Life After Bariatric Surgery: Men's Perspectives on Self-concept, Intimate Relationships, and Social Support

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Virginia Tech


The objective of this dissertation was to explore the experiences and perspectives of men who have had bariatric surgery. The researcher specifically explored life after bariatric surgery, with a focus on men's perspectives of self-concept, intimate relationships, and social support. Phenomenology was utilized and the researcher conducted 60-90 minute interviews with men who had bariatric surgery in the previous five years, were over the age of 25, were at least six months post-surgery at the time of the study, had been in at least one intimate or committed relationship after surgery, and resided in the United States. Symbolic interactionism and family systems theory were used to guide the study. Five themes emerged in the study which included: (1) a shift in identity construction; (2) enhanced relationship experiences; (3) increased intimacy; (4) fluidity of informal social supports; and (5) mental health services. The study included a rich description of the phenomenon, critical analysis, a discussion of the theoretical model, and discussion of clinical implications for marriage and family therapists.



Bariatric surgery, Obesity, Weight loss, Men, Self, Relationship satisfaction, Social support