Weight-loss surgery has benefits beyond the number on a scale
Transforming from being obese to a healthy weight is a top benefit of weight-loss surgery, but a new study shows one additional long-term quality of life benefit experienced by many who go under the knife to lose weight.
Both men and women cited improvements in sexual function five years after undergoing weight-loss surgery, according to a new longitudinal study in JAMA Surgery, an international peer-reviewed publication published by the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Deeper sexual satisfaction, increased sexual desire and additional sexual activity were reported among about half of study participants who had reported experiencing challenges in these areas prior to undergoing bariatric surgery. More than 2,200 patients from 10 U.S. hospitals participated in the study.
“This study’s revelation about the positive impact on sexual health further underscores how weight-loss surgery goes a long way toward improving the quality of life for so many people,” Mikhail says. “It validates the lasting impact that surgery can have in the lives of individuals one, two and even five years later.”
Previous research has shown other health benefits of weight-loss surgery, including lowered diabetes risk, decrease in cholesterol levels and hypertension, and less joint pain. Short-term improvements in sexual function also were widely reported benefits, but the long-term improvements to sexual satisfaction, desire, activity and physical health limitations to sexual activity were less well-researched before this study’s publication.
Before surgery, 70 percent of women and 74 percent of men expressed dissatisfaction with sexual function, according to the study. But a year later, 56 percent of women and 50 percent of men experienced improvements. Five years later, sexual satisfaction remained high among those who completed questionnaires before surgery and every year thereafter for five years. The study was conducted among patients who underwent surgery between 2006 and 2009.
About the Author
Lisa Parro, health enews contributor, is manager of content strategy for Advocate Aurora Health. A former journalist, Lisa has been in health care public relations since 2008 and has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She and her family live in Chicago’s western suburbs.