Weight loss surgery – Should you keep it a secret?

10th May 2014

Weight loss surgery – Should you keep it a secret?

A great deal of thought goes into the decision to have weight loss surgery – research ranging from which procedure to which surgeon should I choose.

But not many people think about their decision and answer to a common question encountered after surgery – “Wow, you look great. What did you do?”


People are curious by nature, and dramatic weight loss is bound to bring questions from all quarters. However, information about our bodies and our medical status is very private, and it can be quite difficult to figure out how to address the inevitable queries once you start to lose weight. So do you tell in advance or keep quiet?

Do what makes you comfortable, seems to be the best answer. There are no hard and fast rues when it comes to discussing your weight or your efforts to get control over it. Obesity and obesity surgery are medical issues – they are just as personal as any other condition and treatment. So you have the right to discuss them – or refuse to discuss them – just as you would with any other medical issue.

If it makes you comfortable and you prefer to let the results speak for themselves, it is entirely OK to keep quiet and be happy with any appreciative glances and supportive comments you might experience.

If you choose to be more open about your bariatric surgery, it’s also OK to bring it up in conversation. You can volunteer the information or let people ask questions, and you can go into as much detail as you like, given the comfort level and depth of the conversation.

If someone says, “You’ve lost so much weight! How did you do it?” you can describe your operation and its consequences in as much detail as the situation demands. Or, you can simply say, “Thanks. Hard work.” And you’ll be telling the truth, because the surgery doesn’t do the job for you – you’ll have earned each pound or kilo you lose through diet and exercise. The surgery simply helps you along the way.

Whichever approach you choose, you can be proud of the work you’re doing for the good of your health. Bottom line: it’s personal, and you should do what makes you feel best.

However, that said, there is one group of loved ones you’ll probably need to discuss this with sooner or later. Your family, close friends and anyone who needs to know for practical reasons (your boss, for example). Ideally you should feel you can talk to them before surgery, while keeping in mind that surgery is a decision that needs to be taken between you and your doctor.

Family and friends are an important source of support before, during, and after weight loss surgery, and if you feel happy about it then enlist their support and make them aware of what’s going on.

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