Female pelvic floor symptoms before and after bariatric surgery

Colleen D. McDermott, Colin L. Terry, Samer G. Mattar, Douglass S. Hale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background Obesity is a risk factor for female pelvic floor disorders. The study objective was to determine whether there was a difference in the subjective reporting of pelvic symptoms before and after bariatric surgery. Methods This was a prospective cohort study of female patients that underwent bariatric surgery. Patients completed a demographic questionnaire, the Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory-20 (PFDI-20), and the Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire-7 (PFIQ-7) before surgery and at 6 and 12 months following surgery. Body mass index (BMI) was compared between time points using Student's t tests (P<0.05 significant). Symptom and impact on quality of life prevalence were compared usingMcNemar's test and questionnaire scores were compared using the Wilcoxon matched pairs test (P<0.025 significant). Results At 12 months after surgery, 63 patients had completed the study. Even with significant weight loss (BMI, 43.7 kg/m 2 to BMI, 29 kg/m 2; P<0.001), there was no significant difference in the prevalence of pelvic floor symptoms before and after surgery (94% to 81%, P=0.2). Prevalence of pelvic floor symptom impact on quality of life did significantly decrease after surgery (56% to 30%; P=0.004). Baseline PFDI-20 and PFIQ-7 scores were low; however, there was still a significant reduction in PFDI-20 and PFIQ-7 scores after surgery (P<0.001). Conclusions Prevalence of pelvic floor symptoms did not vary greatly after surgery; however, significant weight reduction did improve the degree of bother and quality of life related to these symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1244-1250
Number of pages7
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Bariatric
  • Female
  • Pelvic floor
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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