Do Mandated Weight Loss Goals Prior to Bariatric Surgery Improve Postoperative Outcomes?



Most patients pursuing bariatric surgery undergo mandated preoperative weight management programs. The purpose of this study was to assess whether preoperative mandated weight loss goals lead to improved perioperative morbidity, postoperative weight loss, and resolution of comorbidities.


Data from patients who underwent primary laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB), and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) between October 2012 and October of 2015 was reviewed. Patients were divided in two groups: those with BMI of 35–45 were not required to achieve a weight loss goal prior to surgery (no-WLG group) while those with BMI > 45 were given a weight loss goal proportionate to their weight (WLG group). Body mass index (BMI), history of diabetes mellitus type-II (DM-II), hypertension (HTN), hyperlipidemia (HLD), and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) were recorded at baseline and 4 years postoperatively. Length of hospital stay (LOS) and reinterventions were considered proxies for postoperative morbidity.


A total of 776 patients, 81.4% LRYGB, were included in the study (age 45.1 ± 11.9). There was no difference in %ΔBMI, DM-II, HDL, HTN, LOS, or reinterventions among the two groups at 4 years postoperatively in both LRNY and LSG patients. This lack of difference persisted even when patients with similar BMI (43–45 vs 45.01–47) were compared.


WLG group did not have decreased perioperative morbidity, nor improved weight loss and comorbidity resolution 4 years after surgery. While these findings should also be confirmed by multicenter trials, they question the value of mandated WLG prior to bariatric surgery as they seem ineffective and may limit patient access to surgery.

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Correspondence to Dimitrios I. Athanasiadis.

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Monfared, S., Athanasiadis, D.I., Furiya, A. et al. Do Mandated Weight Loss Goals Prior to Bariatric Surgery Improve Postoperative Outcomes?. OBES SURG 30, 889–894 (2020).

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  • Preoperative weight loss
  • Medically supervised weight loss
  • Goal setting
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Outcomes