to < 35
- 35 to < 40
- a BMI of 40 or higher
If you’re BMI goes over 40, this is a level of obesity known as morbid obesity which is strongly associated with serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes.
The lower BMI limit for surgery was set at 40 (or 35 if you had additional medical problems that can improve after weight loss) more than 20 years ago, at a time when all surgery was performed using traditional open techniques and many patients underwent operations that are now rarely performed. This has led some to call for a reappraisal of the BMI cut-off points for surgery, particularly as almost all surgery is now carried out using less invasive ‘keyhole’ laparoscopic techniques that have a safety profile similar to (or better than) that of many common general surgery operations such as hip replacement or gallbladder removal.
Calculating your BMI
Use the BMI calculator to get a better understanding of whether you qualify for weight loss surgery. Please be aware that BMI does not differentiate between body fat and muscle mass.
Surgery at Phoenix Health
Phoenix Health supports the recent trend to reduce BMI thresholds as our own clinical audit has shown surgery in lower BMI patients to be a safe option with considerable benefits. We assess each patient with the view of balancing the potential risks of surgery with its potential benefits which are discussed in your consultation.
We will provide you with a bespoke, detailed assessment of your personal surgical risk/benefit balance and if you wish to proceed, we will consider you for surgery (subject to a detailed medical assessment) if you have a BMI above 30 (above BMI 27 for gastric balloon).