Psychiatric considerations of the massive weight loss patient

Clin Plast Surg. 2008 Jan;35(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.cps.2007.08.006.


As bariatric surgery for extreme obesity continues to grow in popularity, so does interest in postbariatric surgery body-contouring surgery. There is an extensive literature on the psychological characteristics of persons with extreme obesity who undergo bariatric surgery and the psychological changes that typically occur postoperatively. Far less, however, is known about the psychological aspects of body contouring following massive weight loss. This article reviews the psychosocial characteristics of individuals with extreme obesity who undergo bariatric surgery, as well as the changes in these traits that typically occur postoperatively. Because there have been few studies of the psychological aspects of patients who have lost massive amounts of weight, we use related literatures on the relationship between body image dissatisfaction and other plastic surgical procedures to identify the most relevant research and clinical issues for this unique patient population. Appropriate psychiatric screening and management of these patients is believed to play an important role in successful postoperative outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery / psychology*
  • Body Image
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Obesity, Morbid / psychology*
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures
  • Preoperative Care
  • Quality of Life
  • Weight Loss*