Purpose. Morbid obesity is associated with several comorbidities that often impair patients' ability to obtain and keep a job and that, eventually, could hinder their fitness to work. This study aimed at determining whether the employment status of morbidly obese patients may be positively affected by bariatric surgery. Methods. A total of 30 morbidly obese patients who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) from March 2014 to March 2015 were prospectively evaluated. All patients underwent a pre-operative assessment including the collection of personal and occupational data and the evaluation of musculoskeletal system. All evaluations were repeated at the end of a 24-month follow up. Results. After RYGB, employment rates increased from 15/30 (50.0%) to 25/30 (83.3%, p = 0.012). Patients who were working at the end of follow-up referred lower rates of comorbidities, in particular of musculoskeletal complaints (4/25 vs. 4/5, p < 0.001), and presented significantly increased scores of energy/vitality at SF-36 assessment. Conclusions. Our study suggests that RYGB can increase employment rates, increasing tolerance to effort and reducing prevalence and severity of obesity-related symptoms and complaints.
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