Obesity is associated with increased prevalence and severity of pelvic floor disorders in women considering bariatric surgery

Chi Chiung Grace Chen, Patrick Gatmaitan, Sidney Koepp, Matthew D. Barber, Bipan Chand, Philip R. Schauer, Stacy A. Brethauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Although an association between obesity and urinary incontinence (UI) has been reported, the association between obesity and other PFDs is less clear. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of pelvic floor disorders (PFDs), including stress urinary incontinence (SUI), urge urinary incontinence (UUI), pelvic organ prolapse (POP), and anal incontinence (AI), in obese women contemplating bariatric surgery compared with nonobese subjects at a tertiary care referral hospital. Methods: From September 2006 to December 2007, obese women contemplating bariatric surgery and nonobese women from general gynecology clinic completed a validated screening questionnaire for PFDs, the Sandvik urinary incontinence severity index, and the Rockwood fecal incontinence severity index. Results: A total of 217 obese (mean body mass index of 50 ± 10 kg/m2) and 210 nonobese controls (mean body mass index 23 ± 3 kg/m2) were screened. The presence of any PFD occurred in 159 patients (75%) in the obese group compared with 89 nonobese patients (44%; P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-415
Number of pages5
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Anal incontinence
  • Obesity
  • Pelvic floor disorders
  • Prolapse
  • Urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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