The Lived Experience of Obesity and Bariatric Surgery
Purpose: The purpose of this paper was to explore the lifestyle changes and associated physical and personal challenges associated with bariatric surgery. Demographics: Participants in this study included four women over the age of 20 who had undergone either a roux-en-y gastric bypass procedure or a laparoscopic banding procedure .Participants were all volunteers who were contacted by this researcher through social networking. Type of Study: This researcher used the phenomenological research method as a framework for gathering and analyzing data about individuals’ experiences with bariatric surgery and personal lifestyle changes. Data Collection: Data was collected directly from individuals through closed session personal interviews and was audio recorded. Findings: Several themes emerged from interviews with participants. These themes included: The Beginning of Obesity as a Problem, Dieting, Losing Weight, and Regaining Weight, Experiencing Social Stigma, Withholding Disclosure, Enhancing Self Esteem, Battling Depression, Enjoying Food in Smaller Quantities, and Recognizing Sustained Weight Loss as a Process. Nursing Implications: Bariatric surgery is a very good option for individuals who are prepared for and committed to making major lifestyle modifications. It should only be done after all other attempts at sustained weight loss have failed. Nursing teaching regarding diet, exercise, and psychosocial changes that the individual can expect before and after surgery is an important element in the process. Generalization: The findings of this study cannot be generalized to all bariatric patients, because of the small sample size and the fact that participants were only of one gender. More research regarding this area is needed.