There is an increasing volume of bariatric surgeries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), but the context of bariatric surgery in the region is not fully understood. Incorporating culture-specific considerations in the provision of care to patients who undergo bariatric surgery may help to optimize outcomes after surgery. We conducted a narrative review of published research studies on bariatric surgery in the MENA region, highlighting cultural and contextual aspects relevant to the care of bariatric surgery patients who undergo surgery in this geographic area. The authors searched the following online databases: PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, and Academic Search Elite from 2010-2020 for studies conducted in 18 countries in the MENA region. This narrative review identifies cultural-specific considerations that may affect bariatric care and outcomes in 6 domains: knowledge of bariatric surgery; mental health, body image, and quality of life; influence of family; religion and lifestyle; preoperative practices; and healthcare access. Provision of culturally congruent care may help patients to achieve the best possible outcomes after bariatric surgery. Results may inform efforts to provide safe and culture-specific care in the MENA region, as well as those who migrate or seek care in other countries. More research is warranted on this heterogeneous population to optimize postsurgery weight trajectory and psychosocial adjustment.


School of Nursing

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© 2021 American Society for Bariatric Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).


Bariatric surgery, Culture, Dietary habits, Family influence, Healthcare access, Lifestyle, Middle East, North Africa, Obesity, Perioperative standards

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Journal Title

Surgery for obesity and related diseases : official journal of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery