Bariatric Surgery

Sleeve Gastrectomy, Stomach Stapling, Weight Loss, Biliopancreatic Diversion, Duodenal Switch, Gastric Bypass, Lap Band Surgery
Curated By
Sue Bee McCann

Sue Bee McCann is a television news producer for CBS Chicago. Sue also teaches broadcast television production as an adjunct journalism professor at Columbia University. After years of dieting on her own and with various programs, Sue made a life-changing decision. She opted for the sleeve gastrectomy procedure in March of 2018. Encouragement from key individuals made the difference in her ability to make this difficult decision. Sue is the mother of two children, ages 18 and three, and the wife of David.

In This Guide:

Many people are able to lose weight through diet and exercise. But when traditional methods of weight loss aren't working, doctors may recommend a different solution in the form of surgery. Bariatric surgery might sound extreme and scary to loved ones who don't understand. They might even think the patient is taking the easy way out. But nothing could be further from the truth. It's major surgery that causes weight loss by restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold. It also requires a lifestyle change after surgery to maintain weight loss. If you know someone considering this procedure, take some time to do some research online, and then read below to see what words might help.

They Might Be Thinking

  • Am I taking the easy way out of my battle with weight loss?
  • Why can’t I control my eating habits?
  • Will my friends and family think I’m a failure for choosing this option?
  • Can I really live with a stomach the size of an egg?
  • Will “post-op” be painful?
  • Can I afford to take short-term disability?
  • What if I’m the one person who fails and doesn’t lose any weight?
  • Who will take care of my child during my recovery?
  • How many people have had bad reactions from bariatric surgery?
  • Could I die if I elect to get bariatric surgery?
  • Should I tell my co-workers?
  • What do I tell my co-workers if they notice a change in my eating habits? 
  • Am I mentally ready to commit to this lifestyle chan forever?
  • What does my decision to have surgery say about my own self-image?
  • Will that one "friend" say, "I told you so?"

Words That Might Be Encouraging

  • I am happy you're taking control of your own destiny related to your health and physical well-being.
  • You don’t have to explain anything to me, or anyone else for that matter. It's your body, your life, and your destiny.
  • Let me know how I can help you achieve your goals.
  • I would be happy to babysit so your spouse can help you during this transition period.
  • My sister had the surgery. I would be happy to pass along her phone number if you would like to talk with her.
  • I will help you cook your special meals and clean the house while you recover.
  • You’re doing so great. Keep up the good work!
  • This is not an easy way out; it’s pretty difficult and yet, you’re doing it!
  • Everyone has different challenges. You just need to focus on what's best for you.
  • I'm so proud of you.
  • I believe in you. 
  • Are you going to a support group? Would you like me to go with you?
  • Once you are feeling better, can we schedule a weekly walk?

Words That Might Be Discouraging

  • Do you really need to have surgery?
  • What made you decide to take such drastic action?
  • So you will lose weight without having to do anything?
  • You’re so attractive; I don’t think of you as morbidly obese.
  • Just work out and eat less.
  • I could stand to lose a few pounds, too.
  • That's a major surgery; it's risky and dangerous.  
  • Aren't you afraid you are setting a bad example for your kids?
  • Did you know that getting the surgery actually has a 0.19% rate of mortality?
  • I know somebody who almost died/had a lot of complications having this surgery.
  • You know, a lot of people actually gain more weight after the surgery. 
  • Will you have a lot of extra skin afterward?
  • You’re so lucky; you get to buy a whole new wardrobe!
  • It will be so great not to have to worry about gaining weight ever again?
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