Gastric Sleeve Qualifications - 2 Ways to Meet the Requirements

The minimum gastric sleeve qualifications include:

Also Read: Educate yourself about gastric sleeve surgery by taking a look at gastric sleeve pictures showing the results of the surgery.
  • A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, OR
  • A BMI between 30 and 39.9 with a serious obesity-related health problem like diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, joint problems, and many others

To calculate your BMI, enter your height and weight below, then click the “Calculate BMI” button.

BMI Calculator

Enter your height and weight, then click the button.

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Your BMI35.7Severely Obese
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Does your BMI qualify you for a weight loss procedure?

Yes!

However, protocols are a bit more stringent if you want insurance to pay, such as requiring a 35+ BMI and a completed medically supervised weight loss program.

Patients who qualify for gastric sleeve surgery usually:

  • Are at least 80 lbs (36 kg) overweight
  • Are between 18 and 75 years old
  • Have a history of failed weight loss attempts (e.g., failed diets)
  • Thoroughly understand that the procedure is just a tool; long-term success requires significant diet and lifestyle changes
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How much weight will you lose after gastric sleeve?

Click here to calculate how much weight you'll lose in the first year

Before and after weight loss success

Individual results may vary

Read and click the sections below to learn everything you need to know about fulfilling the gastric sleeve surgery qualification requirements.

First, find out if gastric sleeve is included under your policy by (1) using the tool below or (2) clicking here to access the weight loss surgeon directory. Most surgeons will check your insurance for free to confirm coverage criteria.

Gastric Sleeve Qualifications

If you have insurance, click here to review the section above for next steps.

If you do not have insurance, the next step is to determine how you will pay for surgery. Options include:

  • Private insurance
  • Medicare or Medicaid
  • Payment plan through surgeon
  • Secured medical loan
  • Unsecured medical loan
  • Retirement plan loan
  • Life insurance policy loan
  • Loan from family or friends

See our Financing Weight Loss Surgery page for more information.

Orbera

Deflated single balloon, inserted through mouth, placed/expanded in stomach

  • Has the longest track record; More available research supporting results.
  • FDA Approved (U.S.)

ReShape

Deflated dual balloon, inserted through mouth, placed/expanded in stomach

  • Dual-balloon - designed to conform to curvature of stomach & possibly safer
  • FDA Approved (U.S.)

Spatz

Deflated single balloon, inserted through mouth, placed/expanded in stomach, then adjusted as needed

  • Only balloon designed to be in place for 1 year (vs 6 months)
  • Fill amount can be adjusted
  • Not FDA Approved (U.S.)

Obalon

Deflated/compacted triple balloon system swallowed in pill form, then expanded in stomach.

  • Swallow three pills gradually, one at a time, over 3 months
  • FDA Approved (U.S.)

Compare

Compare

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Picture of Procedure

Video of Procedure

Balloon(s) Filled With

BMI to Qualify

Insertion Method

Time Until Removed

Where Available

Excess Weight Loss

Safety

Orbera: Single balloon in stomach

Saline and methylene blue dye

United States – FDA approved in 2015BEuropean Union – CE mark certified in 1997CCanada and MexicoAustraliaUnited KingdomAlso several other European and South American countries
Patients initially lost on average 26.5% of their excess weight 3 months after removal of the balloonH
33.7% of patients experienced pain and nausea, which in most cases was easily managed7.5% of patients needed early removal because of complications0.1% experienced gastric perforationK
ReShape: Dual balloon in stomach

Saline and methylene blue dye

United States – FDA approved in 2015DAvailable in the European Union – CE mark certified in 2007ESpecifically available in the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy
Patients lost 31.8% of their excess weight and kept ⅔ of that weight loss 6 months after balloon removalK
Many patients experienced nausea or vomiting, which in most cases was easily managedAbout 9% of patients had early removal of the balloon because of intoleranceAbout 10% of patients experience ulcersK
Spatz: Single adjustable balloon in stomach

Saline solution

Not FDA approvedEuropean Union – CE mark certified in 2012FSpecifically available in Australia, the United Kingdom, India, and many other countries in Europe, South America, and the Middle East
In a small study of 97 patients, patients lost 46% of excess weight K
Unfortunately there has not been much study into the safety of the Spatz Balloon SystemKThere was anecdotal evidence that a previous version of the Spatz had a design flaw that has since been corrected with the Spatz systemL
Obalon: Single balloon in stomach

Nitrogen gas

United States - FDA approved in 2016 mEuropean Union – CE mark certified in 2012GSpecifically available in the United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Spain
In a very small study, 17 patients lost on average 36.2% of their excess weightI
High % of patients experience adverse device effects, but most are mild in nature and resolved within 14 days.J
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If you do not meet the minimum gastric sleeve qualification requirements, you may still qualify for the gastric balloon procedure.

The gastric balloon procedure (endoscopic intragastric balloon) leaves an inflated silicon balloon(s) in the stomach for 6 months, making less room for food. As a result, patients:

  • Feel full sooner while eating and therefore eat less
  • Lose about 30% of their excess weight in 6 months
  • Have health improvement for diabetes, joint/bone disease, and heart-related issues

    You could be a good candidate for the gastric balloon procedure if you:

  • Are at least 18 years of age
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) in the following ranges by country:
    • United States: between 30 and 40
    • Canada: above 27
    • Australia: above 27
    • Mexico: above 27
    • United Kingdom: above 27
  • For some types of balloons, such as the ReShape Balloon, you must have a health risk associated with obesity (also known as a “comorbidity”) like diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea. For other balloon types, like the Orbera balloon, no comorbidities are required.

See our Gastric Balloon Patient Guide for more information.

If you still have questions about gastric sleeve qualifications, our experts are happy to answer them. We (and other patients) would also love to hear about your experiences.

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