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.
SourceAvailable from: Alexandra Brewis[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Objectives Obesity is treated within medicine, public health, and applied sciences as a biomedical fact with urgent health implications; obesity is also, however, a social fact and one that reveals biomedical concerns can lead to social suffering. Translation of social science-oriented obesity research for broader public good requires navigation of the space between these polemical and seemingly mutually exclusive positions.Methods Using examples from our own current programs of biocultural research, we explain the opportunities and ongoing challenges of efforts to bridge the chasm between critique and intervention when the topic under discussion is obesity. The examples range from cross-population analyses of human variation and the implications for how we measure and classify obesity to biocultural research into fat-stigma to translational research conducted as part of a larger collaboration across multiple institutions.Results and Conclusions Translation of social science-oriented obesity research for broader public good requires collaborative work across disciplines and fields, as well as between academics, professionals working in public health and medicine, policy makers, and other key stakeholders. Translation efforts must acknowledge and develop practical programs addressing the “obesity crisis,” but also are compelled to question core assumptions upon which obesity-reduction interventions have thus far been based. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.American Journal of Human Biology 01/2015; 27(1). DOI:10.1002/ajhb.22623 · 1.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
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 09/2014; 10(5). DOI:10.1016/j.soard.2014.01.033 · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Background To prevent weight regain, patients undergoing weight loss surgery are encouraged to change their exercise and dietary habits. Building on previous research, the aim of this study was to explore women's experiences of changing exercise habits – focusing on women participating in a group based rehabilitation program including surgical as well as non-surgical participants. Findings Based on interviews with the 11 women included in this study, as well as participant observation, two themes were identified; 1) Pushing ones tolerance limits, and 2) Rebutting the “quick fix” fallacy. Taken together, the findings showcase how being a part of this mixed group involved having to relate to social stigmas, as well as notions regarding successful and non-successful surgical outcomes. Although such notions may be useful in identifying potential challenges related to changing exercise habits, they do not illuminate the complexity of undergoing such changes following weight loss surgery. Conclusion The findings point to the need of acknowledging patients' own exceriences to determine how successful they are after surgery. Given the findings, I argue for the need to reconsider the notion of success in relation to group based interventions.International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being 07/2014; 9:24378. DOI:10.3402/qhw.v9.24378 · 0.61 Impact Factor