Background: The authors evaluated body image attitudes in post-obese persons following bariatric surgery who require cosmetic and body contouring operations.
Methods: We studied 20 morbidly obese women prior to biliopancreatic diversion (BPD) (OB group), 20 post-obese women at >2 years following BPD (POST group), 10 post-obese women following BPD who required cosmetic procedures (POST-A group), 10 post-obese women after BPD and subsequent cosmetic surgery (POST-B group), and 20 healthy lean controls. Attitudes to weight and shape were evaluated by means of the Body Uneasiness Test (BUT).
Results: In comparison with the obese patients in the POST group, lower BUT scores were observed, while in the POST-A group the values were very similar to those observed in the non-operated obese individuals. In the individuals having received cosmetic surgery, the BUT findings were similar to those recorded in the POST group patients, the values approaching data found in the controls.
Conclusion: Despite a fully satisfactory weight loss and maintenance, the post-BPD individuals requiring aesthetic surgery showed some disparagement of body image; in these subjects, cosmetic and body contouring procedures may actually improve body weight and shape attitudes towards normality.