How To Tell Your Boss You’re Having Surgery – 11 Quick Tips

Written By Aleena

Firstly, we wish you “get well soon” for the surgery. Secondly, we will share some tips on how to tell your boss you’re having surgery.

Having surgery is a turmoil of emotions and fear. However, telling your boss about it and fearing if he will give you paid time off or not is scary too.

How To Tell Your Boss You’re Having Surgery – 11 Quick Tips

It can be tough to tell your boss about the surgery, but you should consider some things before doing it.

1. Request A Meeting:

As much as you don’t want to tell your boss about the surgery, sometimes it is necessary.

how to tell your boss you're having a surgery

To ensure he understands everything is by requesting a one-on-one meeting with him. It will allow you to speak in peace and have the right time for the talk.

2. Know Your Rights As An Employee:

Most companies have paid leave policies, but are they always clear?

Always find out if there are any loopholes in the company’s policy. You should know what’s waiting for you when your leave starts.

Also, if possible, try to negotiate some standing arrangement with your boss.

3. How To Tell Your Boss You’re Having Surgery – Brief The Details Of The Surgery:

When meeting your boss, know the details of your surgery.

It’s impossible to go into detail, but you can briefly explain it. Your boss must understand what you’re going through.

Moreover, you might want to explain the impact of your absence on your work.

4. Make The Meeting As Informal As Possible:

Make sure you have a meeting as informal as possible, even if your boss is the strictest person in the world.

invest in health

Try to keep it light and casual, so no one feels uncomfortable. Also, make sure it’s not an emergency meeting or offered up as a last resort. You should request one beforehand.

5. Let Your Boss Know Of The Deadline:

Give an estimated date, or else there might be complications arising. Also, let your boss know that this is not an indefinite leave of absence.

It would help if you made it very clear to your boss what the purpose of this leave is. There are chances that you may be back at work early if everything goes well.

6. How To Tell Your Boss You’re Having Surgery – Keep It Short And Simple:

Make sure that the meeting doesn’t last more than 20 minutes. Try not to get into too much detail.

Also, make sure you don’t get emotional when telling your boss about the surgery.

It’s easy to get emotional when going through a life-altering experience. However, try not to show it in front of your boss.

Instead, provide a brief explanation and get back to work.

7. Offer To Document Your Surgery With Photos:

Show your boss your surgery photos. This way, when you return to work, he will better understand what you went through.

The next time around, this might prove beneficial to you both. Moreover, it’ll make you look better as a worker in the eyes of your boss.

8. How To Tell Your Boss You’re Having Surgery – Ask For As Much Paid Leave As Possible:

If you’re lucky enough to have a generous leave policy, take advantage of it.


The more time you spend away, the better it’ll be for your company and yourself too.

You can talk to HR beforehand about the policy. Let your boss know before time as well.

9. Get The Right Medical Documentation:

Before you return to work, make sure you have your medical documentation in order.

Show it to your boss and let him know about the scheduled date of return. This way, he’ll understand why you took leave in the first place.

It’s not easy asking for a paid leave when you’re in the middle of surgery. However, it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself and your future at work.

10. Be Ready To Answer Any Questions Your Boss May Have:

Your boss can ask questions like “will it affect your work” or “how will it impact the company?

To answer this correctly, you need to know all the details about your surgery beforehand. In this way, you won’t look flustered when your boss asks you tricky questions.

11. How To Tell Your Boss You’re Having Surgery – Thank Him:

If your boss is supportive enough, do thank him for his support and cooperation. Say goodbye to him and promise to keep in touch with him during recovery.

It’ll make you look good if he ever finds out about any future job opportunities later on down the line.

11 Things To Do At Work Pre And Post Surgery

Before you go to the surgery, here’s what you need to do:

1. Let The Company Know That You’ll Be Back At Work Soon:

When you return to work, remember that not everyone is aware of why you were absent.

look after health

Don’t thank your boss for his support over the phone.

Let the company know that you’re looking forward to coming back to work. It’ll make things easier when you get back to work.

2. Make A List Of What You Have To Do Before You Return:

Make a list of all the things you have to take care of before returning.

Set up an inventory system and take care of the necessary tasks before your surgery date. Moreover, this will also help you prioritize your tasks.

If you have a desk job, make sure to clear out your workstation before the surgery day.

Make room to come back and sit on your chair more comfortably. This way, it’ll be easier for you to transition between working days after

When you return after the surgery, here’s what you need to do:

3. Welcome Your Colleagues Back With A Very Brief Explanation:

On your return, welcome colleagues with a brief explanation about why you took time off. In this way, they will understand where you were during your absence.

You don’t need to detail since everyone has reasons for taking leave or an extended vacation.

Keep it brief, so no one becomes uncomfortable while greeting you back at work.

4. Show Off Your Scar Photos To Coworkers:

Please bring in your surgery photos and show them to colleagues. In this way, they will better understand where you’ve been and what you experienced.


It’ll make you look more relatable if your coworkers ask any questions later on down the line.

5. After You Tell Your Boss You’re Having Surgery- Show Off Your Work:

Once back at work, continue to do what you started doing before the surgery.

This way, there won’t be a drastic change that might cause concern among coworkers.

Work is an essential factor for getting disability leave approval. So keep it up and let everything fall into place as time goes by.

6. After You Tell Your Boss You’re Having Surgery- Maintain The Status Quo:

Let things go back to routine post-surgery. Keep your head down and continue to work.

In this way, not many people will notice that you’re not completely fine yet.

Do not over-promise during the time of recovery. It’ll be difficult to deliver on those promises later on. It will make things less productive for everyone involved.

7. Let Your Colleagues Know About Your Surgery:

Post-surgery, your colleagues might ask about what exactly happened to you. What should you say?

The best response is honesty. Let your colleagues know where you went and how it affected your routine at home and work.

It’ll make you look good if all your coworkers are aware of what you went through.

8. Let Coworkers Know About Your Medical Condition And Treatment Method:

If your friends ask questions about the surgery, let them know everything they need to know.

tell boss you're having a surgery

For example, explain how you’re recovering and detail every treatment method.

9. Don’t Fear Asking For Help:

You might feel overwhelmed at work during your initial recovery phase.

Don’t fear to ask for help if you’re having trouble with something. Let your colleagues know about the situation to offer assistance.

If you want to look good at work, then don’t be afraid to ask for help when necessary.

10. After You Tell Your Boss You’re Having Surgery – Keep Up With Your Current Duties:

Set small goals to accomplish more within a week’s time frame.

It’ll make you look like a hard worker and someone who wants to get things done efficiently.

Scheduling appointments post-surgery will make the recovery period easier.

Remember that rest is essential when trying to recover from surgery, no matter how busy your life is.

11. Don’t Pretend You’re 100%:

There’s no shame in saying you don’t feel completely fine post-surgery.

how to tell boss you're having a surgery

It’ll look good if you tell people about the recovery process. They should have a better understanding of where you stand.

Being honest will make things easier when getting disability leave benefits.


When you tell your boss you’re having surgery, feeling anxious is natural.

Know your rights as an employee, and share them with your boss. Do not fear him rejecting you.

Get ready for any questions he might have, and share with him the surgery documentations. Moreover, thank him at the end of the meeting.

In conclusion, if you follow all these tips and advice, he will be supportive. So, there’s no need to worry or worry too much.

Last Updated on 2 months by Aleena


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