Due to the increasing prevalence of obesity, bariatric surgery has become an effective treatment option, resulting in a significant weight loss and reduction in associated comorbidities. Nevertheless, this procedure is an invasive therapeutic act, inducing rapid physical and psychological changes and requiring serious post-operative discipline. Seven patients who had undergone bariatric surgery were interviewed via individual semi-structured interviews. These were aimed to better understand their experiences and clarify the role that the general practitioner could play in managing obesity through bariatric surgery. The qualitative analysis of the testimonies reveals different emotional phases that patients may go through once the surgical process has been performed. The general practitioner (GP), present on the front line, exerts a crucial role in accompanying the patients through the associated changes and identifying the early signs of psychological suffering, provided that the GP is continuously attentive to the patient’s emotional evolution. In addition, the GP could be a relay contact concerning the help that is available by informing the patient about it.
What is already known about the topic?
Bariatric surgery exposes the patients to several physical and somatic changes. However, evaluating the quality of patient care cannot be limited to assessing weight loss. Moreover, all psychological issues must be taken into consideration.
What does this article bring up for us?
This article sought to further investigate and understand the experiences of patients having undergone bariatric surgery with the purpose of identifying the role that the GP could play in view of the psychological evolution associated with this surgical procedure.
Bariatric surgery, qualitative research, psychological care, general practitioner