A new research study found that patients who underwent weight loss surgery before they gained enough weight to be deemed as “morbidly obese” achieved better results after surgery in comparison to heavier patients.
Patients with a body mass index (BMI) less than 40 (Severely Obese) who underwent weight loss surgery were more likely to achieve a BMI below 30 (Overweight, but not obese) in comparison to patients with a BMI of 40 or higher (Morbidly Obese).
Body mass Index (BMI) is a ratio of weight to height, and a way of estimating obesity. Having a BMI between 19 and 25 is considered a healthy weight, 25 to 30 is considered overweight, 30 or above is obese, 40 or higher is considered morbidly obese, and 50 or higher is defined as super obese.
The study found that only 8% of patients with an initial BMI score of 50 or greater achieved a BMI less than 30 after bariatric surgery. In contrast, over 31% of patients with an initial BMI score of 40 or less achieved a BMI score below 30.
The study examined data from 27,320 patients who had weight loss surgery between June 2006 and May 2015. The average BMI was 48 before surgery and 33 after surgery. Only 36% or 9,835 of all the patients studied achieved a BMI score below 30.
The research suggests that waiting until a patients body mass index (BMI) is extremely high can decrease the likelihood of achieving a healthy BMI level after surgery. Instead, Patients should consider bariatric surgery to treat their obesity before it reaches extremely high levels.
“Bariatric surgery is extremely safe and effective and should be considered as first-line therapy for patients with a BMI between 35 and 40,” said lead researcher Dr. Oliver Varban. Varban is director of bariatric surgery at the University of Michigan.
Guide to the BMI Index
- Underweight: < 19
- Ideal BMI: 19-25
- Overweight: 25-30
- Obese: > 30
- Severely Obese: > 35
- Morbidly Obese: > 40
- Super Obese: > 50
BMI Requirements for Surgery with Dr Kuri
You may meet the criterion for surgery with Dr. Kuri if you have a BMI of 31 or higher with comorbidities. Please feel free to call or email JoAnn Jackson RN, BSN Patient Facilitator to discuss or for any questions regarding surgery.