Why are my loved ones trying to talk me out of Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

When you’re thinking about something as life-changing as gastric sleeve surgery, it’s natural to share your plans with loved ones. You hope to get positive reinforcement—and many patients do—but sometimes friends and family pour cold water on your desire for bariatric surgery like VSG. Why? There are a number of reasons, most of which come from a good place.

Concern #1: It’s too invasive/not necessary.
Some people in your life may think you’re nuts for “going under the knife” in order to lose weight. I mean, is your vanity worth a complex surgery?! These comments typically come from those who either don’t understand what it’s like to NOT be able to lose weight through diet and exercise or who don’t understand gastric sleeve. The procedure is actually minimally invasive, and my patients at Endobariatric are often back at work within a week. But at the heart of comments about gastric sleeve not being necessary is the misperception that patients aren’t “trying hard enough” to lose weight. The truth is that plenty of studies have proven that the bodies of obese patients simply don’t respond well to diet and exercise. They need an extra tool in their toolbox. Gastric sleeve isn’t a quick fix or a magic pill. It’s a little tweak that, when combined with proper food and movement, can deliver real, lasting weight loss in patients who can’t achieve it in other ways.

Concern #2: It’s not safe.
This is a two-part concern. It’s not uncommon for potential sleevers to hear, “I know someone who almost died after bariatric surgery.” Well, if that’s even true, it wasn’t a patient at Endobiatric. Gastric sleeve is all we do at Endobariatric, and our complication rates are lower than the already-low average complication rates for the procedure. It’s safe. And it’s certainly safer than allowing the diseases that often go hand in hand with obesity to work their evil in your body. Nearly every pre-op patient with diagnoses like type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc., dramatically reduces or even eliminates their illnesses after having gastric sleeve. The other objection loved ones bring up has to do with the fact that Endobariatric is in Mexico. I understand that it can sound scary, but it’s as safe—or safer—than what you’ll experience in the U.S. In addition to our safety statistics, our hospital is updated frequently to stay ahead of U.S. medical standards. And thousands of patients can attest to the exceptional care they’ve received at Endobariatric.

Concern #3: What if it doesn’t help?
This remark might come from a loved one who’s witnessed your rollercoaster ride of trying and failing to lose weight in the past. It can be painful for them to watch this process, and sometimes the way they present their doubts about gastric sleeve can feel…less than supportive. Again, hopefully, it’s coming from a good place. But the difference between typical diets and gastric sleeve is night and day. You will lose weight; it’s almost physically impossible not to. You’ll probably even lose a lot of weight. And because of the combination of education and ongoing support from both the Endobariatric team and fellow sleevers, our patients tend to keep that weight off.

Friends and family members generally have your best interests at heart. Once you’ve done your research, however, it’s okay to tell them that the best way they can help you is with encouraging comments and a commitment to helping you achieve your goals (ie: going for walks together vs. out for ice cream). My patient, Connie, has the right idea about focusing on yourself, rather than the people attempting to dissuade you. “I told very few people about my plans, and I figured these people would support me, and they have,” she says. “It’s not about those people trying to hold you back; it’s about you and your health. I’ve lost over 100 pounds, and I just laugh with joy when I think of the things I’m doing now with my healthy, strong body.”

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“Changing lives…one sleeve at a time”.