Cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery: should it be universally available?

Maturitas. 2011 Jul;69(3):230-8. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2011.04.007. Epub 2011 May 14.


This paper is the first to conduct cost-effectiveness analyses of bariatric surgery comparing obese patients with obesity-related diseases to obese people without comorbidities across different BMI categories, using the meta-analysis results of surgery outcomes for our effectiveness inputs. We find that surgery treatment is in general cost-effective for people whose BMI is greater than 35 kg/m(2) with or without obesity-related comorbidities, and it is even cost-saving for super obese (BMI ≥ 50 kg/m(2)) with obesity-related comorbidities. Our results also suggest that surgery can be cost-effective for the mildly obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m(2)). The bottom line is that bariatric surgery should be universally available to all classes of obese people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery / economics*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Comorbidity
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / economics
  • Obesity / surgery*
  • Obesity, Morbid / economics
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery