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How Do You Qualify for VSG Surgery

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For many patients, VSG (or vertical sleeve gastrectomy) is the top choice for weight loss surgery. From its high success rate to its short-term recovery, patients are pleased with such permanent weight loss. Within a year of having VSG surgery, patients can lose as much as 70% of their extra weight! 

After years of trying and struggling, wouldn’t you want a real solution to an ongoing weight battle you just couldn’t win? If the answer is yes, then you might be wondering ‘Well, if the results are as good as you say, how would I qualify for VSG surgery?’

Here are the reasons why patients choose VSG surgery, what are the qualifications, and what research has told us.

VSG surgery 

VSG surgery is a popular weight loss surgery giving patients permanent weight loss, improving their previous obesity-related medical conditions, and nurtures their mental health! More recently, more and more patients choose VSG surgery for its:

  • Small surgical cuts
  • Minimal scarring
  • Increased safety
  • Speedy recovery 

VSG qualifications chart

VSG qualifications are criteria patients must meet to be eligible for VSG surgery. 



Body Mass Index (BMI)BMI should be 30 or higher to be considered for surgery
Obesity-related medical conditionsMust have at least one obesity-related condition (high blood pressure)
Failed basic weight loss methodsShould have tried diet and exercise first, but failed
HealthShould not have other major health problems not obesity-related
Age18–60; exceptions apply
Mental healthPatients might need medication to resolve mental health problems before VSG surgery 
SmokingSmokers must stop smoking for a while

Real stories

Real stories of patients can give an insight into how VSG surgery has changed lives. Diane is a 32-year old mother of four children, with a height of 5’5’’ from Iowa. She weighed 388 pounds three years ago. After 10 years of battling her weight and struggling to keep her marriage together, her husband Tom decided to divorce her. 

Tom told Diane he could not bear taking care of everything by himself anymore, while she couldn’t help herself or change her body. This devastated Diane and she went into a deep state of depression, developed anxiety during the day, couldn’t sleep at night, struggled to keep her job, and livelihood. She also developed type II diabetes.

Diane didn’t know what to do. Then one day, a friend told Diane about VSG surgery. After calling to ask her physician, she was told it costs $30,000, not to mention child care expenses. After her despair and frustration at the growing medical costs here in the US, she decided to go to Mexico for surgery. 

After speaking with a medical tourism company representative in 2019, Diane was on her way to a fully booked, carefree medical paradise package for only $4,300. She returned home, losing more weight. Today, Diane weighs 129 pounds. She has remarried and has never been happier.

Diane’s mental health recovered since her depression and anxiety went away. She can sleep again. Her diabetes also resolved. Diane is eternally grateful for the second chance at life VSG surgery has given her! She still cannot imagine what she would have done if she hadn’t made that phone call. 

To learn more stories, check out VSG before and after pictures.


Research on VSG surgery highlights the benefits of it. A study analysing several studies found:

  • VSG was used 59.48% of the time as the top weight loss surgery in 2017. 
  • Another published study analysed 4,776 patients and found VSG surgery to have a 0.3% death rate and a 4.3% complications risk rate.  

Final thoughts

Final thoughts on VSG surgery surround the idea of eligibility. It is a fantastic surgery that has worked for many people. However, people have to meet qualifying criteria first. If you meet the qualifications, maybe it’s time you asked your physician today if VSG surgery may be right for you.

Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.

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