Project Summary

This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.

What is the research about?

More than 20 million people in the United States have obesity. People with obesity are more likely to develop health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis than people without obesity. For some people who have severe obesity and who have not had success with diet and exercise, weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, might be the only way for them to lose enough weight to improve their health. Surgery can improve or get rid of some of the most common health problems related to obesity, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Two common types of weight loss surgeries are

  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: In this surgery, a surgeon uses part of the stomach to create a small pouch that can hold only a small amount of food. Patients feel full after eating only a little food. The surgeon bypasses the rest of the stomach and attaches this small pouch to the middle part of the small intestine. This bypass means the body absorbs fewer calories.
  • Sleeve gastrectomy: In this surgery, a surgeon removes a large part of the stomach, which also limits the amount of food a person can eat.

This study is using surveys to find out what patients experience after weight loss surgery. The research team is then using the survey results to make a webpage that patients can use to compare patients’ results from the different weight loss surgeries. The webpage helps patients compare surgeries based on what matters most to them.  

Who can this research help?

Patients and their doctors can use results from this study when considering weight loss surgery.

What is the research team doing?

To find out what matters most to patients after they have surgery, the research team is talking to small groups of weight loss surgery patients, their family members, and clinicians, such as doctors and nurses. Their input is helping the team identify the best surveys to measure the results that matter most to patients. The survey asks patients questions about what they experience after weight loss surgery.

The research team is giving this survey to patients who have weight loss surgery at hospitals that are a part of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, or MBSAQIP. The MBSAQIP collects health information from everyone who has surgery at its hospitals. About 13,000 people have weight loss surgery each month in the United States. In total, the research team is collecting information from about 200,000 people.

Next, the research team is using the survey findings and the other health information from MBSAQIP to create a webpage for patients. The webpage will gather information about each patient like their weight, age, health problems, and what matters most to them about their health. Using this information, the webpage presents information about the weight loss surgeries to help each patient and their surgeon decide which surgery is best for the patient.

Patients and clinicians are working with the research team to plan the study and interpret the results.

Research methods at a glance

Design Elements Description
Design Observational: cohort study
Population All preoperative weight loss surgery patients with a scheduled weight loss surgery at a participating center; postoperative weight loss surgery patients who have had surgery within the last year at a participating center

Collection of patient-reported outcome measures

Outcomes Patient-reported outcomes for symptoms, functioning, health-related quality of life, obesity-related problems, obesity and weight loss quality of life, and patient-reported obesity-related comorbidities  
Timeframe Up to 1-year follow-up for study outcomes

Project Information

Matthew Hutter, MD, MPH
Massachusetts General Hospital
Comparative Effectiveness of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery using Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs)

Key Dates

September 2015
November 2023

Study Registration Information


Award Type
Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
Populations Populations PCORI is interested in research that seeks to better understand how different clinical and health system options work for different people. These populations are frequently studied in our portfolio or identified as being of interest by our stakeholders. View Glossary
Intervention Strategy Intervention Strategies PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies that compare two or more options or approaches to health care, or that compare different ways of delivering or receiving care. View Glossary
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: January 20, 2023