Background: A consequence of bariatric surgery is redundant skin for most patients. The authors measured health-related quality of life and appearance following bariatric surgery in relation to weight loss, excess skin, and need for body contouring.
Methods: The sample included Canadian participants from the BODY-Q field-test study recruited between November of 2013 and July of 2014. Participants were invited to complete BODY-Q scales and questions to assess weight loss, amount of excess skin, and need for body contouring between June 7, 2016, and November 29, 2016.
Results: Two hundred fourteen participants responded (75 percent response rate). Of the 210 who underwent bariatric surgery, most were left with excess skin [n = 196 (93 percent)] and needed body contouring [n = 168 (80 percent)]. Higher percentage total weight loss correlated with more excess skin (r = 0.24, p = 0.001), the need for more body contouring procedures (r = 0.29, p < 0.001), and (worse) scores on seven of 13 BODY-Q scales. Having redundant skin correlated with more physical symptoms (r = 0.31, p < 0.001), the need for more body contouring procedures (r = 0.62, p < 0.001), and lower scores on 12 BODY-Q scales. The need for more body contouring procedures correlated with more physical symptoms (r = 0.23, p = 0.001) and lower scores on 12 BODY-Q scales.
Conclusions: Excess skin after bariatric surgery is a disabling problem. Additional research using the BODY-Q is needed to determine improvements that can be achieved following body contouring.