Morning Mix


Important things to know before having surgical weight loss

Posted at 12:11 PM, Mar 31, 2017

Surgical treatment of obesity is a complicated and life-changing process. Just like with any surgery, there are risks involved in weight loss surgery.

Dr. Thomas Martin, a specialist in bariatric surgery at Spectrum Health, talks about when patients should consider surgical weight loss, and the next steps for people who decide to have surgery.

Before having weight loss surgery it's important to know that bariatric surgery isn't a quick fix solution to weight loss. Just because the weight will be gone after the surgery, that doesn't mean they can continue the same unhealthy habits. Successful weight loss surgery means that patients need to change their lifestyle and dedicate the time to learn how to keep the weight off.

It's also important to know that not all bariatric procedures are the same. Patients need to work with their surgeon to find out which procedure best suits the needs and goals of the patient.

To qualify for surgical weight loss, patients need to be older than 18-years-old, one or more pounds overweight, and haven't been successful at losing weight through diet, exercise, or a change in behavior.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is also a factor; BMI for a patients would need to be 40 or higher, or at least 35 with other obesity-related health conditions like:

  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Arthritis or degenerative joint disease
  • Sleep apnea

For more information on weight loss surgery, click here or call call (616)-267-7400.

To read stories about those who have had surgical weight loss, visit