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What Does My BMI Have to Be for Bariatric Surgery?

June 02, 2014 | Uncategorized

Before our Houston bariatric surgery team answers the question, let’s first explore what BMI is. BMI, short for body mass index, is a measure of your height in relation to your weight. For example, a woman who is 5’6” and weighs 240 pounds has a BMI of 38.7 (and is considered obese). Or a man who is 6’0” and weighs 350 pounds has a BMI of 47.5.

We use the following matrix to determine the correlation of BMI to weight status:


Weight Status

Below 18.5






30.0 and Above



If you would like to calculate your BMI, please visit our homepage and scroll to the bottom of the page until you see a tab for “BMI Calculator.”

BMI Requirements

At TLC, we follow the patient eligibility criteria based on candidacy guidelines set forth by the National Institutes of Health. In order to qualify for bariatric surgery at TLC, you must have a body mass index of:

40 or greater with or without comorbidities

or —

35 or greater with comorbidities

In the aforementioned examples, the hypothetical woman with a BMI of 38.7 would qualify for bariatric surgery only if she also had a comorbidity, while the man with a BMI of 47.5 would qualify without any comorbidities.

What Are Comorbidities?

Comorbidities are obesity-related health conditions. Obesity heightens the risk of life-threatening health disease and conditions, and can ultimately shorten your lifespan. Common comorbidities include:

  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Arthritis

Changes to Adjustable Gastric Banding Requirements

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration changed the eligibility guidelines for people seeking adjustable gastric banding with the Lap-Band system. Per the FDA, Lap-Band surgery is now appropriate for individuals with a BMI between 30 and 35 with at least one obesity-related health condition. This shift opens adjustable gastric banding up to a larger group of people struggling with their weight.

Learn More about Bariatric Surgery in Houston

If you are considering weight loss surgery in Houston with our team, and would like to determine whether you meet the eligibility criteria, please contact Texas Laparoscopic Consultants by calling (713) 264-8024 or sending us an email today.

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Your BMI:

BMI < 20
BMI 20 - 24.9
healthy weight
BMI 25 - 29.9
BMI 30 - 34.9
BMI 35 - 39.9
severe obesity
BMI 40 - 49.9
morbid obesity
BMI > 50
super morbid obesity



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