Patients’ views of long-term results of bariatric surgery for super-obesity: sustained effects, but continuing struggles

Kajsa Järvholm, Torsten Olbers, My Engström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Bariatric surgery is a standard treatment for severe obesity, but little is known about patients’ perceptions about the long-term impact of such surgery. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore patients’ experiences of living with a bariatric procedure for more than a decade. Setting: University hospital. Methods: At the 10-year follow-up after undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS), 18 consecutive patients from a previous randomized controlled trial were assessed with a semi-structured interview. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: When asked to reflect broadly on their experiences of living with bariatric surgery for over a decade, the participants rarely mentioned procedure-specific issues and complications. Instead, their accounts revealed 2 broad themes: sustained effects after surgery, incorporating subthemes of better health, brighter futures, and better eating and weight regulation, and continuing struggles, including difficulties with physical activity, finding support, helping their children with overweight, and self-criticism. Many positive changes were sustained, but continuing personal struggles were similar to those presurgery. Conclusions: Participants expressed overall satisfaction with their bariatric surgery and related outcomes. Most participants acknowledged a continued effect on their appetite, which could be important information for patients who worry about a diminished effect after the first year postsurgery. Participants were prone to self-blame when things did not turn out the way they wanted. Therefore, healthcare providers must build a trustful relationship with their patients, so they will not hesitate to return when they face problems such as weight gain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1152-1164
Number of pages13
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Surgery

Free keywords

  • Bariatric surgery
  • Coping
  • Long-term outcome
  • Obesity
  • Patient perspective
  • Qualitative


Dive into the research topics of 'Patients’ views of long-term results of bariatric surgery for super-obesity: sustained effects, but continuing struggles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this