Nonsurgical factors that influence the outcome of bariatric surgery: A review

L. K.George Hsu, Peter N. Benotti, Johanna Dwyer, Susan B. Roberts, Edward Saltzman, Scott Shikora, Barbara J. Rolls, William Rand

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

371 Scopus citations


Objective: Severe obesity (ie, at least 100% overweight or body mass index ≤ 40 kg/m2) is associated with significant morbidity and increased mortality. It is apparently becoming more common in this country. Conventional weight-loss treatments are usually ineffective for severe obesity and bariatric surgery is recommended as a treatment option. However, longitudinal data on the long-term outcome of bariatric surgery are sparse. Available data indicate that the outcome of bariatric surgery, although usually favorable in the short term, is variable and weight regain sometimes occurs at 2 years after surgery. The objective of this study is to present a review of the outcome of bariatric surgery in three areas; weight loss and improvement in health status, changes in eating behavior, and psychosocial adjustment. The study will also review how eating behavior, energy metabolism, and psychosocial functioning may affect the outcome of bariatric surgery. Suggestions for additional research in these areas are made. Method: Literature review. Results: On average, most patients lose 60% of excess weight after gastric bypass and 40% after vertical banded gastroplasty. In about 30% of patients, weight regain occurs at 18 months to 2 years after surgery. Binge eating behavior, which is common among the morbidly obese, may recur after surgery and is associated with weight regain. Energy metabolism may affect the outcome of bariatric surgery, but it has not been systematically studied in this population. Presurgery psychosocial functioning does not seem to affect the outcome of surgery, and psychosocial outcome is generally encouraging over the short term, but there are reports of poor adjustment after weight loss, including alcohol abuse and suicide. Conclusions: Factors leading to poor outcome of bariatric surgery, such as binge eating and lowered energy metabolism, should be studied to improve patient selection and outcome. Long-term outcome data on psychosocial functioning are lacking. Longitudinal studies to examine the long-term outcome of bariatric surgery and the prognostic indicators are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-346
Number of pages9
JournalPsychosomatic medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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