Health, Weight Loss, and Surgery Beliefs: Why Patients Choose to Undergo Bariatric Surgery and What Influences Their Choice of Surgery Procedure

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Bariatric Surgical Practice and Patient Care


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to determine what factors influence an individual's decision to have bariatric surgery, including why they choose a particular surgery type.

Methods: Thirty bariatric surgery patients (11 gastric bypass [GB] and 19 sleeve gastrectomy [SG]) participated in qualitative interviews pre- and postsurgery. Interviews questioned why patients chose bariatric surgery, their specific procedure choice, timing, and expectations for surgery. Verbatim transcripts were coded using a constant comparative method and a grounded theory approach. Analysis focused on surgery motivations, personal influences, and choice of procedure.

Results: Five themes emerged regarding the decision to have bariatric surgery: Health, Activity and Lifestyle Interference, Frustration with Weight, Social Influences, and Body Image. Most participants selected GB surgery based on beliefs about weight loss outcomes. Rationales for choosing a SG centered on surgery effects, including perceptions that the sleeve was less invasive or allowed for less restrictive eating habits postsurgery. Surgery veterans emerged as an important influence on the choice of surgery procedure.

Conclusion: Patients consider multiple factors in their decision to undergo bariatric surgery. Health care professionals should take these factors into account to help patients make informed decisions and to clarify existing misconceptions.





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