When going through a major life-changing experience like bariatric surgery, having a support system can be a huge benefit to stand by your side. For many, asking for friends or family support might seem like a frightening ordeal, and there may be some cases in which support from the family is out of the question. Regardless of who your advocate is, interacting with someone intimately familiar with your challenges is a great feeling.
Support groups are one of the most crucial parts of pre-op and post-op for bariatric surgery patients.
Sometimes, simply asking for help is the easiest way to have a support system back you up. Most people worldwide will go out of their way to help someone in need, and family is no exception.
Support Resources After Bariatric Surgery
Opting for a bariatric procedure is a major life-altering decision and a huge step. Finding the right support system in the most difficult time of your life is crucial for long-term success.
1. Potential Family Opportunities
Not only can getting the family involved help to gain a sense of value and appreciation, but it can also serve as an opportunity for positive change in lifestyle for everyone.
By involving family members in the process, you provide them with the chance to learn more about bariatric surgery and develop a better understanding of just how it works.
In some cases, another family member may be so impressed that they decide to undergo surgery along with you.
A clinical study at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey shows that siblings who undergo bariatric surgery together lose 30% more weight than those who go it alone. The study also showed that siblings can lose 40% more weight than the usual patient.
Another benefit of involving the family is raising awareness of beneficial lifestyle changes. Even if bariatric surgery isn’t an option for the family, adopting healthy lifestyle habits and becoming more active together can be a great outcome.
2. Friends By Your Side
Having friends as part of your support system or even a “surgery buddy” to go through the process is extremely helpful for patients. Family and friends can be a great addition to help keep you on track and accountable. Weight loss surgery is not something you need to hide or be embarrassed about. You would be surprised how much aid you can find from the right friends!
You can even get certain friends to join in on healthy lifestyle habits. Perhaps you have a co-worker who goes to the gym and could use a workout partner. Maybe you have a neighbor who loves to make healthy substitutes for meals.
3. Support Groups
If you still want to seek out additional assistance you can go to at times of need, a support group can also be an excellent option. Joining online communities, such as weight loss surgery forums, are a great way to engage with other members who are in the same boat as you.
We have great resources at Mexico Bariatric Center to aid patients in achieving their goals. Our closed group on Facebook is “Educating, Motivating, and Celebrating” those who undergo bariatric surgery with our company. The past bariatric patients (affiliates) moderate the group to keep a positive environment for everyone’s participation. MBC dietician has regular virtual Zoom meetings to prepare individuals for their operation and guide them through the post-surgery regimen.
Data show that weight loss surgery patients with access to support groups lose 12% more weight on average.
Support groups such as the MBC Facebook support group can serve as a useful place to overcome fear before surgery, make new friends, get answers to questions, and gather knowledge about your journey. You can share your progress after surgery through before and after photos. Some support groups even place clothing swap programs for their members that you take advantage of.
How to Interact With Your Support System
Specifying how you’d like the support system to help is wise. When you determine how they can help you, the guesswork is removed, creating new ways to bond. Having your support system hold you accountable for cheating on your pre-op or post-op diet, provide motivation to be active, or help you vent your emotional struggles over time can make a tremendous difference.
When attending bariatric support groups, be non-judgmental, supportive, understanding, courteous, honest, sharing, and a resource for new patients.
Former Bariatric Patients, Share Your Experience
If you underwent bariatric surgery and want to share the support you received from your family and the overall lifestyle change you made together, please do so in the comments below!
Leave A Comment