Plastic surgery in bariatric patients: a nationwide study of 17,000 patients on the national administrative database

Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2018 May;14(5):646-651. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2018.01.010. Epub 2018 Jan 12.


Background: Bariatric patients are often candidates for plastic surgery. However, the rate of postbariatric procedures is not known.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to analyze the rate of plastic surgery, and factors related to surgery, in bariatric patients.

Setting: University hospital, France.

Methods: This was a cohort study based on administrative data. All adult patients who received bariatric surgery in France between 2007 and 2013 were included to estimate the rate of plastic surgery and related predictive factors. Data are reported according to the reporting of studies conducted using observational routinely collected data guidelines for observational studies on administrative data.

Results: Among the 183,514 patients who underwent bariatric surgery in the study period, 23,120 plastic surgeries were performed on 17,695 patients, including abdominoplasty (62%), dermolipectomy of the upper or lower limbs (25%), and reconstruction of the breast (14%). The rates of plastic surgery were 13%, 18%, and 21% at 3, 5, and 7 years post-bariatric surgery, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that patients who had a biliopancreatic diversion or a gastric bypass had a hazard ratio of 2.67 and 2.67 for subsequent plastic surgery, respectively, compared with patients who had adjustable gastric banding. Women had a 2-fold probability of surgery compared with men (hazard ratio 2.02). Important variability in the rate of surgery was found among different hospitals; rates ranged from 6.1% to 41.3% at 5 years.

Conclusions: This study showed that 21% of bariatric patients undergo plastic surgery. Large variability exists among hospitals, suggesting that several unmeasured factors may limit access to contouring surgery.

Keywords: Administrative data; Bariatric surgery; Body contouring; Plastic surgery.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Bariatric Surgery / statistics & numerical data*
  • Body Contouring / statistics & numerical data
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • France
  • Hospitals, Private / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitals, Public / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Treatment Outcome