Dr. DeBarros describes the ideal candidate for bariatric surgery.
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The Ideal Candidate for Bariatric Surgery The ideal candidate for bariatric candidate is really a sort of a two-pronged question. First question is; who according to National Institutes of Health guidelines is the ideal candidate for bariatric surgery, okay? And those guidelines were based on, and they were done about 30 years ago and they were based on trying to stop additional medical problems from coming on or halting the progression of additional medical problems, okay? So those patients, they felt, and it was an arbitrary point, they just picked it out, the number was 35, so about 75 pounds overweight, and because we saw typically it’s the first 50 to 75 pounds of obesity that brings in all the medical problems in terms of hypertension and high cholesterol, sleep apnea, diabetes, metabolic syndromes, those kinds of issues, and they just get worse as it goes above that. And then there’s, for most patients, when you get to 75 pounds and greater, and when you get greater than 100 pounds, joint problems start coming in. It’s the osteoarthritis, it’s the pressure on all the joints, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, and then you start to see sort of more physical effects like varicose veins and things like that. That is sort of the old thinking. The more modern approach is that we are also looking at prevention of disease. For patients who are even down to 50 pounds overweight, and that’s very controversial subject, a controversial topic, but some patients that are 50 pounds overweight can benefit because it will stop the progression and stop the disease in its tracts before it starts. And so, it’s sort of a fine line and we have to look at every patient as an individual before we can make any determination, but typically you want to go with right now the NIH guidelines, which is Body Mass Index of 35 and greater.