Breaking the News
Telling Others About Your Weight Loss Surgery
While bariatric surgery has become a widely-used type 2 diabetes treatment and a popular treatment for morbid obesity, some patients feel that a stigma exists around having surgery to lose weight. For this reason, it can be difficult to know when and how to announce taking part in a surgical weight loss program.
Here are some tips shared by weight loss surgery counselors, including many who have experienced gastric banding surgery themselves:
- Get help from experts. Canadian bariatric surgery clinic Slimband® enrolls patients in a full support program, including bariatric surgery support groups. The additional motivation and emotional support helps patients maintain healthy habits and achieve long term weight loss. Patients are also counseled regarding issues like emotional eating and how to talk to friends and family about their bariatric surgery.
- Discuss the benefits of bariatric surgery. While patients shouldn’t feel like they need to over-explain or approach the discussion defensively, it helps to have facts and weight loss surgery info to share. Many people consider weight loss surgery a cosmetic issue, when for most patients the motivation to lose weight is based on medical necessity. Learn from the success stories of others who have experienced successful weight loss surgery.
- Discuss health complications related to obesity. For patients with diabetes, gastric band weight loss can have a significant positive impact on health. Other obese patients suffer from heart problems and high blood pressure. When sharing facts about weight loss surgery, share some of the main issues and eligibility factors discussed during the initial weight loss consultation.
- Discuss emotional well-being. Being overweight can have a negative effect on body image and self-esteem. Obesity can lead to feelings of isolation and depression. Weight loss surgery helps patients lose weight and develop happier, healthier lifestyles. Discuss the emotional benefits of surgery.
- Share struggles and limitations. The recovery phase of laparoscopic banding surgery can be discouraging at first. Admit difficulties to friends and ask for support when necessary. It may be important for friends and family to understand diet restrictions, limited alcohol intake and other factors related to eating and drinking after gastric banding surgery.
- Don’t feel obligated to talk. It isn’t necessary to broadcast weight loss surgery to everyone you come in contact with. Don’t feel obligated to tell every coworker or acquaintance. Weight loss surgery is no different than other medically-necessary surgeries. Many patients ultimately feel more comfortable sharing with close friends, loved ones, or supervisors at work, especially when surgery has an effect on work performance or time off.
- Join the My Slimband Community. The My Slimband Weight Loss Community offers an environment where you can share your stories and concerns with others who have had the procedure and have been where you are now. It's a place for you to talk about struggles and successes. The community is also a space where you can discuss emotional well-being and share your victories. If you're worried about telling close friends, the My Slimband Community could be an ideal place for you to open up about your Slimband procedure.