Patient-surgeon relationship influences outcomes in bariatric patients

Samuel P. Carmichael, Elizabeth C. Veasey, Daniel L. Davenport, Katie Jay, Andrew C. Bernard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Bariatric surgery is an important therapy in weight loss. However, adherence to follow-up is critical and may be influenced by the patient-surgeon relationship. To test this hypothesis, bariatric surgical patients were surveyed from March 2013 to March 2015 via the National Association for Weight Loss Surgery webpage and social media outlets. Surgical outcomes and adherence to follow-up were collected, and aspects of the patient-surgeon relationship were assessed via the Likert scale. Correlations between survey item responses were calculated using Fisher's exact test, Student's t test, and Spearman's rho rank correlation. Three hundred twenty patients responded (n 5 287 completed in entirety and n 5 33 partially completed); 48 months was the median time to survey from operation (interquartile range, 22-84 months). Eighty-six per cent (n 5 276) of patients rated their relationship with their operative surgeon as "average" to "very good." Thirteen per cent (n 5 43) rated their relationship as "poor" to "very poor." Positive relationship with the operative surgeon and lack of complication were associated with adherence to follow-up (P50.0001 and P5 0.002, respectively). The presence of complication did not affect the overall patient-surgeon relationship (P 5 0.5), although aspects of the patient-surgeon relationship were correlated to complications. There was no association between weight loss at one year and patient-surgeon relationship (P 5 0.6) or presence of complication (P 5 0.1). The findings of this study support the role of a positive patient-surgeon relationship in achieving long-term follow-up in post-bariatric surgical patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1850-1855
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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