Obesity Surgery

, Volume 17, Issue 11, pp 1487–1491 | Cite as

Why Patients Seek Bariatric Surgery: A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Patient Motivation

  • Daniel J. MunozEmail author
  • Mona Lal
  • Eunice Y. Chen
  • Mayce Mansour
  • Sarah Fischer
  • Megan Roehrig
  • Lisa Sanchez-Johnsen
  • Maureen Dymek-Valenitine
  • John Alverdy
  • Daniel le Grange


Bariatric surgery is becoming a common procedure to control the obesity problem in the United States. However, despite the prevalence of the surgery, little is known regarding the motivation of patients who seek out these procedures. This present study aims to qualitatively and quantitatively examine in a moderate-sized sample of bariatric seeking patients their reported reasons for wanting surgery.


109 severely obese patients (mean BMI 49.9) seeking either the duodenal switch or gastric bypass surgery between 1999 and 2002 were surveyed as to their motivations for seeking weight loss surgery. Their responses were coded into psychological, medical and quality of life categories for analysis. Depression and Quality of Life data was also obtained.


Descriptive analysis of the data indicated the vast majority (73.4%) of respondents endorsed current medical ailments as their primary reason for seeking weight loss surgery. Patients who responded with a secondary reason for desiring surgery reported primarily psychological and quality of life reasons. Scores on depression and quality of life measures did not impact their endorsed reasons for seeking surgery.


Patients in the present sample appear motivated for surgery primarily to control current medical problems. However, a significant portion of patients do endorse psychological and quality of life factors as important in their decision to seek weight loss surgery.

Key words

Bariatric surgery morbid obesity weight loss patient motivation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel J. Munoz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mona Lal
    • 2
  • Eunice Y. Chen
    • 3
  • Mayce Mansour
    • 3
  • Sarah Fischer
    • 4
  • Megan Roehrig
    • 5
  • Lisa Sanchez-Johnsen
    • 3
  • Maureen Dymek-Valenitine
    • 6
  • John Alverdy
    • 3
  • Daniel le Grange
    • 3
  1. 1.Indianapolis School of Psychological SciencesIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Chicago HospitalsChicagoUSA
  3. 3.University of Chicago Eating and Weight Disorders ProgramChicagoUSA
  4. 4.University of GeorgiaGeorgiaUSA
  5. 5.Yale UniversityYaleUSA
  6. 6.University of North Carolina at Chapel HillNorth CarolinaUSA

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