New Guidelines for Weight-Loss Surgery

28 Oct 2022 | Announcements, Evidence Based Medicine

After a wait of over 30 years, we are pleased to welcome the release of the ASBMS/IFSO guidelines of 2022 to replace the previous NIH guidelines of 1991.  These guidelines review all the evidence about benefits and risks of bariatric or metabolic surgery in order to determine who is likely to benefit from this surgery.  This has been a huge project due to the major improvements in surgical techniques over the last 30 years, as well as the large amount of evidence now available supporting the outcomes from surgery.  The major changes compared with the previous NIH guidelines are:

  • Weight loss surgery is now indicated in all people with a body mass index (BMI) over 35 kg/m2, regardless of whether or not they have associated health conditions.
  • Weight loss surgery may be indicated in select people with a body mass index (BMI) of between 30 and 35 kg/m2 if they have type 2 diabetes or associated health conditions that have failed to improve despite multiple attempts at weight loss without surgery.
  • Weight loss surgery may be indicated prior to other planned operations to improve long term outcomes including abdominal wall hernia repair, major joint surgery and organ transplantation.

Please note that insurance coverage for weight loss surgery may not match these guidelines so it is important to check with your insurer about what their criteria for coverage are.