Bariatric Surgery

I Am Over 50 Years Old; Do I Qualify for Weight Loss Surgery?

Jan 20, 2023

Struggling with obesity is not easy, especially for people over the age of 50 years. You are predisposed to chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, and other serious health problems. Obesity has been also associated with increased joints problems, functional limitations, and a poorer quality of life. Older adults with obesity also have an increased risk of premature death from all causes, compared to individuals with a healthy weight.

You may have tried all other weight loss options, including diet and exercise, and now you are considering surgery. While the typical bariatric surgery patient between the age of 35-50, it is still very common for both younger and older adults to have weight loss surgery. Here are some reasons why you should still consider surgery even if you are over 50 years old.

It is safe, proven, and effective – According to research, weight loss surgery is still safe for patients over 50 years. However, you may experience slower weight loss because of advanced age.

The benefits far outweigh the risks – the surgery will not only improve your quality of life, but you will have reduced risks of mortality and chronic illnesses associated with obesity.

The surgery is non-invasive – weight loss surgery is now performed laparoscopically, which is less invasive, and thus reduces risks and complications. It also reduces scarring and recovery time significantly. Here is what qualifies you for weight loss surgery, even if you are over 50.

  • You qualify if you are severely overweight with a BMI of over 40. You also qualify for the surgery if your BMI is 35-39.9 with comorbidities like heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
  • You are in good general health and safe for surgery.
  • You are mentally healthy enough to deal with the surgery and post-operative recovery. You will likely undergo a psychiatric evaluation before the surgery.
  • You are well-informed about the surgery and what is expected before and after the procedure. You are also aware of the health risks associated with the surgery.
  • You are committed to a lifestyle change that includes healthy living, portion control of food, and regular exercise.
  • You have a good support system to help you during surgery and recovery.

Age should not be a barrier to the benefits of weight-loss surgery. Recent studies show that bariatric surgery may be safe for those in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and even for some in their 80s. Bariatric surgery is one of the safest surgeries performed today and one of the most common with over 200,000 Americans undergoing bariatric surgery each year.