Barriers impacting an individuals decision to undergo bariatric surgery: A systematic review

Emily Iuzzolino, Yeonsoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: Bariatric surgery is a procedure intended to control morbid obesity but it is minimally utilized in the United States. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review was to identify common barriers to proceeding and completing bariatric surgery. Methods: Pubmed, Medline, CINAHL, and Google Scholar were used to identify articles published between the years 2010–2020, written in English, and included adults with a BMI ≥ 35 with a desire to undergo bariatric surgery. Results: From the 10 included studies, 7 of which were conducted in the United States, the following were the most cited barriers to undergoing surgery: insurance, socioeconomic status, language spoken and ethnicity, sex, and risk of surgery. Three of the studies also noted that the reason specific ethnic groups were less likely to undergo surgery was secondary to their economic status or insurance type. Conclusions: Undergoing bariatric surgery is highly dependent on an individual's demographics. Future research on this topic may help medical practitioners learn how to minimize or remove these barriers to make bariatric surgery more feasible for all populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-320
Number of pages11
JournalObesity Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Barriers
  • Healthcare access
  • Morbid obesity


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