Should You Get Bariatric Surgery?

February 21, 2020

Clinical Contributors to this Story

Jonathan Reich, M.D. contributes to topics such as Bariatric Surgery.

For those struggling with weight loss, the endless options of diets, fitness routines and “quick fixes” can be overwhelming. For the right person, bariatric surgery may be the best opportunity to lose weight and keep it off. For many, bariatric surgery often leads to a much healthier life.

How do I start?

The first step is talking to a specialist to see if bariatric surgery is right for you. There are many factors that help determine if a surgeon will consider you for surgery.

Weight loss surgery might be a good option if you:

  • Have a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or higher
  • Have a BMI of 35 or higher plus a serious medical condition such as high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, arthritis or PCOS
  • Had unsuccessful attempts at controlling your weight using other weight loss methods
  • Are unable to perform routine daily activities

“Bariatric surgery is a very effective method for treating obesity,” says Jonathan Reich, M.D., bariatric surgeon at Southern Ocean Medical Center and Bayshore Medical Center. “But it’s important that patients are ready to make significant lifestyle changes.”

Evaluating if you’re ready for surgery

Even if you meet all the guidelines for consideration, there is still an extensive screening process before you’re able to move forward with surgery.

Your team of health care professions will talk to you about:

  • Your nutrition and weight history
  • Any underlying medical conditions
  • Your psychological status
  • Your motivation for change

Continuing to be motivated both physically and mentally is necessary to achieve the best results.

Talking to your doctor

It’s important to talk with your doctor about your weight goals and how your weight affects your health. Your team will work together to consider your history, condition and expectations in order to form a plan that works for you.

“There are many different patient factors to take into account when thinking about bariatric surgery,” says Dr. Reich. “It’s important to talk to your team about your dietary habits and overall lifestyle to identify a procedure that will offer you the best results.

Learn more about the bariatric surgery programs available at Hackensack Meridian Health.

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.


Do you have questions about whether or not bariatric surgery is right for you? Our care team is available to answer your questions.

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