New research suggests that while most patients undergoing sleeve gastrectomy (SG) experience substantial weight loss accompanied by statistically significant and clinically relevant long-term improvements in quality of life (QOL), some patients still report low QOL five years after the procedure.
For the study, researchers investigated five-year trajectories in QOL and their associations with weight loss after SG among 127 patients, and compared long-term QOL scores to those from the general population.
Data were collected preoperatively, and one and five years after surgery, assessing overall QOL representing satisfaction with life as a whole; generic health-related QOL (HRQOL); and obesity-specific HRQOL representing patients’ perception of QOL specifically related to their weight.
The authors found that all HRQOL/overall QOL measures significantly improved at one year, followed by modest declines from the first year to five years after surgery. However, while significantly improved, mean total scores on both obesity-specific, generic HRQOL and overall QOL outcomes were below the general population norms five years after SG. Four patients (5%) reported higher psychosocial impairment five years after SG compared with their preoperative status.
Writing in the BMJ Open, the authors said further research should aim to identify factors that contribute to impaired QOL after bariatric surgery, even in the presence of successful weight control.