Background: Adolescent obesity is a significant global health challenge and severely obese adolescents commonly experience serious medical and psychosocial challenges. Consequently, severe adolescent obesity is increasingly being treated surgically. The limited available research examining the effectiveness of adolescent bariatric surgery focuses primarily on bio-medical outcomes. There is a need for a more comprehensive understanding of the behavioural, emotional and social factors which affect adolescents’ and parents’ experience of weight loss surgery.
Methods: Patient and parents’ perspectives of adolescent LAGB were examined using a qualitative research methodology. Individual, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight adolescent patients and five parents. Thematic analysis was used to identify key themes in the qualitative data.
Results: Patients and parents generally considered adolescent laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) to be a life-changing experience, resulting in physical and mental health benefits. Factors considered to facilitate weight loss following surgery included parental support and adherence to treatment guidelines. Many adolescents reported experiencing surgical weight loss stigma and challenging interpersonal outcomes after weight loss for which they felt unprepared.
Conclusions: Patients and parents perceived LAGB positively. There are opportunities to improve both the experience and outcomes of adolescent LAGB through parental education and enhancements to surgical aftercare programmes.
- Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding
- Patient perspectives