Managing Unsupportive Opinions About Bariatric Surgery

Managing Unsupportive Opinions About Bariatric Surgery

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Whether you are in the early stages of considering bariatric surgery or you have just had your first appointment with Dr Jordaan, making the decision to undergo a weight loss procedure and the thought of telling your loved ones can be quite daunting.

Bariatric surgery for obesity is still a new concept and in some instances there is a stigma attached. You may hear remarks such as “Just eat less and do more exercise”, “Obesity isn’t an illness”, “Surgery for obesity is not a cure – join Weight Watchers”. All of these remarks are misguided and false.

Obesity is a disease and many people are unable to lose the weight with diet and exercise alone. This is the main message we must relay to our families and friends to help them understand that this is a necessary step in your journey towards better health.

Some strategies to help your family support your decision to have bariatric surgery for obesity include:

  • Bring your loved ones to your initial appointment at the Surgical Weight Loss Centre. We will explain the different types of surgery and the whole process in detail, including the support you will receive from our nurses, dietitians, and our clinical psychologist. This will open their eyes and debunk any myths about weight loss surgery, and allows you and your loved ones to ask questions directly to our team.
  • Encourage your family to utilize the resources on our website. It is strongly recommended that you watch the BBC documentary “The Truth About Fat”.
  • If it is your partner who has concerns, you may want to bring them along to your appointment with our psychologist, Lorraine Langsford. Lorraine can help your partner understand the motivation as to why you are wanting weight loss surgery. Often a main concern for partners is how will your weight loss may affect your relationship.

If, after taking these steps, your family and friends remain unsupportive, it is important to take a step back and remember the reasons why you want to undergo weight loss surgery.

Remember that it is your body and your health, and that you are the one who needs to feel well and comfortable in that body.

It is also important to remember that you are encouraged to rely on the team at the Surgical Weight Loss Centre for support. We encourage you to remain in contact and to ask questions to ensure you achieve the best weight loss results.

There are also many online forums which have become tight-knit communities. By joining a forum, you can be a part of supportive discussions with like-minded people who have undergone or are thinking about weight loss surgery. You may find that they become your strongest support network.

If you would like to chat to us further about your options, feel free to contact us.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general education purposes only and does not replace the need to consult with a registered surgeon at The Surgical Weight Loss Centre who will assess your personal circumstances and eligibility for surgery. Every patient is different and requires a thorough assessment of health condition and fitness prior to undertaking any of the points that have been covered in this article.