Morbid obesity is defined by calculating a person's BMI (Body Mass Index) - the ratio between weight (in kg) and height (in meters squared). The normal range is 18.5-25. BMI over 40 is considered morbid obesity. 

Obesity is a plague of the western world, including Israel. Close to 250,000 Israelis suffer from obesity, which is linked to a shorter life span and many other illnesses, including the metabolic syndrome (diabetes and hypertension), ischemic heart disease, respiratory difficulties, fatty liver and reflux, venous insufficiency with elevated risk of blood clots in the legs, and an increase in the frequency of certain cancerous growths. 
Dietary and medicinal treatments are only partially successful in addressing the problem and usually don’t last. The surgical approach is the only treatment proven effective over time

Indications for surgery
Bariatric surgeries are included in the health basket for people with BMI over 40 and for people with BMI over 35 who also suffer from accompanying diseases. In addition, candidates must be approved by a psychiatrist or psychologist as fit to undergo the surgery
The regulations are stricter for children under 18. The child must reach sexual maturity and finish their natural growth process. In addition, the child must receive psychological treatment, alone and with their family, before the option of surgery will be considered.

The surgical method and the risks
All surgeries at the Bariatric Surgery Unit are performed laparoscopically under general anesthesia.
The abdomen is inflated using CO2 gas to distance the abdominal wall from the organs is surrounds. A video camera and operating equipment are then inserted into this gap. The abdominal inflation is done under pressure and may cause some pain or discomfort in the shoulders for 2-3 days after the surgery. 
The risks of general anesthesia are individual and depend on the patient's condition and background diseases. A precise evaluation of the risks will be done during a meeting with the anesthesiologist at the pre-operative screening clinic. 
Each person suffering from obesity is at risk of developing a blood clot in the deep veins of the legs. This might in certain cases lead to a pulmonary embolism. To minimize this, we routinely do the following: 
•    Inject subcutaneous blood thinners. 
•    Use elastic socks.
•    Help the patient move on their own as soon as possible after the surgery. 
Even if a blood clot develops, the patient won't necessarily develop a pulmonary embolism. However, they will require blood thinning medication for about six months.