FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The educational application enables you to learn more about the potential outcomes of surgery based on the experience of more than 58,000 patients across the US. Our application provides personalized information to help you explore various bariatric surgery options.
How does this application work?
Using a subset of two large U.S. databases*, statisticians have analyzed the experience of post bariatric surgery patients based on their age, gender, race/ethnicity, height, weight, etc. This information was used to create a model that allows you to review the experience of patients who have the same profile that you have input. Because individual experience varies, the application cannot predict your specific outcomes, but it does provide insights into the potential benefits based on the experience of people who have already had surgery.
*BOLD is an acronym that refers to the "Bariatric Outcome Longitudinal Database" developed by the Surgical Review Corporation as part of bariatric surgery Center of Excellence certification process.
MarketScan Research Database is a HIPAA compliant database containing the healthcare experience of over 230 million unique patients since 1995.
Who should use the Bariatric Surgery Comparison Tool?
The Bariatric Surgery Comparison Tool is an educational tool for potential bariatric surgery patients who would like to learn more about the benefits and risks of bariatric surgery. The results of the tool are based on the personal information that you input into the tool. A physician may also use this as an educational tool to help patients in the decision making process. It is important to consult your physician or other health care provider for all medical and health-related matters, including whether or not bariatric surgery is right for you and for guidance on expected outcomes, benefits, and risks.
How does the Bariatric Surgery Comparison Tool work?
The tool is used to estimate an individual’s weight loss after surgery by using outcome data from people with similar personal characteristics and health histories who have had the same type of surgery. The results are displayed as either potential pounds lost or potential weight at different time points after the surgery. The predictions are determined using statistical models based on results from many patients who have had these types of surgeries. No prediction tool, however, can predict the specific outcomes a particular individual will experience.
The tool may also be able to show how many other patients similar to you were able to resolve some of their obesity-related conditions. The tool’s patient database included information from patients who reported changes in their medication usage for certain obesity-related conditions.. However, there may not be enough available data to calculate this measure for all conditions.
Will the tool customize and report the potential risk and complications based on my personal information?
No, the tool only provides general information about the potential risks and complications for each of the 3 bariatric procedures. No prediction tool can tell you what your experience will be, only what the potential risks and complications are for someone like you.
How will you use the personal information that I input into the Bariatric Surgery Comparison Tool?
The personal data that you enter into the tool is not saved and will only be used to estimate the benefits and risks of bariatric surgery for you compared to patients in the database with similar characteristics and conditions.
Why do I have to provide my race and ethnicity?
The tool’s patient database includes bariatric surgery data from patients of various racial and ethnic backgrounds. By providing this information, we can customize the output to be more personal.
What is the source for the race and ethnicity categories?
Information on race and ethnicity was obtained from: - Guidance for industry Collection of Race and Ethnicity Data in Clinical Trials (FDA, Dept. of HHS)
Why do you ask for obesity-related conditions?
The tool’s patient database has information on obesity-related conditions and their improvement or resolution after bariatric surgery. Your personal data will be compared to similar patients in the tool’s patient database to estimate your chances of improvement in these conditions.
It is also important to discuss any conditions you have with your physician to understand potential risks of bariatric surgery. Your surgeon will also need to know whether you have any conditions that may exclude you as a candidate for a particular type of surgery.
What is COPD?
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. It is caused by damage to the lungs over many years, usually from smoking. COPD is often a mix of two diseases: emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
What is GERD?
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is severe or chronic acid reflux that can lead to complications, such as cancer.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
The more common of two forms of apnea, it is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep
I currently have other conditions and take other medications that are not listed. Why are the conditions and medications lists limited?
There are many medical conditions that may be related to obesity. Only conditions that have shown to be improved by weight loss surgery in clinical studies have been included in this application.
What is depression (as used in this application)?
Clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration, along with fatigue or changes in appetite and sleep, interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer.
Why do I get a message of Age must be between 21 and 80?
This application was developed based on data from qualified clinical studies in patients who have undergone weight loss surgery. For patients outside the range of 21-80 years of age, there is not enough data in these studies to provide meaningful analysis.
Why do I get an error message of BMI must be between 30 and 150?
This application was developed based on data from qualified clinical studies in patients who have undergone weight loss surgery. For patients with BMI outside the range of 30-150, there is not enough data in these studies to provide meaningful analysis.
What does insulin + other mean?
This refers to additional medications in combination with insulin as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes.
How do I read results for Weight Improvement?
The weight improvement data shows the range of weight loss that patients like you have experienced in clinical studies of weight loss surgery.
In the example below:
At 6 months after Gastric Bypass surgery, you have a:
- 80% likelihood of losing at least 29 lbs
- 50% likelihood of losing at least 44 lbs
- 20% likelihood of losing at least 59 lbs
In other words, if you were to lose 59 lbs or more, you will have lost more weight than 80% of patients like you who have had weight loss surgery.
How do I read results for Medication Reduced?
The Medication Reduced results show the percentage of patients who were able to reduce their medication usage following weight loss surgery. For example, the chart below shows that, for patients like you who had a gastric band, 57% were taking less medication for Type 2 Diabetes at 12 months after surgery.
How do I read results for Medication Stopped?
The Medication Stopped results show the percentage of patients who were able to stop taking medications following weight loss surgery. For example, the chart below shows that, for patients like you who had gastric bypass, 76% were no longer taking medication for Type 2 Diabetes at 12 months after surgery.
How do I read results for Health Condition Improvement?
The Health Condition Improvement results show the percentage of patients who experienced improvement in weight related health conditions following weight loss surgery. For example, the chart below shows that, for patients like you who had a gastric band, 83% were no longer classified as having a diagnosis of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) at 12 months after surgery.
Why don't all of my medications/diagnoses show up?
While there are many medical conditions and medications that may be related to obesity, only those medical conditions (and related medications) that have been shown in clinical studies to be statistically improved/reduced by weight loss surgery were included in this application.
Why is sleeve gastrectomy data listed as coming soon?
This application was developed based on data from qualified clinical studies in patients who have undergone weight loss surgery. There is not enough data to provide meaningful analysis on medication reduced or diagnosis improvement among patients like you following sleeve gastrectomy. The application will be updated when more data becomes available.
Why does sleeve gastrectomy data look different for Medication Stopped and Diagnosis Improvement?
This application was developed based on data from qualified clinical studies in patients who have undergone weight loss surgery. There is not enough data to provide meaningful analysis on medication usage among patients like you following sleeve gastrectomy. The application will be updated when more data becomes available.
In the meantime, the data shown is based on published averages from peer reviewed literature.
1. Schauer PR, Kashyap SR, Wolski K, Brethauer SA, Kirwan JP, Pothier CE, Thomas S, Abood B, Nissen SE, Bhatt DL. Bariatric Surgery versus Intensive Medical Therapy in Obese Patients with Diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2012 Apr 26; 366(17):1567-76
2. Chopra A, Chao E, Etkin Y, Merklinger L, Lieb J, Delany H. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy for obesity: can it be considered a definitive procedure? Surg Endosc. 2012 Mar; 26(3):831-7. Epub 2011 Dec 17
What is Mortality rate?
Mortality is the frequency of fatal outcomes. (Source: National Center for Health Marketing. Plain Language Thesaurus for Health Communications. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009.)
What is Morbidity in relation to surgery or other treatment?
Morbidity is the frequency of complications following a surgical procedure or other treatment. (Source: National Center for Health Marketing. Plain Language Thesaurus for Health Communications. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009.)
How can I share my results with my doctor?
You can print out the results of this analysis and take it with you for discussion with your doctor. Your doctor or a bariatric surgeon can provide additional guidance on potential results with weight loss surgery and help you to determine whether weight loss surgery is right for you.
What else do I need to know?
The information contained on this site is to help you learn more about the benefits of bariatric surgery. It is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a medical evaluation, examination, consultation, diagnosis, or treatment. You should consult a physician or other health care provider for all medical and health-related matters, including whether or not bariatric surgery is right for you and for guidance on expected outcomes, benefits and risks.
The weight loss, medication and diagnosis improvement information on this site is derived from statistical analysis of historical claims and clinical databases as well as research published in peer reviewed journals. While predictive modeling techniques were used, the results cannot predict the specific outcomes for any individual. The information presented does not represent any statement, promise or guarantee concerning your eligibility, experience or potential outcomes. Individual patient results will vary.
This site is published by Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions, Inc. which is solely responsible for its contents, and is intended for U.S. participants. We do not guarantee the availability of and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness or authenticity of any information or data contained in this application.
This site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care.
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