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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-11

Factors affecting decisions on choosing bariatric surgeons: A qualitative study

1 Department of Surgery, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait
2 Department of Surgery, Al Amiri Hospital, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Salman Al Sabah
Kuwait University, Kuwait City
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/SJL.SJL_8_20

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Background: Despite the safety of bariatric surgery (BS), only 0.4% of patients that qualify for it proceed to undergo the procedure. One hypothesized reason is the selectiveness of patients for medical providers. Methods: An online survey was distributed to bariatric surgeons around the world to identify what criteria they observed prospective bariatric patients found most important when selecting a medical provider. Questions were evaluated on a 10-point scale. Results: Our survey was distributed to 76 surgeons practicing in 16 countries. The most influential factors that affect patients' decisions on choosing their bariatric provider were seen to be a recommendation received from others and surgeon reputation. The proximity of the hospital to the patients' home was seen to be of least importance. It was seen that the quality/accreditation of the surgeon was significantly more important in surgeons working in the public setting when the data were analyzed according to the setting of practice. Conclusion: With the emergence of BS, choosing a provider has become of utmost importance. The most influential factors that were seen to affect patient's decisions were recommendations for the surgeons and reputation. This data could lay the groundwork for how medical providers market themselves when working in the BS field.

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