Impact of Bariatric Surgery on Romantic Relationships

Regular readers may recall previous posts in which I commented on the significant impact (both good and bad) that undergoing bariatric surgery can have on personal relationships.

This topic is extensively dealt with in an article by Katherine Applegate and Kelli Friedman (Duke University) published in Bariatric Nursing.

As the authors point out patients can encounter diverse relationship issues as they consider, undergo, and live with bariatric surgery.

These problems can stem from the patients’ and their partners’ expectations, the patients’ increase in energy, their enhanced confidence, and changes in appearance.

Other common concerns include changes in sexual intimacy and beliefs about the stability of the relationship and risk of divorce.

Although overall, there is considerable research showing that most patients will report improvements in
relationship satisfaction and weight-related sexual quality of life after surgery, problems can occur and health professionals should certainly be aware of and well able to counsel their patients on these issues.

As always, it is best to communicate these issues professionally and accurately and help patients recruit support and obtain psychological counseling when needed.

I’d certainly like to hear from any of my readers on how they have dealt with such issues or have counselled their clients about these problems.

Hamburg, Germany