As the medicalization of ‘‘obesity’’ has become more formalized, bariatric surgery is taking on new meaning in both medicine and society. Through repeated qualitative interviews (3 interviews every 3 to 5 months) and deploying interpretative phenomenological analysis, we examine the discourses and perceptions of patients post-bariatric surgery (n = 15). Results suggest participants’ perceive bariatric surgery not as a cure, but a tool, alleviant, prophylaxis and suppressant. The findings highlight that responsibility for a healthy future is constructed as a matter of individual responsibility and pressing concern.
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The authors thank participants, Hannah Reagan for flyer design and Dr. Anna Kirkland for insightful conversation.
Faculty Research and Creative Endeavors Committee (FRCE), Central Michigan University, Type B Research Grant.
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The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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Bombak, A.E., Eckhart, N., Bensley, J.H. et al. Bariatric surgery as prophylaxis: an emerging protection discourse. Soc Theory Health 19, 282–297 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41285-019-00121-0