Dr. Chen Weighs In "New Guidelines for Bariatric Surgery" By Edmund B. Chen on October 25, 2022

New Bariatric  Surgery BMI guidelines

Did you know that the guidelines for bariatric surgery just changed to now include people as low as a BMI of 27?

The American and International Societies for Bariatric Surgery just published a joint guideline for bariatric surgery and it is groundbreaking! 

The original guidelines for bariatric surgery were made in 1991 and severely limited the patient population that could obtain access to surgery. Back in 1991, surgeries were not as safe as they currently are since all surgeries were done “open” with a big incision down the front of the belly. 

Because of the risks of bariatric surgery back then, the guidelines were very strict, limiting bariatric surgery to people with a BMI of 35 and with comorbidities, or with a BMI over 40.  Insurance agencies adopted these outdated guidelines as their criteria for approving and covering bariatric surgery

Well, times have changed!  Bariatric surgery has now been proven time and time again to be an extremely safe surgery and is THE MOST EFFECTIVE method of helping patients lose weight.

Countless studies have been published that show the long- lasting benefits of bariatric surgery, including curing diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and cancer.  Most importantly, bariatric surgery is extremely safe today, thanks to such advances as DaVinci robotic surgery.

Reflecting all the new knowledge and advances we have made in the last 30 years since the original guidelines were published, both the American and international governing body for bariatric surgery have published a new joint statement. 

The new statement incorporates all the new knowledge, literature, and experiences we have gained!

As part of these new guidelines, bariatric surgery is now recommended for patients with a

  1. BMI ≥ 35 regardless of comorbidity
  2. BMI ≥ 30 with comorbidity or failure to achieve weight loss via nonsurgical methods
  3. BMI ≥ 27.5 in select populations

Stay tuned for the next "Dr. Chen Weighs In"

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Dr. Cribbins and Dr. McCalman

Texas Center for
Bariatrics & Advanced Surgery

Our highly skilled and experienced board-certified surgeons specialize in ultra-minimally invasive general and bariatric surgery and they are affiliated with a number of national associations, including:

  • American Board of Surgery
  • American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS)
  • American College of Surgeons (ACS)

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