Benefits of bariatric surgery for obesity related co-morbidities are well established. However, in the longer term patients can become vulnerable to procedure specific problems, experience weight regain, and continue to need monitoring and management of co-morbidities. Effective longer term follow-up is vital due to these complex needs post-surgery. Current guidance recommends annual long term follow-up after bariatric surgery. However, attendance can be low and failure to attend is associated with poorer outcomes. Understanding patients’ experiences and needs is central to the delivery of effective care. This rapid review has synthesised the current qualitative literature on patient experiences of healthcare professional (HCP) led follow-up from 12 months after bariatric surgery. A recurring theme was the need for more and extended follow-up care, particularly psychological support. Enablers to attending follow-up care were patient self-efficacy as well as HCP factors such as a non-judgemental attitude, knowledge and continuity of care. Barriers included unrealistic patient expectations and perceived lack of HCP expertise. Some preferences were expressed including patient initiated access to HCPs and more information pre-operatively to prepare for potential post-surgery issues. Insights gained from this work will help identify areas for improvement to care in order to optimise longer term outcomes.
- Bariatric surgery