Dis-appearance and dys-appearance anew: living with excess skin and intestinal changes following weight loss surgery.
ABSTRACT The aim of this article is to explore bodily changes following weight loss surgery. Our empirical material is based on individual interviews with 22 Norwegian women. To further analyze their experiences, we build primarily on the phenomenologist Drew Leder`s distinction between bodily dis-appearance and dys-appearance. Additionally, our analysis is inspired by Simone de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty and Julia Kristeva. Although these scholars have not directed their attention to obesity operations, they occupy a prime framework for shedding light on different dimensions of bodily change. In doing so, we were able to identify two main themes: The felt "inner" body versus the visible "surface" body and the "old" body versus the "new" body. In different, though interconnected ways, these main themes encompass tensions between changes the women experienced as contributing to a more "normal" and active life, feeling more accepted, and changes that generated ambivalence. In particular, their skin became increasingly problematic because it did not "shrink" like the rest of the body. On the contrary, it became looser and looser. Moreover, badsmelling folds of skin that wobbled, sweated and chafed at the smallest movement, aprons of fat hanging in front of their stomachs, batwing arms, thick flabby thighs and sagging breasts were described as a huge contrast to the positive response they received to their changed body shape when they were out and about with their clothes on. At the same time, they expressed ambivalence with regards to removing the excess skin by means of plastic surgery. Through their own and other women`s experiences they learned removing the excess skin by means of surgery could be a double-edged sword. By illuminating the experiences of the ones undergoing such changes our article offers new insight in a scholarly debate predominated by medical research documenting the positive outcomes of weight loss surgery.
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ABSTRACT: This study is grounded in a phenomenological lifeworld perspective. It aims at providing rich descriptions of lived experience of the process of losing weight after obesity surgery. Two women participated in in-depth interviews four times each during the first postoperative year. Based on the women's experiences, a meaning structure-the ambivalence of losing weight after obesity surgery-was identified across the women's processes of change. This consisted of five core themes: movement and activity-freedom but new demands and old restraints; eating habits and digestion-the complexity of change; appearance-smaller, but looser; social relations-stability and change; and being oneself-vulnerability and self-assurance. These core themes changed over time in terms of dominance. The experience of ambivalence is discussed according to a phenomenological perspective of the body as lived experience.International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being 01/2014; 9:22876. · 0.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background There is a lack of knowledge about the patient´s experience of excess skin after bariatric surgery in patients with Body Mass Index, (BMI) > 50 kg/m2. Objectives To evaluate experience of excess skin after laparoscopic biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS) or laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) and explore possible gender differences. Another aim was to analyze possible correlation between the reported experiences of excess skin with changes in weight, BMI and hip and waist circumference after surgery. Setting University Hospitals in Sweden and Norway. Methods One and/or two years after gastric bypass or duodenal switch surgery 57 patients responded to a specific questionnaire. The questionnaire included questions about amount of excess skin and how much discomfort it caused. Furthermore the patients were measured concerning weight and waist and hip circumference. Results One year after surgery, a majority of the patients experienced excess skin scored as >2 (“a lot of” or “very much”). The patients in the BPD/DS group experienced significantly more excess skin compared to patients in the LRYGB group. Women experienced more excess skin and discomfort on several body parts than men. The correlations between changes in BMI and the reported experience and discomfort of excess skin were low. There was a low to moderate correlation between changes in waist and hip circumference measures and the experience of excess skin on stomach and buttocks. Conclusion Weight loss after LRYGB and BPD/DS in super obese patients is associated with substantial discomfort from excess skin. Women reported more discomfort and experienced more excess skin than men. There was a low correlation between experience of excess skin and changes in weight, BMI and circumference measures.Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases 01/2014; · 4.12 Impact Factor