Background: In recent years, bariatric surgery has proven to be a leading medical intervention to help patients meet their weight loss goals. While the surgery is an effective tool patients can use in addition to lifestyle modifications, there have been inconsistent outcomes in the effect of bariatric surgery on psychopathology and quality of life. Additionally, few studies have explored patient experience with regard to body image for patients undergoing bariatric surgery. Methods: To evaluate this phenomenon, we conducted semistructured focus groups with both male and female pre-and postsurgical bariatric patients focusing on body image concerns. Results: Concepts and themes related to body image that presented in the presurgical focus groups were grouped into five main categories: surgical motivations and expectations, negative cognition and affect, physical and daily life challenges, social behavior, and social comparisons. Elicitations from postoperative groups comprised three categories: social behavior, mind/body relationships, and health and physical changes. Conclusions: The differences between the ways in which pre-and postsurgical patients spoke about their experiences in their bodies speaks directly to the importance of the complex and multidimensional constructs presented, as well as to the potential need for nuanced conversations to prepare patients for surgery and ongoing support postsurgically.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nutrition and Dietetics