What are the indications for bariatric surgery?

Updated: Feb 16, 2021
  • Author: Alan A Saber, MD, MS, FACS, FASMBS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Surgery for obesity should be considered as a treatment of last resort after dieting, exercise, psychotherapy, and drug treatments have failed.

Developed at the 1991 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Development Conference Panel, the generally accepted criteria for surgical treatment include a body mass index (BMI) higher than 40 kg/m2 or a BMI higher than 35 kg/m2 in combination with high-risk comorbid conditions, such as sleep apnea, pickwickian syndrome, diabetes mellitus, or degenerative joint disease. Guidelines have also been developed for the use of bariatric surgery in pediatric patients and patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (see Guidelines). [10, 11]

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