December 9, 2021

Could Weight Loss Surgery Save Your Life?

When people think of bariatric surgery, they may think it’s the “easy way out” for weight loss.

But Cindy Waters, RN, Bariatric Coordinator at St. Joseph Medical Center, sees it differently. “Bariatric surgery may be the perfect option for someone who has struggled with weight loss and has tried every diet program in the book,” said Waters. “Undergoing this type of procedure provides people with a tool – a tool that will help them make long-lasting healthy changes.”

To qualify for bariatric surgery, someone needs to be at least 100 pounds overweight and have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. Alternatively, someone with a BMI of 35 in combination with comorbid conditions including diabetes, sleep apnea, and high blood pressure may also be a good candidate. Anyone considering bariatric surgery needs to have a psychosocial evaluation to determine if they will handle the changes that accompany this procedure.

“Individuals who have bariatric surgery will need to commit to a series of lifestyle changes, including diet, exercise, and behavior modification. To experience success, bariatric surgery patients will need to find a balance among all three,” said Waters.

Many times, patients who’ve had bariatric surgery and have adopted healthy habits no longer have to take medications for high blood pressure or diabetes. They can also do so many physical activities, like walking, that many take for granted.

“Seeing people transform their lives is why I love what I do. It’s so rewarding to help give people their lives back,” said Waters.

For more information about the Center for Weight Loss at St. Joseph Medical Center, visit or call 713-756-8070.