Effects of bariatric surgery on urinary and sexual function


Weranja Ranasinghe, Department of Urology, Austin Hospital, 145 Studley Road, PO Box 5555, Heidelberg, Victoria 3084, Australia.e-mail: weranja@gmail.com


Study Type – Symptom prevalence (non-consecutive cohort)
Level of Evidence 4

What’s known on the subject? and What does the study add?

Obesity is a known risk factor for Urinary Incontinence. Non surgical weight loss has been shown to reduce Urinary Incontinence, but there is only limited evidence for surgically induced weight loss. This study aims to clarify the effects of surgically induced weight loss on urinary and erectile function.


To investigate the effects of weight loss and time post laparoscopic gastric banding surgery (LGB) on urinary and sexual function.


653 females and 145 males who underwent LGB over the last 10 years at a single centre in Australia were contacted by post and asked to complete validated questionnaires.


The pre-surgery body-mass index (BMI) was higher in males than females (47.3 vs 43.5); 65% of the females and 24% of males previously had some degree of urinary incontinence (UI). There were significant weight and BMI losses in males and females (23.2 kg and 7.51 vs 22.7 kg and 8.28; P < 0.0001). In females there were significant improvements in the ICIQ-SF (P= 0.0008) and Quality of Life (P < 0.0001) scores. For each kilogram lost there was a 0.05 improvement in the ICIQ score (P= 0.03) in females. There were also postoperative improvements in all symptoms of UI and stress incontinence in females but urge incontinence worsened, when adjusted for weight loss. In males there was no improvement in UI with weight loss after LGB. There was no relationship with time and UI in either gender; 83.3% of males reported a degree of ED before LGB. There was improvement in the IIEF score in males post LGB but there was worsening of erectile index (P= 0.005) and orgasmic function (P= 0.002) when adjusted for time. More males had started using phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, post-LGB.


Surgically induced weight loss by LGB improved overall UI, quality of life and stress incontinence in females but urge incontinence worsened. There was no improvement in UI with weight-loss or overall sexual function after LGB in males. However, erectile index and orgasmic function worsened when adjusted for time. Further evaluation is required by means of larger prospective studies involving urodynamic testing.