Relationships and How They Change after Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery is a life-changing event for any patient. Eliminating a stigma that has surrounded them for years, decades, or even their whole lives can be a very freeing and exciting prospect. However, patients must also consider that those around them will see and experience significant changes as well. Remember, these are people who have come to expect certain attitudes and behaviors from the patient. And as we all know, as humans it’s not always easy to change.
As patients begin to lose weight, they tend to become more social, more outgoing and have a greater interest in participating in new activities. This is very positive for the patient but can be perceived as a threat by family and friends; particularly spouses.
It is therefore important to understand how many peoples’ lives change after bariatric surgery. Having an honest discussion with loved ones and friends as to what they should expect from you after surgery can be very good preparation. This is also a great time to develop a support team composed of friends and family members, people that can act as your support group when you encounter challenges and as your cheerleaders as you move through them.
The communication must continue after surgery as well. You may find that some of those around you don’t seem as happy for you as you would expect. They may not be jealous, they may just feel left out or scared that you might be moving forward without them. Having an open line of communication and discussing their concerns can be very helpful in keeping your closest relationships intact.
Having weight loss surgery is a huge step that not only changes a person’s physical life but also their emotional and psychological state. The benefits run the gamut of improved sociability to life extension. Therefore, the decision on whether to undergo bariatric surgery should be made by YOU. Of course, considering the opinions of your friends, family and even your surgeon are important, too.
As Brian Grace, our physician assistant notes, the most commonly cited regret after bariatric surgery is not doing it sooner. Understanding the effects of obesity and how surgery can improve your life allows for a well-informed decision for your future.