What to say to someone having surgery?

This article will center on showing what are things you can say to someone that is having surgery. It will give a detailed explanation of why you should say those things.

What to say to someone having surgery? 

Going through surgery can be an emotional moment. You should always try to be supportive and caring with what you say to a person that will go through it. Here are some things you can say to someone having surgery.

Tell them how much you love them 

Waiting for surgery can be terrifying, and the person may feel completely alone. Listening to someone say they love you can be a huge comfort. 

This is not something to guarantee everything will be okay, but rather to give them a positive emotion while they are going to surgery. It may be a little relief to help them deal with the stress of this moment.

Talk about what you can do together after the surgery 

You should be careful to not be overly enthusiastic about this. If you talk too much about what you want to do after the surgery, it can make them feel like you are disregarding their feelings at the moment. 

But talking about what you will do together once they recover can also be a way of keeping in mind that, even though this is a difficult moment, there will be others in which it will be possible to have fun.

Let them know you will be close by as they are in surgery 

Going to a surgery room is scary. Thinking that you are completely vulnerable, and the doctors will have complete control over your body, and life, can be overwhelming. In these moments knowing someone is close by can be a source of huge relief.

Knowing the person they trust, and love, will be in the waiting room, or close to them can give a measurable sense of comfort, in this vulnerable moment. You can tell them you will be close by, and that by the time they wake up, you will be by their side, which can lead them to feel less alone.

Wish them well 

If you are unable to be the person that will be physically close, you can send some flowers, or send a text to wish them well. Let them know they are in your thoughts and prayers, and that even though you are not there, you are wishing them all the best at this moment.

Make sure to set a time you will be able to be physically close to them. And ask them if they would be open for you to visit them at that time.

Remind them their doctors know what they are doing 

As said before, going through surgery implies you are in the most vulnerable of positions. You will be asleep, and cut open, as others will have complete control over your body. During that time they can feel unsure and begin to question everything.

They may want to know if their doctors are good and if they won’t have trouble doing their job. Reassure them that they have been in treatment with this doctor for a long time, they did all the necessary exams, so even though you understand it can be scary, they should trust their doctors.

Use some sense of humor 

In some cases, people will respond well to a sense of humor. Making a lighthearted joke about what the situation is can bring your friend or loved ones some laughs, which can only be positive at this moment.

But you should also be careful with this. Be sensitive to how they feel. If you make a disrespectful joke it will not only make them feel worse, but it is another thing for them to cope with beyond the surgery.

If they are religious, you can talk about that

If your friend or family member is religious, talking about how their religion views these difficult times in life can give them some comfort. Talking about their beliefs, and how active religion has been in their life, can help them look at all that is happening from a new perspective.

Talk about how you can help with their recovery

One thing that can make a person extremely anxious as they prepare to go through surgery is the recovery process. They can fear they will become dependent on others or will be in too much pain.

What you can do in these situations is talk with them about the ways you will be able to help. Make them feel supported, without babying them. Let them know you are there to help and tell them all the activities you can do during their recovery. 

Remember it is not caring for their wounds, they may also need help with house chores with their kids, or even with school work. 

What are the emotional impacts of having surgery? 

Going through surgery can be an emotional time. People can go through surgery for many reasons, and how they will feel about it is often related to the cause of the surgery. If someone is going through plastic surgery for something they have always wanted to change in their figure, it may be that the emotional impact won’t be that intense.

But if a person is going through surgery because they went through an accident, or because they have a medical condition, it can be that they fear what is happening, causing the surgery to be an emotional time. 

People may fear being completely vulnerable, as the surgery will leave them at the hands of their doctors. They can fear how they will come out of the surgery, and what the recovery will be like. 

All of that can make the days, and moments, before surgery extremely stressful for them. That is why it is so important for people around to be supportive and caring about what they say.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What to say to someone having surgery? 

How can I help someone recovering from surgery? 

If you are going to help someone that went through surgery, there are some things you can do. The first one is to give them a helping hand. And this means helping with the most basic things. 

After they leave the hospital they may need someone to keep their house clean and make sure they have all the medication and medical supplies for their recovery.

You should also make sure that you know what is happening. When they are discharged, they will probably get a lot of instructions, and even though they may remember most of it, it is important that you also have the information. To help them keep track of it all.

You should also make a point of being there. Make yourself present, don’t wait for them to ask for help. But offer whatever is possible. And finally, you can use technology as a way to help you get organized with all the necessities of your friend or loved one. It can help you remember the time of the medications, and when to change the bandages.

How can a person feel after surgery? 

The surgery can also be an intense period for the person. They will most likely experience pain from the procedure. But not only that, some people may feel down after the tension of the surgery is over. Aside from that, after the surgery, they may need to deal with the expectations they had of the surgery.

They will begin to notice if the surgery went as well as they thought it would, and if it reached the goal they were hoping for. After a long time of hospitalization, people can also feel extremely lonely. And it isn’t right after their discharge that they will be able to resume their social life. Which can make loneliness worse.

A lot of people will also feel extremely dependent on others, and this can lead them to feel bad. And, unfortunately, some people may go through complications from their surgery, and this can lead to intense fear and frustration.

What is depression after surgery? 

Depression after surgery is when a person experiences symptoms of depression after they have gone through surgery. It can happen as a reaction to the anesthetics, or the antibiotics. 

The pain and discomfort the person feels after the pain is also something that can lead the person to feel depressed. Some medications that the person can take for pain can often make them feel more lethargic, and sometimes, even affect their mood. 

Aside from that, a person will develop depression after surgery when they are dealing with an illness or a stressful situation that led to the surgery. Finally, it can happen as the surgery leads to concerns around mortality, and their life span.

What are ways to prevent depression after surgery?

To prevent depression after surgery, the person must get as much information as they can about the surgery. Knowing what to expect, and how to prepare yourself can make it all a lot easier.

Aside from that, once you have gone through surgery, you must try to get yourself up a little each day. It may be hard at first, but this will make a huge difference in your recovery, and your mood.

Having people around you that you love and support you can also help in preventing you from getting depressed. It will not only be a distraction, but it will also make your mood better. 

You should also try to keep healthy habits. Eating, and sleeping well are extremely important to help your body recover, but also to improve your mind. And along with those habits, come exercising. 

If you are going through surgery, you can try to set some improvement goals for yourself. Those can help you get a sense of how much better you are getting, and also give you some sort of sense of accomplishment. And finally, try to be patient. Know that recovery takes time, but you will soon be better.

What are the surgeries that have the highest risk of causing people to become depressed?

It is more common for people to get depressed when they are going through heart surgery, bariatric surgery, and spinal surgery.

People that are going through surgery because of cancer are also more susceptible to depression, as are people that are going through surgery to have a limb amputation.


This article explained what are the things you should say to someone that is having surgery. It also highlighted how people may feel when you say those things.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.