Success of Surgery Depends On Patients’ Support Network
According to a recent study published in the Obesity Surgery journal which looked at patients success after surgery and titled “Following Bariatric Surgery: An Exploration of the Couples’ Experience” they discovered that the surgery can lead to greater intimacy between couples.
The study by Mary Lisa Pories and colleagues from East Carolina University is thought to be the first on obesity’s impact on relationships since 2000. The research team interviewed 10 couples about how surgery had affected the partners and all of the patients with their significant others viewed the surgery itself and lifestyle adjustments afterwards to be part of a team effort. They highlighted ways in which the partners supported and helped the patients’ care for themselves and stayed on track with the new routine.
Other themes that emerged included the adjustment that was needed to adapt to the partners significant weight loss. The couples found that they had more energy and needed to both adjust to new eating habits. On an emotional level the couples reported more positive moods and increased self-esteem. They also reported sharing greater intimacy and affection and being able to resolve conflict. Their sexual relationships also improved and in many cases became more enjoyable!
Mary Lisa Pories believes that a better understanding of how weight loss surgery impacts the dynamics of a couple’s relationship could help multi-disciplinary teams support patients and their partners more effectively. “This research provides greater insight into the experience of the couple than has been previously reported” the author concluded and that “All of the couples felt their post-operative success was due to a joint effort on the part of both members of the couple”
Reference: OBES SURG DOI 10;1007/s11695-015-1720-9
Authors: Mary Lisa Pories, Jennifer Hodgson, Mary Ann Rose, John Pender, Natalia Sira and Melvin Swanson