Post–bariatric, body contouring surgery to treat the sequelae of massive weight loss is an undervalued topic by patients and in most of the literature. The objective of this study was to determine the mean cost per patient of this treatment in a public morbid obesity unit, and compare it with the perception by the patients.
Costs were estimated using a specific Diagnosis-Related Group–based method and a questionnaire in a sample of 100 patients who had completed body contouring treatment.
This study included 23 men and 77 women with a mean age of 48.5 years, a mean reduction of body mass index of 20.77 kg/m2, and a median follow-up of 58 months. These patients had undergone surgery, as needed, as follows: on the lower part of the trunk (109 operations; mean cost, €6348.6), cruroplasty (43 operations; mean cost, €3490), brachioplasty (28 operations; mean cost €3150), and the upper part of the trunk (10 operations; mean cost, €4290). The rate of complications has been high (up to 50 percent) and, although the more severe complications are rare (10.5 percent Clavien grade IIIb), these represent high costs (mean, €24462.6). Forty-five patients answered the questionnaire. Although they think that this surgery improves their quality of life, they have undervalued its total cost (17.58 percent; €2034) (p = 0.16).
The average cost of post–bariatric surgery body contouring treatment in this unit is €8263.95 (1.66 operations per patient). The severe complications increase by 2.96 times the average cost per patient.
From the Plastic Surgery Department and the General and Digestive Surgery Department, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol; and the Medicine Faculty, Surgery Department, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
Received for publication September 21, 2013; accepted January 9, 2014.
Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest and no sources of funds supported this work. None of the authors has a financial interest in any of the products or devices mentioned in this article.
Jordi Vilà Poyatos, M.D., Ph.D., Plastic Surgery Department, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Carretera del Canyet s/n, 08916 Badalona (Barcelona), Spain, firstname.lastname@example.org