Weight and BMI


Until 2011, LAP-BAND® surgery was available only for patients with a minimum BMI of 35 and with two or more conditions associated with the excess weight. In February 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an expanded LAP-BAND indication for patients with lower BMIs, which allows patients with a BMI as low as 30 with at least one weight-related health condition to qualify for the procedure. Learn more about LAP-BAND criteria.

While the FDA’s recommendation includes lower BMI patients as candidates for a LAP-BAND procedure, most insurance companies still use a BMI of 35 as a cut off point for LAP-BAND coverage. Most of the time, in order to be approved for the adjustable gastric band procedure, a patient has to have a BMI above 40, or a BMI above 35 with at least two conditions associated with excess weight and obesity.

BMI and Gastric Sleeve

Similarly to other weight loss surgeries, gastric sleeve is recommended for patients with a BMI above 35 with at least two comorbidities, or above BMI of 40. Because gastric sleeve is more invasive than the gastric band, we do advise patients with a lower BMI to first consider gastric band as an option. Nevertheless, if you really feel that you would be more successful with the sleeve, all you’ll need is your bariatric surgeon and a bariatric dietitian to clear you for the procedure.