Obesity becomes "morbid" when it reaches the point of significantly increasing the risk of one or more obesity-related health conditions or serious diseases (also known as co-morbidities) that result either in significant physical disability or even death. As you read about morbid obesity you may also see the term "clinically severe obesity" used. Both are descriptions of the same condition and can be used interchangeably. Morbid obesity is typically defined as being 100 lbs. or more over ideal body weight or having a Body Mass Index of 40 or higher. According to the National Institutes of Health Consensus Report, morbid obesity is a serious disease and must be treated as such. It is a chronic disease, meaning that its symptoms build slowly over an extended period of time.

Where to Begin

Understanding the disease of morbid obesity and weight loss surgery is essential. Our web site has been created to give you an understanding of weight loss surgery, the known benefits and risks associated with laparoscopic Roux en Y Gastricbypass and Gastric Banding. Additionally, we encourage you to talk to your primary care health provider. To help we have prepared a list of questions for you to ask your health care provider and surgeon as you consider weight loss surgery.

Finding an experienced weight loss surgeon with an established multidisciplinary team program is an important step in the process of considering weight loss surgery. Talking to others who have taken the path you are now considering may help you understand what you need to know to make a decision that is comfortable for you.

Below is more helpful information that may answer some of your questions and provide the resources you need in the decision making process. In the end, your best source of information is an experienced bariatric surgeon who knows how to handle your special needs before, during and after weight loss surgery.

  Questions for My Surgeon
  Glossary of Terms
  Helpful Links

Back to top


Howard University Hospital • 202-865-1286 • 2041 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20060
Privacy Policy  •   Research  •  Media Kit  •   Site Index  •  Directions  •  Contact Us