What Can Disqualify You from Bariatric Surgery?

What Can Disqualify You from Bariatric Surgery

The investment in bariatric surgery is life-changing. It creates a way for people to take back their health and, in some situations, has been shown to comprehensively improve a person’s health. Then, why is it that some people are being told they cannot have it?

All surgeries carry risks. Bariatric surgeons and hospitals have to weigh those risks carefully before deciding if they should provide a person with access to procedures. Most often, that’s a good thing because it could mean that your health would be put at risk. Other times, the risks relate to liability issues or success rates. 

Understanding your risks is important. Having a team of professionals you trust is, too. Before you make the decision to have any procedure, find out how it could impact you. 

Factors That May Disqualify You From Bariatric Surgery

There are numerous factors that doctors and health care systems consider to determine if a person is qualified for a procedure. There are times when a doctor may not feel comfortable with taking on that procedure. Here are some examples of why that may happen.

Related: Denied From Bariatric Surgery in Mexico

Medical History

As a major surgery, you must be healthy enough to survive surgery. A person who has uncontrolled diabetes, blood clotting disorders, heart-related concerns, or problems with healing may be at a high risk for complications. Those with severe respiratory problems or autoimmune diseases may also be at risk. Those with active cancer treatments or uncontrolled high blood pressure may face pushback, too.

In some situations, a specialist must sign off that you are okay for a procedure based on your overall health. If they don’t believe you are, you may be unable to get bariatric surgery. What’s frustrating is the fact that this procedure may help reverse some of those complications in some people. 

It is also important to note that most surgeons have a BMI cutoff. Those who are too high are at an extreme risk for complications from the procedure. Though each center is different, many will limit the procedure to those with a BMI of 65 or lower.  

Surgical History

Those with a surgical history may face some challenges in obtaining care as well. For example, if you have had major complications due to blood clotting or problems with anesthesia, that may limit your access to further procedures. 

Others who previously had bariatric surgery before, can be disqualified for some types of revisional surgery.

Doctors will carefully consider your medical history to determine if any potential risks are present. This could include developing strategies to overcome those risks for some, but others will not approve of the surgery.


Most doctors and medical centers put age extremes on the list of disqualifying conditions for bariatric surgery. A person that is under the age of 18, even with parent permission, may not be allowed to have the procedure. Those who are over the age of 65 may also be limited. 

Age can introduce some risks, especially in those who are older. This could include possible healing concerns, mobility issues, or past surgical outcomes.


Most bariatric surgeons will also take a very close look at a person’s psychological history to determine if they meet the qualifications. Candidates typically must be able to handle the emotional changes that come from restricted eating. If you have a very poor view of yourself or you do not demonstrate your willingness and ability to follow rules that could influence procedure success, doctors are not likely to approve procedures. 

A psychological evaluation is a very common component of bariatric surgery consideration. You need to show emotional resilience and the ability to handle the difficult challenges that could come from this long process.

Bariatric Surgery Disqualifications FAQs

What Are My Options If I Don’t Qualify for Bariatric Surgery?

In situations like this, you may find a doctor or medical provider willing to work with you to reverse any of the limitations you have. For example, they may put you a strict diet to lose some weight before heading into the procedure. Other items, you may have to explore other ways of getting results. 

Options If My Insurance Doesn’t Qualify Me for Bariatric Surgery

One of the most difficult factors in getting a bariatric procedure doesn’t come from your doctor at all but your health insurance provider. Bariatric surgery is often denied to those who need it the most because their insurance company does not cover it or will not accept it as a viable need. Even with your doctor’s encouragement and support, this may become challenging.

Go to Mexico for Surgery 

There are alternatives to this limitation, though. In fact, if you want the same level of care and the highest medical standards, you may want to consider going to Mexico for bariatric surgery. This is an option for many people because the cost is a fraction of the cost. As noted, the quality of care, procedures used, and expected outcomes are the same. You will not have insurance coverage here, but self-pay is an option because of how affordable it can be.

Bariatric surgery can be a life-changing experience for many people. Without a doubt, it is often a necessary step in protecting your health and wellbeing. If you have been disqualified by your doctor or denied by your insurance, consider alternatives that will approve the care you need.

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