Bariatric surgery involves making changes to your digestive system to help you lose weight. It is done when diet and exercise haven’t worked or when you have serious health problems because of your weight. Some procedures limit how much you can eat. Other procedures work by reducing the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Some procedures do both. Bariatric surgery can be a life-altering event. It is a highly effective procedure that not only reconfigures and/or restricts a patient’s stomach but may significantly affect their psyche as well. Generally, patients will need a secure identity, sound psychological resources, resiliency, effective coping strategies, and willingness to access meaningful support from others.

What is the purpose of a psychological evaluation?

The purpose of an evaluation is to identify psychosocial risk factors and make recommendations to both the patient and the surgical group that are aimed at facilitating the best possible outcome for the patient. Patients are typically faced with initial dietary restrictions, permanent changes in eating and dietary habits, altered body sensations and experiences, shifting body image and self-care behaviors, new cognitions and feelings, and an emerging and different lifestyle. In addition, they may realize sometimes unexpected and significant changes in relationships that may result in marked stress.

What to expect:  

Testing will be scheduled in one day for your convenience and to ensure results can be given to the referring physician as soon as possible. The evaluation consists of three parts.

The first is the completion of standard psychological tests. This typically takes one hour for most people to finish. Some patients take a shorter amount of time. Some take a longer amount of time. For most of the tests, there are no right answers or wrong answers. They are designed to learn as much about you as possible (attitudes, behaviors, emotions) in a relatively brief time.

The second is a structured clinical interview that usually lasts 45-60 minutes. After the completion of your initial testing appointment, you will be scheduled for a final session to complete your evaluation and provide feedback on results. This session can be completed via a HIPAA compliant tele-video platform for your convenience.  The information from the interview is then combined with the information from the tests and a report is then sent to the referring physician. The report should be delivered within two weeks after your evaluation has been completed.