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Self-image after bariatric surgery and its relationship to gender, excess skin and health-related quality of life

Journal article
Authors Christina Biörserud
Kima Shams
Anna Elander
Monika Fagevik Olsén
Published in Journal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery
Volume 52
Issue 5
Pages 288-293
ISSN 2000-656X
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Health and Rehabilitation
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Surgery
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Plastic Surgery
Pages 288-293
Language en
Keywords bariatric surgery, Excess skin, quality of life, self-image
Subject categories Plastic surgery


© 2018 Acta Chirurgica Scandinavica Society Introduction: There is limited knowledge about self-image in relation to excess skin after bariatric surgery. The aim of this study was therefore to explore self-image after massive weight loss and its relationship to gender, weight loss, discomfort regarding excess skin and health-related quality of life. Methods: Eighteen months after obesity surgery, 131 patients filled in questionnaires about self-image (Som jag ser mig själv), excess skin (Sahlgrenska Excess Skin Questionnaire, SESQ) and quality of life (EQ-5D and SF-36). In addition, maximal ptosis was measured on their abdomen, arms and thighs. Results: There were no differences in self-image or quality of life between the genders. Participants who scored low discomfort on SESQ had a significantly better overall self-image, in all subscales, compared to those with high discomfort scores (p < .05). They also had a significantly higher quality of life on the EQ-5D VAS (p = .045). Correlations were low, if any, between self-image, excess skin, quality of life and ptosis. There were moderate correlations between the SESQ score and the self-image subscore ‘physical well-being’, and in self-image and quality-of-life scores. Conclusions: Self-image is lower among those who experience a high degree of discomfort of excess skin after bariatric surgery. Its correlation to weight loss, measured excess skin and quality of life is weak.

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