How to Explain Your Decision to Have Surgery

Once you’ve decided to go ahead and have a bariatric surgery procedure, you’ll find yourself in the tricky position of having to explain your decision to others. Obviously, you’ve probably talked over your decision with close family members and friends, but others may be surprised to learn that you will be undergoing surgery or confused about why you would choose to have a bariatric operation. This is a tricky topic because many people believe having surgery is the “easy way out”. Here are some tips and talking points for you to use when discussing your decision to get bariatric surgery.

  1. Talk about the surgery in light of the future health benefits you are likely to experience because of the surgery. Although your recovery time may make you appear to not be as healthy for a while, most patients see very significant health benefits almost immediately. Bariatric surgery reduces your susceptibility to many types of diseases and health conditions, and it can also make you feel like you have added years to your life.
  2. Mention the other methods you have tried that have not worked for you and that have led to your decision to get bariatric surgery. People who understand what you have been through and the struggles you have had with your weight may be more sympathetic to your decision to get surgery. Explain that you’re not seeing the surgery as a quick fix, but a tool to help you lose and maintain this weight loss for the rest of your life.
  3. Direct others to medical research. Each type of surgery is backed by many studies that show how much it increases people’s health and quality of life. These studies are easily found online just by doing a quick internet search. Once people know as much about the surgery as you do, they may be able to better understand why you would want it.
  4. Let people know that you have made a personal choice and you would appreciate their continued friendship and support during the time. Your true friends will stick by you regardless of what you have decided, and you should gently let them know that you have made your final decision and don’t want them to try to convince you otherwise. This will put a more positive spin on the relationship and direct your energy toward the process of preparing for and recovering from your surgery.

The more you know about bariatric surgery before you decide to go through with it, the more you will be able to tell people about the surgery. Make sure you also know your facts regarding what surgery you have decided to have. Being educated is your first and best line of defense. Finding support of others may be tough if you can’t back anything up with factual information. Take the time before surgery to educate yourself on everything you can in regards to your procedure.

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