A Qualitative Longitudinal Exploration of the Lived Experience of Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding Surgery
Journal of Obesity and Chronic Diseases
Objectives: In the United Kingdom, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) surgery is an option for obese individuals who meet the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence criteria. Despite the many benefits of LAGB, there is a paucity of literature exploring the long-term impact on individuals. The present study explored how people make sense of the experience of being banded from pre-to five years post-surgery. Design: A prospective longitudinal qualitative study utilising
... interpretative phenomenological analysis. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken pre-banding, at six months, then annually up to five years post-banding with seven individuals. Results: Pre-banding participants described the stigma associated with being overweight and unwelcome in society, the need for support, preparations for being banded, and their expectations of successful weight loss with a concomitant return to normality. Post-banding revealed the inadequacy of participants' previous preparation for real life with the band. That, plus some support-related problems, meant at five years post-banding participants still had concerns about whether their eating issues had been addressed, and all were still dependent on the band to control their food intake. Conclusions: Five years post-banding and changed eating behaviours are still not habitual, the weight loss has not been to the extent originally predicted, and their stated aim (the return to normality with the knowledge of how to manage their weight with the band), remains in the future. Improved preparation and support are clear needs for this patient population to achieve a normal life free from stigma, others' revulsion and pity.