• Only severally obese individuals get access to weight-loss surgery. That is, the surgery is for individuals with a body mass index above (BMI) 35.
  • Over the year’s doctors came to realize that such operations improve diabetes and reduce the chance of stroke. Aside from significantly helping patients with weight-loss the surgery also helps in the prevention of heart disease.
  • New research aims to show surgery has benefits for individuals who have a BMI that is less than 35.


About the Research

The team working on weight-loss surgery research comes from the University of Michigan (U-M). The results of their research are available through the following link. Furthermore, the findings were presented at the 36th American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Annual Meeting. This event was part of the 2019 Obesity Week.

Weight-Loss Surgery Until Now

The current rule about who is eligible for weight-loss surgery is part of old guidance. That is, the rules were written by the National Institute of Health thirty years ago. Because of that old rule insurance companies set the existing limit on surgery. However, this type of surgery is not the same as it was thirty years. Not only that, it can benefit the health and quality of life for less overweight individuals.

The New Research

The researchers from U-M consider the data available from the registry of the state of Michigan. Furthermore, they look at the period between 2006 and 2018 as the source of relevant data. Through this sample, they found that 44 thousand individuals underwent sleeve gastrectomy. Patients with a body mass index below 35 were also part of the study sample.

The results of the study go in favor of the argument set forth by the research team. That is, one-third (36.3%) of lower BMI individuals attained a BMI of less than 25 within one year (healthy weight). On the other hand, about six percent of individuals with a BMI above 35 were able to achieve similar results.

In conclusion, the researchers from U-M believe that insurance companies have to move the margin for weight-loss surgery. There are many patients that can benefit from the procedure but cannot gain access to it. This is because of old rules, that the NIH needs to change and adapt to the current medical findings.

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  • The study needs to consider additional factors like disease and lifestyle change to be certain of the results.