It just made me feel so desolate’: Patients’ narratives of weight gain following laparoscopic insertion of a gastric band

Nikolaos Efstathiou, Alistair Hewison

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Aims and objectives: To describe the experiences of patients who have failed to
maintain weight loss following the insertion of a Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric
Band (LAGB) for the treatment of morbid obesity.

Background: Obesity is a global health problem resulting in physical, psychological and economic problems, and presenting challenges for health services. Surgical intervention is an increasingly common approach to treatment, however some patients do not sustain their weight loss following bariatric surgery and little is known about people’s longer-term experiences following LAGB insertion.

Design: A narrative based qualitative interview study.

Methods: A purposive sample of ten participants who had undergone LAGB insertion for morbid obesity was recruited. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in 2014. Thematic analysis identified codes and emerging themes common to the participants’ experiences.

Findings: Three major themes emerged: living with the side effects; regret; and lack of support. These reflect the difficulties participants experienced and provide new insights on why weight loss is not sustained after two years following surgery.

Conclusion: Participants reported that the surgery had a detrimental effect on their lives and some regretted having the band inserted. These findings identify areas of care that need to be addressed if patients undergoing LAGB are to experience its potential benefits and indicate that further research is needed into the long-term effects of gastric band insertion. Patients need to be better informed about the consequences of bariatric surgery if it is to have a lasting impact on their weight reduction.

Relevance to clinical practice: Patients require comprehensive information and
support before and after LAGB insertion in order to develop strategies which will help them lose weight and sustain it over the longer-term. Clinicians need to be sensitive to patients' needs when weight loss plateaus or weight is regained and intensify support during these periods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-742
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number3-4
Early online date23 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2018


  • bariatric surgery
  • narrative
  • nursing
  • obesity surgery
  • qualitative
  • weight loss


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