Sociodemographic characteristics of patients and their use of post-bariatric contouring surgery in the US

Ibrahim Al-Sumaih*, Michael Donnelly, Ciaran O'Neill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


Expansion of healthcare insurance coverage to bariatric surgeries has led to an increased demand from patients for post-bariatric contouring surgeries. This study examined the relationship between the use of contouring procedures on post-bariatric surgery patients, clinical need and sociodemographic factors.

Data were extracted from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Ambulatory Surgery Sample (NASS) regarding hospital-owned ambulatory surgical centres in the US. Episodes without missing values relating to patients, 18 years old or above were the primary unit of analysis. Episodes were excluded if the field regarding expected payer was reported as “no charge.” The primary outcome was the likelihood of panniculectomy, abdominoplasty, and mastopexy among post-bariatric surgery patients; and the degree to which uptake of these types of contouring surgery were associated with age, gender, median households’ income, expected payer, patient’s location, and comorbidity.

A total of 66,368 weighted episodes of care received by patients who had had bariatric surgery were extracted (54,684 female [82.4%]; mean age, 51.3 [SD, 12.1]; 6219 episodes had contouring surgeries [9.37%]). Panniculectomy was the most common post-bariatric contouring procedure (3.68%). Uptake of post-bariatric contouring procedures was associated with age, sex, payment type, area-based measures of median household income, and patient location. Compared to Medicare insured patients, the odds of receiving contouring surgery among self-payers were 1.82 (95% CI, 1.47 to 2.26) for panniculectomy, 14.79 (95% CI, 12.19 to 17.93) for abdominoplasty and 47.97 (95% CI, 32.76 to 70.24) for mastopexy. Rank order of comorbidity profiles also differed between insured and self-paying recipients of contouring surgery.

Insurance status of bariatric surgery patients and their sex were strongly associated with receipt of a range of contouring procedures. Self-payments were associated with a doubling of the odds of having panniculectomy and an increase in the odds to approximately 14 times for abdominoplasty and 48 times for mastopexy. Thus, access to contouring surgery by post-bariatric patients may be disproportionately dependent on personal preference supported by ability to pay rather than clinical need. Further research is needed to examine the impact of contouring or delayed/denied contouring on health status.
Original languageEnglish
Article number308
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 07 Mar 2022


  • Insurance coverage
  • Ambulatory surgical procedures
  • United States
  • Delivery of Health Care


Dive into the research topics of 'Sociodemographic characteristics of patients and their use of post-bariatric contouring surgery in the US'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this