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N Z Med J. 2012 Oct 12;125(1363):46-52.

Bariatric surgery makes dramatic difference to health-related quality of life.

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Auckland District Health Board, Private Bag 92024, Auckland, New Zealand.



To explore the impact of bariatric surgery on health-related quality of life (HRQoL).


An audit of patients referred for bariatric procedures. Patients completed Short Form-36 questionnaires at their first pre-operative clinic and at their 6-month follow up appointment after surgery. SF-36 scores were compared with standard parametric tests.


40 patients completed baseline SF-36 questionnaires and underwent bariatric surgery, 28 were surveyed again 6 months post-procedure during the audit period between December 2008 and December 2010. Twenty-three patients underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and five underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. The patients were predominantly New Zealand European, female, with a body mass index greater than 40 kg/m2. Significant improvements in health-related quality of life were observed. The physical and mental component summary scores were initially well below the population norms, but increased to the norm 6 months after surgery.


The HRQoL of morbidly obese patients significantly improves after bariatric surgery. Services including the SF-36 in their measurement armamentarium can demonstrate the Service's impact on patient-perceived outcomes in addition to clinically-focused outcomes.

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