Data Analysis Examines Trends In Surgeries To Treat Obesity

Saturday, May 30, 2015 — Although 70 percent of survey respondents who consider themselves significantly above the ideal weight (30+ pounds overweight) felt bariatric surgery was an acceptable treatment for obesity, 85 percent would not choose surgery for themselves, according to a survey of more than 1,000 consumers released today by Treato, the leading source for consumer healthcare insights.

In addition to the survey, more than 67,000 online consumer conversations discussing surgeries that treat obesity, including their popularity, satisfaction and insurance coverage, were compiled and analyzed by Treato.

Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Band and Gastric Bypass were the most popularly discussed surgeries online overall, according to Treato. Gastric Sleeve surgery makes the stomach smaller through the removal of more than half the stomach, and leaves a thin vertical sleeve. In Gastric Band surgery, none of the stomach is removed – a silicone band is placed around the stomach to reduce food consumption, while Gastric Bypass surgery uses stapling to make the stomach smaller. When looking at discussions about positive experiences with bariatric surgery, Gastric Band was mentioned favorably 13 times more than Gastric Bypass, according to Treato’s analysis.

Treato further discovered that insurance is a prominent factor in the decision-making process, as 67% of all participants surveyed believe that insurance providers should cover surgeries to treat obesity. When discussing insurance online, Gastric Sleeve conversations have surpassed Gastric Band in number of mentions this year, toppling Gastric Band from the #1 slot for the first time. Insurance providers have only covered Gastric Sleeve surgery for the past five years, showing a rapid rise in its popularity, and relatively quick consumer adoption.

Additional findings from the Treato analysis include:

  • Overall, 70 percent of all survey respondents believe that bariatric surgery should never or

    rarely be used as a means to treat obesity

  • More than a third of participants surveyed, who claimed they were significantly above ideal

    weight (30+ pounds overweight), felt that genetics causes obesity

  • Success rates show that in patient journey discussions, patients mention surgery and their

    obesity condition as getting better close to seven times more than the condition getting worse

    “Health consumers who are navigating decisions about surgery as a treatment to their obesity, will find thousands of other experiences, by people like them on, providing invaluable health insights,” says Ido Hadari, CEO of Treato. “Seeing shifts in online conversations like we’ve seen regarding Gastric Sleeve can be very informative to those consumers making personal decisions and to our partners in healthcare, who want to understand patient behaviors to better improve health outcomes.”

Find more information on Treato’s Bariatric Surgery analysis by viewing the infographic. 

Allyson Noonan Media Relations Manager at Treato