Weight Loss Surgery with a BMI of 30

Dr. R M Bonnor is a double board-certified surgeon serving the greater Houston area, including Katy, Cypress and Sugarland.

Weight-loss surgery is available to patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) as low as 30 . When diet, exercise, and lifestyle modifications are not enough, know that there is another life-changing solution available for you. If you’re seeking to improve your health or enhance your appearance, the dedicated team at Texas Endosurgery Associates in Houston, TX, is here to assist you in discovering the ideal procedure tailored for you. As an accomplished bariatric and cosmetic surgeon, surgical instructor, and author, Dr. Ricardo M Bonnor, MD FACS and his team will ensure a secure and comprehensive surgical journey. To see what weight-loss surgery is best for you, call (281) 579-5638 to request an in person consultation.

About BMI 

BMI, or body mass index, is a way to determine if you are at a healthy weight for your height. BMI is based on your weight and height. The higher the number, the more body fat a person has. It can also be used to assess their level of risk for weight-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer. To find your BMI, you can find an online BMI calculator or you multiply (your weight in pounds x 703) divide that with (your height in inches x your height in inches). 

The World Health Organization outlines what each range of BMI indicates: 

  • Underweight: BMI is less than 18.5
  • Normal weight: BMI is 18.5 to 24.9 
  • Overweight: BMI is 25 to 29.9 
  • Obese: BMI is 30 to 34.9 (candidate for surgery)
  • Severely obese: BMI is 35 to 39.9 (candidate for surgery)
  • Morbidly obese: BMI is 40 or more (candidate for surgery) (1)

Candidacy for Weight-Loss Surgery 

Obesity is a serious condition. International recommendations and guidelines suggest that weight-loss surgery should only be performed on those with a BMI over 35. However, recent research has found that patients with a BMI under 35 can benefit just as much. In one study, the sleeve gastrectomy, in particular, was extremely beneficial for patients with a BMI under 35.

  • About 60% of all participants with type 2 diabetes achieved complete remission and could manage it with diet alone. Around 90% of those who only took one medication for their diabetes achieved full remission. 
  • Roughly 52% of participants achieved remission from high cholesterol levels. 
  • 75% of participants with high blood pressure were able to manage their condition without the use of medication. (2)

As an informed surgeon who stays up to date with the latest research, Dr. Bonnor will consider prospective patients within the BMI range of 30 to 35. 

Personal Consultation

During your personal consultation with Dr. Bonnor at his Houston office, will thoroughly evaluate your medical history, lifestyle, and weight loss goals to determine the most suitable surgical option for you. Dr. Bonnor understands that weight loss surgery is a life-changing decision, and he and his team will provide a comprehensive preoperative and post-operative plan to ensure the best possible outcomes for you. His team is dedicated to supporting you throughout your weight loss journey, providing guidance on nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes that will contribute to long-term success. 

If you are ready to take control of your health and achieve lasting weight loss results, contact Texas Endosurgery Associates at (281) 579-5638 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bonnor. Alternatively, you can schedule through our contact page.

Weight-Loss Procedures 

Sleeve Gastrectomy 

A sleeve gastrectomy involves the careful excision of a portion of your stomach. This will not only help limit the amount of food you can consume, but it will allow your stomach to produce less ghrelin, a hormone that signals hunger to the brain. (3) While you are under general anesthesia, Dr. Bonnor will make several small incisions in the abdomen and insert a thin camera to access the stomach. He will then work to seal and cut specific blood vessels of the stomach portion that will be removed. Next, he will utilize an instrument called a bougie tube to accurately and safely determine the size of the stomach that will be preserved. Finally, he will excise a portion of the stomach and seal the end with biocompatible stapling. 

Recovery Process

After your weight-loss surgery, you’ll be encouraged to walk around soon after. This will prevent the formation of blood clots and improve your bowel function as you heal. While in the hospital, you will be given a device called a spirometer that you will be required to use several times a day to exercise your lungs. For the first 24 hours after surgery, Dr. Bonnor will prioritize your comfort and ensure that you have the medications that will make the first few days much more tolerable.

Post-surgery you will be placed on a liquid-only diet that will be continued for the next 2 weeks. After this initial period, you’ll be allowed to gradually add pureed, soft, and essentially transition to solid food. Dr. Bonnor will schedule follow-up appointments to ensure you’re getting adequate nutrition. As a general rule, patients should consume about 1.5 to 2 g of protein for every 2.2 lbs of body weight. This high-protein diet is essential for optimal healing. (4) For the sleeve gastrectomy and the gastric bypass, patients are typically allowed to go back to work after several days of downtime. 


Compared with every other weight loss treatment, including semaglutide (Ozempic, Wegovy, etc.), bariatric surgery continues to stand as the most effective long term solution.(5) It will result in approximately 50 to 70% loss of excess body weight. Similar to any endeavor, weight regain can occur over time. Key elements in preventing weight regain involve maintaining regular exercise, making healthier dietary choices, and prioritizing your mental well-being.

Cost of Weight-Loss Surgery in Houston 

Texas Endosurgery Associates accepts self pay patients and some PPO plans. Insurance plans typically mandate that patients participate in a weight loss program and/or counseling for an extended period before becoming eligible for surgery. Consequently, some patients opt to bypass these insurance requirements and choose to self-fund or finance their procedure. Our practice offers several financing options for all patients interested in financing their procedure. 

Commonly Asked Questions (FAQ)

Will my appetite fully return or stomach stretch after sleeve gastrectomy? 

Following your surgery, it’s important to understand that your appetite will gradually normalize. Your stomach, being a muscular organ, has the capacity to stretch with time. It is very important to make healthy food choices and exercise after your procedure to ensure you maintain your weight loss successfully.

 Is it normal to plateau and not lose weight within the first 6 months after surgery?

Plateaus are common on any weight loss journey. The reason this happens is that your metabolism will simply acclimate to the reduced caloric intake in order to keep your body operating properly. Tips to try to break a weight loss plateau are:

• Track your caloric intake on a mobile device app 
• Jumpstart your exercise habits
• Drink lots of water
• Make sure you are getting enough sleep
• Focus on low fat, low sugar, high protein food intake

When will I be able to exercise after weight-loss surgery? 

In 3 weeks you can resume strenuous exercise, but that does not mean you should abstain from exercise altogether until that time period. Walking and light cardio can be implemented after one week. Exercise is crucial in promoting your weight loss success.

Is surgery painful?

While everyone varies in their pain thresholds, Dr. Bonnor is committed to prioritizing your comfort during your hospital stay by administering appropriate medications to manage your pain effectively. Patients within our practice commonly report minimal discomfort, with some opting not to use the prescribed post-surgery pain medications. It’s important to know that gas pain and abdominal soreness are typical post-surgery which will subside within a few days following your procedure.


  1. Zierle-Ghosh A, Jan A. Physiology, Body Mass Index (BMI). Nih.gov. Published December 16, 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK535456/ 
  2. Berry MA, Urrutia L, Lamoza P, et al. Sleeve Gastrectomy Outcomes in Patients with BMI Between 30 and 35–3 Years of Follow-Up. Obesity Surgery. 2017;28(3):649-655. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-017-2897-x 
  3. Kheirvari M, Dadkhah Nikroo N, Jaafarinejad H, et al. The advantages and disadvantages of sleeve gastrectomy; clinical laboratory to bedside review. Heliyon. 2020;6(2). doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e03496 
  4. Elrazek AEMAA, Elbanna AEM, Bilasy SE. Medical management of patients after bariatric surgery: Principles and guidelines. World Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 2014;6(11):220. doi:https://doi.org/10.4240/wjgs.v6.i11.220 
  5. Alfadda AA, Al-Naami MY, Masood A, et al. Long-Term Weight Outcomes after Bariatric Surgery: A Single Center Saudi Arabian Cohort Experience. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021;10(21):4922. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10214922 
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