Who Needs to Know You Are Considering Bariatric Surgery?
Let’s cut right to the chase. The decision to have bariatric surgery is a very personal one. Many factors come into play when you make that decision, and whom you tell is, frankly, entirely up to you. We have some patients that wish to tell everyone they know about their decision, while others don’t say a word to anyone but their medical team. Either way is acceptable, but there are a few considerations:
If you keep your decision about bariatric surgery close to your chest, be sure you have some kind of support system available to you. This can include your bariatric practice, but it’s also important to have a support system outside your surgeon’s office. The support can come online or in person, or you may have a small group of trusted friends that also had bariatric surgery and are willing and able to keep your decision between you.
That said, there are significant benefits to discussing having bariatric surgery, and there are many reasons why many of our patients discuss their bariatric procedures openly. Just a few of them are below.
They’ve Overcome the “Easy Way Out” Mentality.
One of the biggest reasons patients delay or ultimately decide not to have bariatric surgery is because they believe they are taking the easy way out. Nothing could be further from the truth. Remember that bariatric surgery not only reduces caloric intake but creates a hormonal shift in the body that cannot be achieved otherwise. However, this hormonal change is simply a jumpstart to the more significant weight loss process, which takes time and effort. You will not find a bariatric patient that will tell you the process after surgery is easy.
They Are Helping Other People.
Telling your bariatric surgery story helps others. You may remember when you first considered bariatric surgery, probably with some trepidation. How would you break the decision to friends and family? Many others are in the same position. By telling your story, you help other people make this life-changing decision more confidently and know there’s someone there to support them.
You May Be Helping Yourself.
Months and years after bariatric surgery, it can become challenging to maintain that early pot-op motivation. However, telling your story can be a great way to keep yourself on track. Not only is it motivating to hear your own story and remind yourself of how far you’ve come, but you are also reminding yourself of the tips, tricks, and motivations you’ve created and developed over your journey.
You Are Widening Your Support Circle.
Nothing is more critical to your post-bariatric life than the support system around you. Family and friends supporting you and even joining you on your weight loss journey (whether they’ve had bariatric surgery or not) is excellent motivation for improving your weight loss and maintaining a new, lower weight. Having the buy-in of close friends and family, especially those that will be closest to you after surgery, is a great way to keep yourself on track.
You Have Someone to Lean On.
While the initial excitement of your decision may make you think that the next steps are easy, that will not be the case. While you will likely lose weight faster and more consistently than ever, you will have ups and downs, and having someone to commiserate with and frankly complain to is a crucial part of the process. Someone who doesn’t understand your decision only knows part of the picture and may not be able to help you as much as someone who’s been with you from the beginning.
The Bottom Line
Deciding whether to tell others about your bariatric journey is a decision only you can make. However, knowing that having a support system around you and the possibility of being able to help others is a great motivation that has helped many of our patients achieve a smoother and easier postoperative life with greater success.
We encourage you to bring a close friend or family member to your consultation once you’ve watched our online seminar so they can be a part of your journey from the beginning. Of course, if you choose not to, speak to us about how to maximize the all-important support after surgery.