Obesity Surgery

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 422–426

A Long-Term Cross-Sectional Study on Gastric Bypass Surgery: Impact of Self-Reported Past Sexual Abuse

  • Amy T. Buser
  • Chow S. Lam
  • Steven C. Poplawski
Research Article



This study examined differences in gastric bypass surgical outcomes by comparing two groups of female patients: those with a history of sexual abuse (SA) and those without a history of sexual abuse (NSA).


Participants who agreed to participate in the study were assessed at either 6–18 months or 19–40 months postsurgery. Outcome measures included body mass index (BMI), level of depression as measured through the Beck Depression Inventory, level of self-esteem as measured through the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, and BISS as measured through the Body Image State Scale. Two-by-two analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were conducted for each of the four outcome variables.


ANOVA results revealed that BMI was the only variable to be found statistically significant among the four dependent measures. At 6–18 months postsurgery, the SA group had significantly higher BMI than the NSA group. Compared BMI during the two postsurgery time periods, the SA group had a significantly lower BMI at 19–40 months than the SA group at 6–18 months postsurgery.


The results suggest that females with a history of sexual abuse did not differ from their counterparts with regard to depression, self-esteem, and body dissatisfaction at baseline, as well as years after surgery. Given the improvement in BMI from the sexual abuse group at 6–18 months postsurgery to 19–40 month postsurgery, patients may not be as concerned with maintaining excess weight as a defense against potential future abuse as originally proposed.


Psychosocial Sexual abuse Morbid obesity Bariatric surgery Gastric bypass 

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy T. Buser
    • 1
  • Chow S. Lam
    • 1
  • Steven C. Poplawski
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyIllinois Institute of TechnologyChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Barix ClinicForest Health Medical CenterChicagoUSA

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