Gastric bypass surgery linked to improved quality of life

1. Gastric bypass surgery was associated with better health-related quality of life (HRQoL) scores compared to non-operated obese controls at 12 years (mean) after surgery.

2. Better HRQoL scores were associated with young age, male sex, no surgical revision, satisfactory weight loss, satisfaction with surgery, employment, absence of co-morbidities/ gastrointestinal symptoms, and good oral health.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Study Rundown: With a global rise in obesity rate, bariatric surgery has become an increasingly common procedure. Although it has been shown to improve postoperative HRQoL and co-morbidities associated with obesity, long-term data is currently lacking. In this study, the authors evaluated whether patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery for morbid obesity had improved HRQoL scores at 12 years (mean) compared to those awaiting bariatric surgery. They found that gastric bypass surgery was associated with better HRQoL scores compared to non-operation at 7-17 years postoperatively.  Despite this, the scores remained below that of the general population. Several factors were associated with better HRQoL scores ranging from young age to good medical outcomes. An important strength of this study is that it improves on the previously published work with a longer follow-up period. However, its limitations include its lack of longitudinal data and lack of patient participation.

Click to read the study in Obesity Surgery

Relevant Reading: Two-year changes in health-related quality of life in gastric bypass patients compared with severely obese controls

In-Depth [Observational study]: This is an observational, cross-sectional study involving 486 patients from two academic institutions in Sweden. All 486 patients in the study group received Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure from 1993 to 2003 and were followed up for 11.5±2.7 years (range 7-17 years). The study group was compared to two control groups – one consisting of morbidly obese patients awaiting bariatric surgery and one from the general population – using two HRQoL instruments, namely SF-36 and the obesity-related problems scale. Compared to the control group awaiting bariatric surgery, the study group scored significantly better in all four physical domains, the physical component summary score and the vitality subscale of SF-36 as well as in psychosocial functioning of the obesity-related problems scale. Compared to the general Swedish population, however, HRQoL scores were significantly lower in the study group. In the subgroup analyses, significant correlations between HRQoL and age, gender, surgical revision, weight loss, surgical satisfaction, employment, medical co-morbidities, gastrointestinal symptoms, and oral health were seen (p<0.05).

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