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975 East Third Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403

Children's Hospital at Erlanger Erlanger Baroness Campus Erlanger Bledsoe Campus Erlanger East Campus Erlanger North Campus UT Erlanger Physicians Group

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Patient Education

Bariatric surgery is a major surgery and prospective candidates need to fully understand the risks and lifestyle changes required before deciding to undergo this procedure.

The National Institutes of Health recommends bariatric surgery as a treatment option for people suffering from morbid obesity who are unable to lose weight by traditional means. It is recommended for people with a BMI* of 40 or greater which is approximately 100 pounds more than the ideal body weight for men and 80 pounds for women. Other candidates for surgery include those with a BMI between 35 and 40, who suffer from health problems associated with being obese, such as sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Calculate Your Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women.
• Enter your weight and height.
• Click on "Compute BMI" and your BMI will appear in the box.

BMI Categories:
Ideal weight
> 35
Severly obese

An ideal BMI is between 19 and 25. A BMI between 26 and 29 is considered overweight. If it is over 30, one is considered obese and at risk for serious health problems. A BMI of 35 or more is considered severely or morbidly obese.

Other Considerations

Biological Barriers – Why Dieting Doesn’t Work For the Morbidly Obese

Our bodies have powerful biological pathways to preserve weight and prevent loss. This resistance to weight loss is made evident by the fact that less than 5% of obese people can lose their weight and keep it off through diet and exercise.

Biological Balance

Science has recently shown that body weight is biologically regulated. Our bodies establish an individual “weight-set-point” or range of weight it considers acceptable. There are hundreds of other bodily functions that are biologically regulated to stay within a normal range as well—blood pressure, temperature and blood chemistries just to name a few. When regulatory pathways reel out of control, we experience diseases such as high blood pressure, fever, chemical imbalances and, in the case of weight—obesity.

The Role of Lifestyle

Weight loss surgery does not force weight loss. Rather, it overcomes your biological resistance to weight loss and allows you to succeed through the same lifestyle changes that were ineffective before surgery. Almost all patients will loose weight after surgery, but to keep the weight off for five years and beyond, patients must establish a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is critically important in maintaining long-term success.

Erlanger Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Center
979 East 3rd St., Suite C-620
Chattanooga, TN 37403

Think you may be a candidate?

Mon –Thu 8am–4pm
Fri 8am–Noon

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