Blog Posts

Am I a candidate for weight-loss surgery? | Qualifications for bariatric surgery

February 16, 2022

When it comes to losing weight, there are plenty of options for surgical bariatric procedures, like the Lap-Band®. However, it can be difficult to know when you qualify as a candidate for bariatric surgery. There are several factors you should consider when addressing your eligibility for Lap-Band, including your BMI, behavioral health, and mental health.

Qualifying for bariatric surgery: body mass index

Your BMI, or body mass index, plays a large role in determining your eligibility for bariatric surgery. Qualifications vary based on the type of procedure. Most procedures require a BMI of 40 or higher, or 35 or higher if you have one or more obesity-related conditions. However, the Lap-Band has been approved for patients who have a BMI of 30 with one or more comorbidities. These comorbidities include obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoarthritis, among others

Qualifying for bariatric surgery: behavioral and mental health factors

In addition to your BMI, there are multiple behavioral and metal health factors that should be considered when determining your eligibility for the Lap-Band Program. 


Weight loss doesn’t occur without hard work. Diet and exercise are a vital part of weight-loss success after surgery. Before starting the Lap-Band Program, assess your motivation to determine whether you’re committed to making the necessary lifestyle changes. 

Weight-loss history

When considering your eligibility, your doctor will also consider your past experiences with diet and exercise. Bariatric procedures like the Lap-Band are not “quick fixes” to lose weight. If traditional diet and exercise have not worked for you in the past, then the Lap-Band may be an option. 

Eating behaviors

It’s important to understand that the Lap-Band Program isn’t just about losing weight—it’s a step toward a healthier lifestyle. Your relationship with food should also be examined to understand how your eating habits will have to change. For example, if you’re an emotional eater, you’ll need to come up with alternative ways to handle stress.

Mood disorders 

Some mood disorders, like anxiety and depression, are associated with obesity. Untreated, these disorders can inhibit your weight-loss success after surgery. Like eating behaviors, they should be addressed before starting the Lap-Band Program. 

Alcohol and drugs

Smoking, alcohol, and drugs play a role in weight-loss success. Unmanaged problems with consumption may impede weight loss and prevent you from qualifying for bariatric surgery.

Choosing the Lap-Band system

For those who qualify for bariatric surgery, the Lap-Band Program offers several distinct advantages. Among the surgical weight-loss options, the Lap-Band may be the best solution for gradual and sustainable weight loss. During the Lap-Band procedure, an adjustable silicone band is place around the upper portion of the stomach. This band is adjustable, allowing your weight-loss solution to change as your needs change. Because the Lap-Band procedure involves no partial amputation of the stomach or intestines, it’s also the only bariatric procedure that’s completely reversible.  

To learn more about whether you qualify for the Lap-Band Program, register for our online seminar, or find a Lap-Band surgeon near you.

The Latest

Important Lap-Band® System Safety Information

The Lap-Band System is indicated for weight reduction for patients with obesity, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 kg/m2 or a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2 with one or more obesity-related comorbid conditions. It is indicated for use only in adult patients who have failed more conservative weight reduction alternatives, such as supervised diet, exercise and behavior modification programs. Patients who elect to have this surgery must make the commitment to accept significant changes in their eating habits for the rest of their lives.

The Lap-Band System is not recommended for non-adult patients (patients under 18 years of age), patients with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or increase the risk of poor results, who are unwilling or unable to comply with the required dietary restrictions, or who currently are or may be pregnant.

The Lap-Band System is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, should be used with caution and may contribute to an increased risk of band erosion.

Placement of the Lap-Band System is major surgery and, as with any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body. Most common related adverse events include: Band slippage, pouch dilation, stoma obstruction, gastroesophageal reflux, esophageal dilation, cholelithiasis, incisional infection, abdominal pain, gastroenteritis, or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required. Rapid weight loss may result in complications that may require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation.

Important: For full safety information please click here or talk with your doctor.