Bariatric Psychological Evaluations
Bariatric surgery helps individuals undergo significant and maintainable weight loss when more traditional methods such as dieting and exercise haven’t worked in the past. However, while considered safe, bariatric procedures do pose a greater risk to the patient than other forms of weight loss.
Because of this, healthcare providers typically require bariatric surgery candidates to complete an evaluation to determine if surgery is a good fit for their individual needs. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH): patients may qualify for surgery after successfully completing an “evaluation by a multidisciplinary team with medical, surgical, psychiatric, and nutritional expertise.”
Reasons to Have a Pre-Bariatric Surgery Psychological Evaluation
- Insurance companies and surgeons typically require psychological evaluations before surgery
- Learn more about your strengths, behavioral and emotional patterns, and potential barriers to ensure that the process is as successful as possible
- Understand and explore the possible impact that surgery may have in different areas of your life
- Feel more confident and prepared for surgery and after-care
What to Expect from a Pre-Bariatric Surgery Psychological Evaluation
The main goal of the clinician is to gather enough information to make an informed decision on whether or not surgery would be beneficial for you.
Each evaluation typically includes:
- Comprehensive Clinical Interview
- Assessments and Testing
- Feedback sessions
This process requires one to two office visits to gather the necessary information and one feedback session to discuss the results and findings. This process typically takes 1-2 weeks overall, from the clinical interview to the feedback.
What a Bariatric Evaluation is Not
It is important to know that the evaluation is not a pass or fail test. It helps identify the patient’s strengths and weaknesses to help them identify potential problems or struggles they may face after surgery.
Because many obese individuals struggle with depression, anxiety, binge eating, and other mental health issues, these are typically NOT reasons to delay or deny surgery. If we find anything that concerns us during the testing process, we will work with the patient to develop a plan to better prepare them for surgery and positive post-surgery outcomes.
Ultimately, the patient’s surgeon will decide whether or not they will proceed with the surgery – not the psychologist.
Please call our office at (847) 979-0268 for more information or schedule a psychological assessment consultation.