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June 13, 2006

Pre-Gastric Bypass Surgery Psychological Evaluation

Gastric_bypass_mind The decision to undergo Obesity Surgery is a very serious one, and anyone considering it should think about it carefully, because it also involves the individual making significant lifestyle changes after the surgery is conducted.

Many surgeons, medical centers, and insurance companies require that patients who are to have this surgical procedure undergo a psychiatric or psychological evaluation to assess their psychological status prior to the Gastric Bypass Surgery.  The requirement for the patient to see a psychologist or psychiatrist is part of the preparation for the surgery.

Prior to the Gastric Bypass Surgery, patients should be evaluated to rule out any existing eating disorders or any other psychiatric or psychological issues that might adversely affect the results of the surgery.  The evaluation assesses whether the patient is mentally and emotionally prepared for the surgery, and is mentally and emotionally prepared to deal with the outcome of the surgery.

Psychological Evaluations assess the presence of any psychiatric issues that are relevant to the Gastric Bypass Surgery, such as:

  • Whether or not the patient is psychotic or clinically depressed.
  • Whether the patient is competent in making the decision to proceed with Gastric Bypass Surgery.
  • Whether the patient fully comprehends to serious of the procedure and the lifestyle changes that must take place once it is done.
  • Whether the patient has unrealistic expectations about the outcome of surgery.
  • The patient's ability to handle the stress of the period following surgery.
  • Any history of substance or alcohol abuse.

Psychological Evaluations are powerful tools that assist in the diagnosis, treatment, or management of any psychological, emotional, or behavioral problems that a patient might have. Psychological Evaluations are extremely important in preparation for Gastric Bypass Surgery.


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The psychological evaluation aspect is way too limited for this type of major surgery. Most patients have no idea of how the surgery will affect them. All surgical candidates need to walk the walk of a post gastric bypass procedure for at least 6 months prior to having the surgery. That way they can experience the actual dietary restrictions and lifestyle changes necessary needed for success or decide the procedure is not the right choice for them.


Janet - If bariatric surgery candidates could "walk the walk" for 6 months prior to surgery would they really need the surgery?!?


amanda, I was going to say the same thing.. If a morbidly obese person used to eathing 7000 caloeies a day could fallow the diet of a gastric bypass patient for 6 months before the surgery.. do you really think they would even need the surgery.. besides how do you know how limited the evaluation is.. did you take one? if so you must have gotten the surgery.. did you "walk the walk" first!?!?!
Personally, my insurance company and surgeon require me to loose 5% of my body weight in a 6mo period before they will even consider the surgery, they ALSO required me to go to a 4 hour seminar education me of the BAD parts of the surgery and the risks to make sure it is something i really want to do. The psych eval is mostly to make sure you are ready to commit to such a life change.. are you ready to "let go" of food.. are you able to mentally accepot a new body and all the rapid chages? Do you have a mental disease that will impair you from loosing weight, or that would impair you from making an educated decision to have the surgery in the first place..
I think before you make a comment you should know what you are taking about

Pat P

I have been considering bariatric surgery for more than 5 years. I have done extensive research, been to a seminar by the surgeon I plan on using and had a one on one consult with the same surgeon. I have even gotten a second opinion. And yes, the second doctor thinks it would be beneficial for me to have bariatric surgery (duh). I have lost as much as 65 pounds with diet and exercise only to gain it back in less than 2 years. Most obese people have "walked the walk" for at least part of their life if they have attempted to lose weight. We also endure looks and comments made by people who have no idea the personal Hell we go through on a daily basis. Try going to sleep and waking up almost every day planning on making healthy eating a priority before telling me I need to "walk the walk". I would have had this surgery years earlier if my very costly health insurance would have helped pay for it. Now that I have somewhat decent insurance I can finally go through with it once I complete my pre-surgical screening. Wish me luck!

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