Obesity causes a variety of problems like cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, sleep apnea, musculoskeletal problems, varicose veins, gallbladder disease. The aim of bariatric surgery is to halt the progression or revert the same with weight loss. Surgical procedures can help more significant weight loss than other procedures. A BMI of more than 35 qualifies for surgery even in the absence of any other complications. A person with BMI > 30 in the presence of 2 or more complications also qualifies for surgical management. Some patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus and BMI > 27.5 may be considered for surgical weight loss. These criteria are applicable to people of Indian origin. For westerners, a higher threshold of BMI is considered.

Surgical weight loss is associated with improved lifespan, reduced risk of cardiac disease, improvement in hypertension and cholesterol problems and reversal of diabetes. Depending on the type of surgery, the complications are extremely low especially in experienced surgical hands.