Health Advice



New guidelines for weight-loss surgery

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

Randy Jackson, Rosie O'Donnell, Carnie Wilson, Al Roker, Sharon Osborne, Roseanne Barr, and Anne Rice have all had successful bypass surgery. They had their procedures when decades-old National Institutes of Health guidelines were what determined who could be a candidate for the life-changing procedure. Those recommendations stated that the surgery shouldn't be done on children even if they have a BMI of 40 or higher, and that it was for adults with a BMI of 40 or a BMI of 35 with at least one obesity-related condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease.

Now, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders have issued replacement guidelines that lower the recommended BMI to 35 or higher, "regardless of presence, absence or severity of obesity-related conditions." They also say that surgery should be considered for people with a BMI of 30-34.9 who have metabolic disease, for appropriately selected children and adolescents and for Asians with a BMI of 27.5 or higher. The guidelines stress that the surgeries "produce superior weight-loss outcomes compared with non-operative treatments."

The benefits are even farther reaching than that. The Cleveland Clinic says the surgery also provides long-term remission of diabetes, improves cardiovascular health, relieves depression, eliminates obstructive sleep apnea, eases joint pain, improves fertility and more.

So, if you're struggling to achieve a healthy weight or facing obesity-related health challenges, ask your doctor if you're now a candidate for either sleeve gastrectomy or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, which comprise 90% of all weight-loss surgeries.



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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