Do I Qualify for Gastric Sleeve Surgery (Sleeve Gastrectomy)?

by | Jul 9, 2021

Weight Loss surgery has been shown to be the most effective treatment for obesity in selected patients. Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery is now the most common weight loss procedure in Australia and also worldwide. Unlike weight loss medications and diets, Sleeve Gastrectomy offers a permanent reduction to the size of the stomach and also reduces hunger hormones resulting in long term weight loss. Patients can often expect to lose 70% of their excess weight at 18 months following surgery. Read more here.

Do I qualify for gastric sleeve surgery

There are many factors to consider before determining if you qualify for Sleeve gastrectomy surgery.

Body Mass Index

Generally, your BMI (body mass index) should be greater than 35. This is the ratio of your weight to height. In some cases, a BMI between 30 -35 is also can also be approved for Gastric Sleeve surgery particularly if you have additional weight related medical conditions (see below). You can calculate your BMI here to see if you qualify.

Weight Related Medical Conditions

Generally, people who suffer from weight related medical conditions are more likely to benefit from weight loss surgery as these conditions, in particular are likely to improve or resolve completely following surgery:

Type 2 Diabetes, Sleep Apnoea, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Arthritis, Gout, Heart disease, Fatty liver and Obesity related Depression.


It is important to address any underlying lifestyle factors that may have contributed to your weight gain in the past if you are considering Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery. Some of these factors include dietary choices such as sweet and savoury snacks, large portion sizes, emotional eating, excess alcohol, fast food and minimal exercise. If these factors are still a challenge for you, our team will work with you to develop management strategies. Addressing these factors enhances the power of Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery in achieving long term successful weight loss.


Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery is a very powerful tool to assist with weight loss. However, the surgery does not work on its own, but requires the support of our multidisciplinary team for long term success. This includes not only healthy lifestyle choices, but also regular team follow up with our dietician, doctors and psychologists to keep encouraging you every step of the way.

Who is unlikely to qualify for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Eating Disorders

An eating disorder such as Binge eating or Bulimia are psychiatric conditions managed by Psychiatrists and not surgery. If you have an eating disorder that has not been managed, then this may worsen significantly after surgery if not addressed first.


Smoking increases the risk of several complications during surgery. People who smoke a far more likely to develop a leak from their surgery, wound infections, poor wound healing, respiratory complications, and ulcers. Quitting smoking for at least 6 to 8 weeks before surgery may reduce the risk of these complications. As such we do not offer Gastric Sleeve surgery to patient who smoke or vape, but we work with people to assist them in quitting and prepare them for safe and successful surgery.

Previous Surgery

Occasionally if you have had significant or complex abdominal surgery then we may advise that further surgery such as Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery may not be an appropriate choice. In some cases, previous complex abdominal surgery may result in scar tissue attaching to organs, which may make further surgery such Gastric Sleeve surgery too risky and unsafe.

Alcohol or Drug Addiction

Addictions particularly related drugs and alcohol can have a significant impact on a patient’s health, mood and behaviour. The result can be serious complications such as drug interactions, poor compliance with aftercare, nutritional complications and self-sabotage. Psychiatric care is the first line treatment required for addictions and should be offered before considering Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery.

Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery is a very effective weight loss option for many people. However, everyone is different and no one size fits all. The decision to undergo Gastric Sleeve surgery is made carefully, in partnership with your surgeon who will recommend the best option for you after considering many factors. To see if you qualify, book here and our understanding team will be able to arrange a convenient time.

Dr. Andrew Kiyingi

Dr. Andrew Kiyingi

With 16+ year’s clinical experience, Dr Andrew Kiyingi is a specialist weight-loss surgeon at Perth Bariatric Surgery with advanced training in minimally invasive surgery. Graduated from the University of Otago (NZ), he was awarded with University Gold Medal in General Practice and Distinction in Surgery. He is also a Surgical Trainer for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.