Criteria for Surgery

Weight loss surgery can be effective for the right patient, but it isn’t for everyone. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford’s Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery team has a comprehensive list of criteria to determine whether our services are the best path forward for your child. Patients should only consider weight loss surgery if they are able to commit to long-term follow-up care and lifelong dietary, exercise and medical guidelines.

In order to be eligible for weight loss surgery in our facility, candidates must:

  • Have participated in at least four to six consecutive months of medically supervised weight loss attempts in our Bariatric Surgery Clinic and approved Pediatric Weight Clinic
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) above 40, or, in the case of patients with severe complications from their obesity, a BMI over 35
  • Demonstrate commitment to comprehensive medical and psychological evaluation before and after the surgery
  • Agree to avoid pregnancy for at least two years after bariatric surgery
  • Be able and willing to follow nutritional guidelines and an exercise program after the surgery
  • Provide informed consent to surgery, including understanding all the facts and risks of weight loss surgery, and be able to agree to have the operation

If you would like to be considered for bariatric surgery, please ask your health care provider to complete our referral form (PDF). The completed form should be faxed to the Stanford Children's Health Referral Center at (650) 721-2884. Health care professionals can call (650) 723-6439 with questions.

The Stanford Children's Health Adolescent Bariatric Board will review each patient’s case. The board includes team members and specialists who have been involved in the patient’s care.