Bariatric/Weight-loss Surgery Evaluations
Why is a psychological assessment needed before I have weight loss surgery?
There are two good reasons for the psychological assessment: The first is that this is required by the National Institute of Health. They have established guidelines that must be followed for all patients considering bariatric surgery. The second reason for having a psychological evaluation is that your surgeon and your health insurance carrier require one. It’s in the interest of your health and safety. Having weight loss surgery is a huge undertaking and something that will change your life forever. Just like any major surgical procedure, there are risks; there could be complications that could even lead to death. Another thing to consider is that with a gastric bypass, there’s no way to reverse it. This is why deciding to go forward to have this surgery requires a lot of thought and consideration.
With an assessment or evaluation, all parties can be sure that you:
- Are competent to make the decision;
- Fully understand the risks and consequences of the surgery;
- Do not have any underlying psychological issues that would prevent you from following doctors’ orders and complying with the life changes required of you after having the surgery.
What types of psychological conditions would interfere with weight loss surgery?
There are many different psychological conditions and disorders in which weight loss surgery would not be in the best interest of the patient. Generally, psychologists and surgeons are worried about conditions that would affect the patient’s ability or motivation to restrict their diet. These would be conditions that would cause problems with impulse control. Additionally, conditions that cause the patient to distort their body image would be a problem. These distortions can lead to life-threatening eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and others.
Will fairly normal episodes of depression and/or anxiety keep me from having the surgery?
Most people have had psychological problems at one time or another in their lifetime. These types of episodes are usually treated with psychotherapy and/or medication. Having normal anxiety and/or depression would not stand in the way of you having weight loss surgery.
What is involved in a psychological assessment or evaluation?
This would involve being interviewed by a psychologist who will take a detailed history. Following your interview, you will be given a psychological test. This test offers an objective way to screen for and measure a wide range of psychological disorders.
How long will it take to complete the assessment?
The interview usually takes from 30 to 45 minutes. And the test is typically completed in 45 minutes.
Who should perform the assessment or evaluation?
Because weight loss surgery is a major decision, it is to your benefit that your psychological assessment be done correctly. A licensed psychologist, with extensive experience in conducting assessments related to weight loss surgery should do the evaluation.
Will my health insurance cover the cost of the psychological assessment?
Every insurance policy is different, however your health insurance may either fully or partially cover the cost of your evaluation. Keep in mind that this assessment is not related to a particular mental disorder, and because of this you should submit your claim to your medical benefits, not as part of your mental- health benefits. Also, It would be smart to contact your insurance provider before you schedule your psychological assessment so that you can find out what your coverage is for this.
Who tells me whether or not I passed the assessment?
The psychological assessment is not something you pass or fail. What it does is, point out potential problems that may arise if you go forward with weight loss surgery. If issues show up on the assessment these concerns will usually be discussed with you at the time you have your evaluation. Once your assessment is complete a report is sent to the surgeon, who then decides whether or not he or she will go forward and schedule your weight loss surgery. The psychologist is not the one who qualifies or disqualifies you for the procedure.
How can I get a copy of my psychological assessment report?
We typically fax these reports to your surgeon before mailing them the original. Once your surgeon receives your report you are free to request that he or she give you a copy. We usually do not give these reports directly to the clients.
Call Purohit Psychology Services, LLC. today for an appointment.
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