Bariatric Pre-Surgical Psychological Evaluation
A pre-surgical psychological evaluation is a common first step to undergoing bariatric surgery (also known as gastric lap-band surgery). Some of the reasons your doctor or insurance company may have requested the evaluation are (1) to determine that you will be able to make the post-operative lifestyle changes necessary to ensure the success of your surgery, (2) to determine that you are emotionally prepared to undergo bariatric surgery and, (3) if necessary, to recommend additional supports either before or after the surgery. The ultimate goal of the bariatric psychological evaluation is to ensure your safety by identifying risk factors and barriers to your optimal weight loss and health post-surgery.
If you are like most persons, you may have questions regarding the evaluation. One of the most common questions is, "If I have a current mental health concern or history of mental illness, does that preclude me from bariatric surgery?" The answer is...not always. The presence of a mental health concern, such as depression, alcoholism, anxiety, or a past history of mental illness does not necessarily preclude surgery. In fact, only about 5%-10% of people evaluated have their surgery postponed. What is more important is how you are coping with these challenges now and how you are likely to cope with the post-operative lifestyle changes that will be required. The evaluation is not to put an obstacle in your path, but to ensure your health and well-being.
In my practice, a pre-surgical psychological evaluation for bariatric surgery typically involves an interview, the completion of a true/false questionnaire (the MMPI-2-RF), and occasionally a review of records. The evaluation usually takes place over 3-4 hours, with approximately half the time devoted to completing the questionnaire and the other half participating in the interview. The fee is $750 and includes feedback as well as a written report explaining the findings. These are usually available within 7 to 10 business days from the date of assessment. Appointments are often available within 14 business days.
If you are interested in a pre-surgical psychological evaluation for bariatric surgery, please contact me for additional information and available appointment times.
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A Psychologist in Rockland County, NY