What is it about that impulse to share surgery stories? It's the old this-happened-to-me, oh-no-mine-was-worse impulse. It also extends to the rigors (horrors) of childbirth, often said in the presence of the expectant first-time mother. Not for nothing are these called war stories.
I just had the occasion myself to indulge in such a sharing with someone just returned to work, still recovering from prostate cancer surgery. His took all day instead of just a couple hours as expected, and his kidneys shut down for three hours. He had been anticipating returning to work after two weeks, and instead was out for four. In my turn I shared about my fibroid removal from last summer. We shared all kinds of info that normally we'd not have spoken of, even though we've known each other over 20 years, but something in a shared situation created a momentary bond. We joked a bit, but it still hurt him to laugh. Not that that stopped us.
At one point it almost got competitive. I mentioned noticeably losing 11 pounds with my surgery, and he commented that he was sure people noticed a difference is him as well.
"Oh, I don't know. I'm sure nobody came up to you and asked, 'Is that a six-pound fibroid in your pants or are you just happy to see me?' "