Background: Bariatric surgery for morbid obesity results in massive weight loss and improvement of health and quality of life. A downside of the major weight loss is the excess of overstretched skin, which may influence the patient's quality of life by causing functional and aesthetic problems. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the patient's quality of life long-term after body contouring following bariatric surgery.
Methods: Quality of life was measured with the Obesity Psychosocial State Questionnaire in 33 post-bariatric surgery patients 7.2 years (range, 3.2 to 13.3 years) after body contouring surgery. Data were compared with previous assessments 4.1 years (range, 0.7 to 9.2 years) after body contouring surgery of the quality of life at that time and before body contouring surgery.
Results: Compared with appraisals of quality of life before body contouring surgery, a significant, mostly moderate to large, sustained improvement of quality of life was observed in post-bariatric surgery patients 7.2 years after body contouring surgery in six of the seven psychosocial domains. A small deterioration occurred between 4.1- and 7.2-year follow-up on two of the seven domains except for the domain efficacy toward eating, which showed a significant improvement. At 7-year follow-up, 18 patients (55 percent) were satisfied with the result of body contouring surgery.
Conclusions: This study indicates a sustained quality-of-life improvement in post-bariatric surgery patients after body contouring surgery. This suggests the importance of including reconstructive surgery as a component in the multidisciplinary approach in the surgical treatment of morbid obesity.
Clinical question/level of evidence: Therapeutic, IV.