Psychological Evaluations Are Common Practice Before Weight Loss Surgery

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Before patients move forward with weight loss surgery, there are a variety of steps they need to take to prepare for the upcoming life changes. 

One of those steps is having a psychological evaluation, according to the Obesity Action CoalitionOff Site Icon (OAC). 

Just like your doctor, dietician, exercise therapist, and other members of your medical care team, a psychologist will need to get to know you personally before your surgery to be able to provide you with useful support after surgery.

Having a psychological evaluation can help find both your strengths and weaknesses so that your entire care team can understand how to best help you succeed at meeting your weight loss goals after surgery, according to the OAC.

For example, if you have strong family support, but struggle with motivation when you reach a weight-loss plateau, your psychologist can help you find ways to use your strengths to outweigh your weaknesses, according to the OAC.

Another reason for the evaluation is that many insurance companies require it before weight loss surgery, according to the OAC. Commonly, insurance companies must have proof of an evaluation before they will approve the procedure.

Psychological evaluations rarely keep someone from having weight loss surgery, according to the OAC. The purpose is not to make anyone feel that overweight people are somehow less emotionally stable, but rather to provide an evaluation as an additional tool for each patient’s success.

Evaluations typically include a personality test, mood inventory, and other questionnaires. The face-to-face evaluation usually takes about an hour, and likely will include conversations about your family history, social history, your reason for seeking surgery, and any medical or psychological concerns you have, according to the OAC.

Many times psychologists will request a patient try to bring a family member or friend who can be interviewed as well, according to the OAC. This is to help them better understand your support system.

Don’t forget to also ask your psychologist about any concerns you might have and for suggestions of ways to manage any stress or anxiety you may have about your surgery, according to the OAC.

For more information about the importance of psychological evaluation before weight loss surgery, talk with your doctor or visit Premier Weight Loss Solutions.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.