The pre-surgical psychological evaluation covers a number of issues that pertain to your weight and your decision to have bariatric surgery. The evaluation is one piece of a multi-disciplinary assessment that involves pulling together information gathered from the medical, surgical, nutritional and psychiatric team members.
Before making the decision to have weight loss surgery, patients have typically tried many other ways to lose weight. After patients make the decision to undergo surgery, they are quite excited and ready to embark on a new journey to a healthier life. There are quite a few steps that patients have to take before they are ready to have surgery.
Addressing the psychological and behavioral contributors to obesity and ensuring that you are prepared to undergo surgery is an important step in treatment. We are licensed clinicians who regularly conduct pre-bariatric surgery psychological evaluations that meet all insurance and surgeon requirements.
Why have a pre-bariatric surgery psychological evaluation?
- Your insurance requires it.
- Your surgeon requires it.
- To learn more about your own unique triggers and challenges to eating, reasons for your habits, and barriers that prevent you from staying on track, and come up with the best plan to help get you on your way for post-surgical success.
- You want to discuss the impact (psychological, behavioral, relationship, etc.) that surgery may have on you.
- To have an ally on your side to better prepare you for surgery.
What does a pre-bariatric surgery psychological evaluation entail?
While this sounds frightening and intimidating, we ensure that it will not be.
- You will first fill out some paper forms about your weight, eating, drinking, alcohol use, and feelings.
- You will meet with us for 50-60 minutes to discuss:
- Your eating habits. We understand that you may not have the healthiest habits. We will not judge you. Many people have unhealthy eating habits, and this is NOT a reason to deny someone surgery! We will discuss these habits with you so that we can make recommendations for a more successful transition into your new lifestyle.
- Your mood and emotional stability and psychological history. It is normal for people to have ups and downs at times as well as normal bouts of sadness or anxiety. This is not a reason to deny someone surgery!
- Your understanding of the weight loss surgery procedure, any risks involved, and the necessary long-term behavioral changes that you will have to make so that you are most prepared for success. Having surgery is serious – we just want to make sure that you have done your homework, are prepared for surgery, and understand what to expect!
- It is also your chance to ask questions and express concerns and we will address them.
The evaluation is not a pass or fail test. It is more of a discussion to help you identify potential problems that might lead to difficulty after surgery. Since many obese individuals may suffer from depression, anxiety, binge eating, and other problems, these are typically NOT reasons to delay or deny surgery. If there is anything that concerns us, we will share it with you during the visit and we will work with you to develop a plan to better prepare you to have surgery. The majority of patients that we evaluate are ready to have surgery. Those who may need treatment prior to surgery will be given specific recommendations and referrals. Ultimately, your surgeon will make a decision as to whether he or she will proceed with the surgery – not the clinician.
How long will the pre-bariatric surgery evaluation take?
- Meeting with us can take up to 60 minutes.
What happens after the pre-bariatric surgery evaluation?
- After the evaluation, we will prepare a report and send it directly to your surgeon. Our policy is to guarantee that your surgeon will have the report within 7 days of your evaluation date.
How much does the evaluation cost?
- Generally, bariatric evaluations are not covered by insurance companies. However, we have a reasonable fee for self-pay patients.
Prescription medications will be electronically prescribed or faxed to the receiving pharmacy.