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Psychological Testing Prior to Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery encompasses a variety of procedures for weight loss performed on obese patients. Going through procedures such as gastric bypass or laparoscopic gastric banding requires long-term behavioral changes after surgery. It is for this reason that patients need to go through bariatric surgery evaluations, including a psychological assessment to determine readiness for surgery.



Elements of Bariatric Surgery Evaluations


Bariatric surgery evaluations can involve a clinical interview and psychological testing. A patient who is undergoing surgery meets with a psychologist to touch on their understanding of the surgery, as well as behavior and psychiatric symptoms.



A typical interview will cover reasons for wanting surgery, current eating history, weight and diet history, and social support. All the information shared during the session will be used by the psychologist to motivate and help manage emotions.



After the interview, patients go on to complete a psychological evaluation. During the assessment, a patient’s psychological adjustment is looked at and their readiness for surgery is assessed.



The Need for Psychological Testing Before Surgery


It might be uncomfortable for patients to have to go through bariatric surgery evaluations, but it is a necessary step. Not only does it assess a patient’s readiness for surgery, it also helps them adjust to life post-surgery.



It’s important to remember that the lifestyle adopted prior to surgery will not suffice. Changes need to be made, and patients need to be evaluated to see if they can cope with the changes – drastic ones at that.



Going through any form of bariatric surgery requires a complete overhaul of one’s life. Surgeries like this that have a goal of weight loss require changes to the digestive system. It often involves limiting the amount of food that can be consumed. Other surgeries reduce nutrient absorption.



Lifestyle changes aren’t the only expectations patients should have when going through any form of bariatric surgery. It is a major surgery that carries serious risks and side effects, and patients need to be aware of that. It’s important to examine the issues to assess how a patient feels about it before going through with the procedure.



Seeking surgery for weight loss is a major life decision, and it’s important to know that patients are doing it for the right reasons. It’s also equally important for patients to have realistic expectations after surgery.



Many undergo medical procedures to help with a medical problem. Others do it to improve mobility and increase energy. Some do it so they can enhance their health and live longer lives.



Seeking Further Assistance

Further discussions will also be needed if patients express their need for surgery as a result of external pressure. Psychologists also need further talks if a patient has unrealistic expectations for their life following surgery. This is important to address prior to undergoing a medical procedure because unrealistic ideas can put a patient at risk for mood issues and noncompliance.



Bariatric surgery evaluations and assessments are an important step patients must take. It is an opportunity to be heard, to learn, and to be ready for the coming challenges.


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2078 Teron Trace #326 | Phone: 678-205-0838
Dacula, GA 30019 | Fax: 678-318-3405
Contact us at: info@psychologygwinnett.com