General Practitioners and Bariatric Surgery in France: Are They Ready
to Face the Challenge?
Published online: 8 January 2018
Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018
Purpose The epidemic of obesity has determined an important rise in popularity for bariatric surgery (BS) in France. The role of
general practitioners (GPs) in the decision-making process of candidates to BS as well as in their life-long follow-up after surgery
is therefore destined to grow up. The aim of this survey was to provide a picture of the actual knowledge of GPs about BS.
Methods The link to an e-questionnaire composed of 20 multiple choice questions was sent to all the 101 Departmental Councils
of the French Medical Board, accompanied by a letter explaining the objectives of the study. Councils were asked to distribute the
e-questionnaire to GPs in their department.
Results A total of 2224 GPs were solicited by e-mail in six departments and 288 surveys were completed, representing a 12.9%
response rate. A proportion as high as 97.2% of GPs reported taking care of at least one patient operated on for BS and 88.5%
declared having referred at least one patient for BS. Nevertheless, a considerable proportion of GPs declared not to have sufficient
knowledge to manage BS patients. Moreover, 86.1% wished to receive more education and 83.7% declared to be available for
participating in follow-up.
Conclusion Academic institutions, scientific societies, and all physicians involved in obesity care should actively participate in
the correction of the educational gap of GPs in order to obtain an effective help in the complex challenge of facing the obesity
Keywords Bariatric surgery
In France, obesity has reached epidemic proportions in-
creasing from 8.5% in 1997 to 15% in 2012 .
Bariatric surgery (BS) has proved to lead to sustainable
results in the long term in terms of weight reduction and co-
morbidities’ resolution and/or improvement, in contrast to
lifestyle-based means . Reduction in morbidity and
* Francesco Martini
Digestive and Bariatric Surgery Unit, Hôpital Joseph Ducuing,
Department of Digestive Surgery, Centre Hospitalier Intercommunal
de Créteil, Creteil, France
Bariatric Surgery Department, Clinique des Cèdres,
Digestive Unit, Archet 2 Hospital, University Hospital of Nice,
Obesity Surgery (2018) 28:1754–1759