Does bariatric surgery affect urinary incontinence?

Urology. 2013 Sep;82(3):547-51. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2013.04.042. Epub 2013 Jul 9.


Objective: To determine International Classification of Disease, 9th Revision, (ICD-9) coding patterns as a proxy for incidence and prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) in a population of patients before and after a bariatric surgical procedure for the treatment of obesity.

Methods: We evaluated claims from a national private insurer over a 5-year period (2002-2006) to identify female patients who underwent bariatric surgery and had 3 years of follow-up claims data. The cohort of patients who underwent bariatric surgery (treatment) was matched to a cohort of obese female patients who did not undergo bariatric surgery (control), who were followed from the start of their enrollment. UI was identified by ICD-9 coding.

Results: After bariatric surgery, 62.4% of patients (83/133) diagnosed with UI before their surgery no longer had a coding diagnosis of UI. In contrast, only 42.1% (56/133) of those in the nonbariatric surgery cohort lost their coding diagnosis of UI (P = .0009). Of those that did not have pre-existing UI, 6.2% (235/3765) of the bariatric surgery cohort gained a new coding diagnosis of UI vs 7.1% (269/3765) of the control group (P = .1169). Our final model suggested that age >45 years (P <.0001) and pre-existing UI (P <.0001) were significantly associated with post-index date UI. Interaction between bariatric surgical status and UI was also significant (P <.0001).

Conclusion: Patients who undergo bariatric surgery are more likely to lose a previous diagnosis of UI than are obese patients not treated with bariatric surgery. This supports the fact that bariatric surgery may have other indirect benefits to the obese population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Bariatric Surgery* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / surgery*
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urinary Incontinence / epidemiology*
  • Urinary Incontinence / etiology
  • Urinary Incontinence / therapy
  • Weight Loss*