Skip to main content

Am I a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?

How To Know If You’re A Candidate For Weight Loss Surgery

There are many factors to determine if you’re a candidate for weight loss surgery. Please read all of the details below. Call us or contact us today to schedule your evaluation or if you have any other questions or concerns.


  • BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight
  • BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy
  • BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 is considered overweight
  • BMI between 30.0 and 34.9 is considered obese
  • BMI between 35.0 and 39.9 is considered severely obese
  • BMI of 40+ is considered morbidly obese

Note: BMI just gives us a general range of your height/weight ratio and how it may affect your health. It cannot distinguish between excess fat and muscle. The BMI of an extremely muscular person may be classified as obese when, clearly, he or she is not.

The medical community uses a term called Body Mass Index or “BMI” to determine how overweight a person is. Typical BMI may be from 25 to 30. Individuals with a BMI over 30 may qualify for bariatric surgery or an endogastric procedure. (Different BMI ranges may qualify you for different procedures. Please see below for the general ranges.) To determine your BMI, please utilize the calculator above.

You are a candidate for weight loss surgery if you meet these indications:

  • BMI of 40 (approximately 100 lbs. over ideal body weight) or BMI of 35 and associated co-morbidities (medical problems associated with and/or caused by obesity). Also, a BMI of 30+ may qualify you for the Balloon procedure, the Band surgery, and “off-label” use of the Sleeve Gastrectomy.**
  • Significant previous efforts at weight loss have been made. Preferably, these attempts have been in nutritionally-safe and medically or peer-supervised programs.
  • You have no uncorrected metabolic disease that may cause obesity. You have no other serious medical condition(s) that would make surgery too hazardous.
  • You have no unstable or untreated psychological illnesses and/or unrealistic expectations of surgery and weight loss.
  • You have not abused addictive drugs or alcohol — preferably for 12 months — or have completed a treatment program. You are not a tobacco smoker or are willing to stop smoking prior to your surgery. (We are experts at helping people quit.)
  • You possess sufficient motivation to make the LIFELONG changes in eating habits and activity required for success post-bariatric surgery.
  • You are willing to make a formal commitment to the bariatric surgical procedure of your choosing and to yourself.

Please remember these are general guidelines. It is best to ask your physician or the Denver Center for Bariatric Surgery for a specific evaluation of your condition.

To learn more, check on how to get started or contact us for other details.

**The FDA has approved Band surgery and Balloon procedures for patients with a BMI of 30 or above, but most insurances have not adopted this recommendation. Hence, most people in this category opt for the self-financed option.