Why it's doneBy Mayo Clinic staff
Gastric bypass surgery is done to help you lose excess weight and reduce your risk of potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems, including:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Severe sleep apnea
- Type 2 diabetes
Gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries are typically done only after you've tried to lose weight by improving your diet and exercise habits.
Who it's for
In general, gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries could be an option for you if:
- Your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher (extreme obesity).
- Your BMI is 35 to 39.9 (obesity), and you have a serious weight-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or severe sleep apnea. In some cases, you may qualify for certain types of weight-loss surgery if your BMI is 30 to 34 and you have serious weight-related health problems.
But gastric bypass isn't for everyone who is severely overweight. You may need to meet certain medical guidelines to qualify for weight-loss surgery. You likely will have an extensive screening process to see if you qualify. You must also be willing to make permanent changes to lead a healthier lifestyle. You may be required to participate in long-term follow-up plans that include monitoring your nutrition, your lifestyle and behavior, and your medical conditions.
And keep in mind that bariatric surgery is expensive. Check with your health insurance plan or your regional Medicare or Medicaid office to find out if your policy covers such surgery.
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- Bariatric surgery for severe obesity. National Institute on Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/PDFs/gasurg12.04bw.pdf. Accessed Aug. 20, 2011.
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- Sarr MG (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 16, 2011.