Bariatric surgery is arguably the most innovative treatment for obesity ever invented. Unfortunately, despite its stellar success rate, bariatric surgery comes with its own unique set of challenges — emotional challenges.
After weight-loss surgery, patients may feel an intense or even infuriating wave of emotions. Although this is normal, it shouldn’t be ignored. To help you understand the emotional challenges that come along with bariatric surgery, Dr. Robert Snow of Snow Bariatric Center details some of the experiences you may run into and how a support network can keep things positive.
Emotional changes after bariatric surgery
Leading up to bariatric surgery and afterward, you may feel and experience a wide range of emotions and thoughts. Some common experiences after bariatric surgery include:
- A loss of sense of self, or confusion about your identity
- Confusion about how you feel about yourself as a person
- Feeling ashamed or guilty about your surgery
- Feeling lost about “next steps” or an action plan
- Self-consciousness and wondering what other people think about your surgery
- Feelings of extreme vulnerability
On the flip side, other people in your life may feel certain ways about your weight-loss surgery. It’s not uncommon for friends, family, and significant others to feel:
- Confused as to why you underwent bariatric surgery
- Angry that you “took the easy way out” (even though it’s not!)
- Judgemental or biased toward weight-loss surgery in general
- Nervous or scared about your health
All of the above feelings can be difficult to navigate, and it may take a while for them to dissipate in yourself and others.
The importance of a solid support system
When undergoing any major life change, a support system is critical to helping you cope with challenges — this includes weight-loss surgery. Though bariatric surgery can result in profound positive outcomes, it may also result in some unexpected emotional challenges, as detailed above.
Thus, it’s important to have a solid support network in place before undergoing bariatric surgery. With the right support system, you can tackle emotional challenges head-on and turn the bad to good. For example, supportive people can:
- Reinforce your sense of self-worth and help you remember that your worth isn’t tied to your weight — and that there’s no reason to be ashamed of pursuing weight-loss surgery
- Keep you on track with healthy eating and exercise habits leading up to your surgery and afterward
- Support you during your recovery and help you transition back to your day-to-day life
- Adopt new eating habits with you — this can be great for the whole family!
- Help you find new activities and hobbies that reinforce healthy habits to support sustained weight loss
As you can see, having friends and family who understand the physical and emotional challenges you’re going through can be the key to successful bariatric surgery.
To learn more about weight-loss surgery, potential challenges, and the importance of emotional support, schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Snow today. Call one of our convenient Texas locations or request an appointment online.