Quality of Life after Bariatric Surgery: A Population-based Cohort Study

John A. Batsis, Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, Maria L. Collazo-Clavell, Matthew M. Clark, Virend K. Somers, Michael G. Sarr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Background: Bariatric surgery leads to profound weight loss, but postoperative complications and psychosocial issues may impact long-term quality of life. The primary aim of this project was to examine whether such patients have better quality of life and self-reported functional status compared with obese adults who do not have bariatric surgery. Methods: This population-based study of patients evaluated for Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery involved a survey consisting of baseline and follow-up single-item overall quality-of-life items (Linear Analogue Self-Assessment Questionnaire; LASA), follow-up quality of life (Short-Form-12), and activity (Goldman's Specific Activity Scale). A total of 268 and 273 surveys were mailed, with 148 (55.2%) operative and 88 (32.2%) nonoperative survey responders assessed, respectively. Linear regression was used, adjusting for changes in co-morbidity and functional status, to assess the differences in quality of life and activity level. Individual predictors of higher or better quality-of-life scores also were assessed. Results: There were no major differences in baseline characteristics between survey responders and nonresponders. Mean follow-up was 4.0 and 3.8 years in the operative and nonoperative groups, respectively. The change in overall LASA from baseline to follow-up between groups was 3.1 ± 0.4 (P <.001). The adjusted Short-Form-12 score was 14.4 points higher in operative patients (P <.001) at follow-up. Operative patients had symptomatic improvement as measured by Specific Activity Scale status (odds ratio 7.5, P <.001) and self-reported exercise tolerance (odds ratio 2.61, P = .01) at follow-up compared with nonoperative patients. Predictors of a high follow-up LASA (P <.05) included initial treatment for depression, percent of weight lost, and absence of dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease. Follow-up Short-Form-12 predictors included percent of weight loss, absence of baseline diabetes, baseline depression treatment, and follow-up cardiovascular disease. Conclusions: Profound weight loss after bariatric surgery, seeking treatment for depression, and absence of medical co-morbidities appears to predict better quality of life and self-reported functional status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1055.e1-1055.e10
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Bariatric surgery
  • LASA
  • Obesity
  • Population-based
  • Quality of life
  • SF-12
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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