The Body Mass Index or BMI is a ubiquitous tool used by medical professional and patients alike to measure if a patient is obese. Developed as a rough guide, it serves as the primary qualifying criterion for those who wish to undergo bariatric surgery. For example, those with a BMI of 40 or over may qualify for surgery and those with a BMI of 35 or over with one or more obesity related diseases may qualify as well.
The BMI has several limitations however and as a result, should only be used as a guide. The BMI does not take into account gender, body composition (muscle vs. fat) or age, all of which can alter the reading somewhat. A good example is a bodybuilder who may actually be very lean, but shows a high BMI because of their exceptional muscle mass. The BMI reading can also be used as a useful benchmark for any progress you make in your weight loss efforts – with or without bariatric surgery.
It is important to note that the BMI is not the only qualifier used to understand if a patient is suitable for surgery. In fact, comprehensive pre-op testing is an important part of minimizing surgical risk and maximizing results. These tests may include stress tests, blood work, a physical exam, and others based on your medical history. Once you have had a consultation with Dr Lublin, and you have decided that bariatric surgery may be right for you, a thorough exam is a requirement. We can assist you with referrals to specialists if you don’t have recent test results.
Again, the BMI should be used only as a rough guide to see if bariatric surgery is an option worth exploring. If you believe bariatric surgery may be the right option for you , we encourage you to contact us to schedule a visit to our office for a consultation.