Background: This study was done to analyze the problems of post-bariatric patients with excess skin and to determine their interest in body contouring surgery. The self-administered Sahlgrenska Excess Skin Questionnaire (SESQ) was used together with a study-specific questionnaire.
Methods: The patients who were operated with bariatric surgery at Sahlgrenska University Hospital between 1999 and 2008 were identified and sent the SESQ and a study-specific questionnaire.
Results: The response rate was 65% (23% men). The most common problem in both men and women was the feeling of having an unattractive body (91 and 67%, respectively). The most frequently reported sites of excess skin were the upper arms in women (91%) and the abdomen in men (78%). In both women and men, excess skin on the abdomen was reported to cause the most discomfort (median 7 and 3, respectively, on a scale from 0 to 10). Women reported significantly more problems, discomfort, and amount of excess skin (p < 0.05) than men. There was a strong correlation between the amount of excess skin and the degree of discomfort for all body parts. Seventeen percent of the responders had been operated with body contouring surgery of one body part and 5% of two or more. Fourteen percent desired body contouring surgery of one body part and 61% of two or more.
Conclusions: Most post-bariatric patients, but women in particular, experience significant problems of excess skin and request body contouring surgery.