Utility assessment of body contouring after massive weight loss

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2011 Oct;35(5):724-30. doi: 10.1007/s00266-011-9676-1. Epub 2011 Apr 13.


Background: The number of surgical procedures performed for obesity and massive weight loss (MWL) is increasing. The authors set out to quantify the health state utility assessment of living with MWL that can occur after such procedures.

Methods: Utility assessments using the visual analog scale (VAS), time trade-off (TTO), and standard gamble (SG) were used to obtain utilities for MWL, monocular blindness, and binocular blindness from a sample of the general population and medical students.

Results: All the measures for MWL of the 100 volunteers (VAS, 0.79 ± 0.13; TTO, 0.89 ± 0.12; SG, 0.89 ± 0.15) were significantly different (p < 0.005) from the corresponding measures for monocular blindness (0.63 ± 0.18, 0.84 ± 0.17, and 0.86 ± 0.16, respectively) and binocular blindness (0.31 ± 0.17, 0.63 ± 0.28, and 0.66 ± 0.27, respectively) except for the SG utility measure comparing monocular blindness with MWL. Age was inversely proportional to the TTO utility scores for MWL (p < 0.05). Caucasian race and medical education were independent predictors of SG utility scores (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: In a sample of the general population and medical students, SG utility assessments for MWL were comparable with those for monocular blindness. Utility assessment of living with MWL varied with race (VAS and SG) and education (SG). The sample population, if faced with MWL, would consent to undergo a procedure such as body contouring with an 11% chance of death and be willing to trade 4 years of their life.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Image
  • Body Mass Index
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dermatologic Surgical Procedures*
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Obesity, Morbid / diagnosis
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surgery, Plastic / methods
  • Surgery, Plastic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Loss*
  • Young Adult