Psychological Effects of Vertical Banded Gastroplasty on Pathologically Obese Patients

Antonella La Manna, Gian Battista Ricci, Ines Giorgi, Marcus Gossemberg, Luigi La Manna, Antonio Catona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For a period of 2 years the authors have examined on 16 pathologically obese patients the psychological effects of the weight loss resulting from vertical banded gastroplasty. At the time of surgery the patients' average age was 41 years. The patients' average weight of 125.9 kg (range 110-150 kg) decreased after surgery to 89 kg, showing a decrease of 36.9 kg (range 20-69 kg). The postoperative compliance has been good despite the fact that the remaining gastric capacity allows for the ingestion of only 50-70 ml of food. Psychological results, obtained through consultations, semi-structured interviews and a series of tests, brought to light remarkable changes directly proportional to the weight loss achieved. Psychic well-being, self-esteem, and improvements in the interpersonal relations within the family and work environments represent in summary the positive results of the weight loss achieved by patients with no other possibility (voluntary) to keep their food intake under control (which we termed ‘food addiction’). The patients abandon their depressive traits and achieve a degree of confidence that preserves them from stress and anxiety. Patients improve their social mobility, and for many the sexual relations with the partner become more frequent and intense. The weight loss plays an indispensable role within itself but additionally is associated with a general normalization of all physical parameters. Also, it starts an avalanche of positive events which break the vicious cycle: aesthetic inadequacy-anxiety/depression-food-excess weight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-243
Number of pages5
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • Pathological obesity
  • psychology
  • vertical banded gastroplasty
  • weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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