Quality of Life After Bariatric and Body Contouring Surgery in the Australian Public Health System

J Surg Res. 2023 May:285:76-84. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2022.12.037. Epub 2023 Jan 16.


Introduction: The goals of bariatric surgery are weight loss, improved management of obesity-related diseases, and enhanced health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The aim of this study is to determine HRQoL among postoperative bariatric surgery patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the utility of bariatric surgery and the role of body contouring surgery (BCS) when considering quality of life in low-volume centres in the Australian public health system.

Methods: This cohort study compared patients who underwent bariatric surgery between 2008 and 2018, to those awaiting surgery. An additional analysis was completed for patients who also underwent BCS. Patients completed the Short Form-36 quality of life (SF-36) survey. Linear regression was used to assess the differences in mean scores between cohorts for each of the SF-36 domains.

Results: A total of 131 postoperative patients were identified, with a follow up rate of 68%. The mean follow up was 5.4 y. The mean scores for all domains of the SF-36 in the postoperative group were higher than the preoperative group (P ≤ 0.0001). A significant difference in scores persisted after controlling for patients' current BMI. When considering patients who underwent BCS (n = 24), there was a further global improvement in HRQoL in physical function (P = 0.0065), role limitation to physical health (P = 0.0026), pain (P = 0.0004), energy (P = 0.0023) and general health perceptions (P = 0.0023).

Conclusions: Bariatric surgery followed by BCS may improve HRQoL for the patient when compared to bariatric surgery alone. We advocate for the use of bariatric surgery followed by BCS in low-volume centres in the Australian public health system.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Body contouring surgery; Long-term; Quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Bariatric Surgery*
  • Body Contouring*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Obesity, Morbid* / surgery
  • Public Health
  • Quality of Life