Obes Surg. 2022 Jun 23. doi: 10.1007/s11695-022-06117-6. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: After bariatric surgery, body contouring surgery (BCS) is thought to improve body image, weight loss, and mental health. Many patients desire but do not undergo BCS after bariatric surgery. This patient subset has rarely been studied. The present study compares bariatric surgery patients that, at 5 years after surgery, desires, have undergone or have no desire for BCS regarding pre- and post-surgery body image and mental health, including within-group changes over time.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data were collected from participants (N = 216) pre-bariatric surgery and at 1- and 5-year post-surgery. Health care providers measured body mass index (BMI). All other data were collected via self-report (questionnaires).
RESULTS: At 5-year post-surgery, 30.6% had undergone BCS, 17.1% did not desire it, and 52.3% desired BCS. Patients who subsequently desired BCS scored lower on body satisfaction pre-surgery than the other groups. They also reported less resilience pre-surgery and more depressive symptoms at all times compared to participants with BCS. For five-year post-surgery, patients who desired BCS had lower body satisfaction levels than patients with BCS and were more bothered with excess skin relative to the two other groups. Body satisfaction improved in all three groups from baseline to five years and in most patients with BCS. Mental health improved only in patients with BCS.
CONCLUSION: This study emphasizes the relevance of identifying participants who desire but have not undergone BCS. The study suggests that BCS is associated with improved body image and mental health.