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Why You Need a Psych Evaluation Before Weight Loss Surgery

Why You Need a Psych Evaluation Before Weight Loss Surgery

If you’re interested in having weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, you undergo several types of evaluations before the procedure. 

Your health providers thoroughly analyze your medical health with a series of checkups and tests. And you also receive a psychological evaluation to assess your emotional health.

Why so many evaluations? Because the people who do best with weight loss surgery and the lifestyle changes necessary for long-term success are those who are physically, medically, and emotionally ready to take on the challenges involved in bariatric treatment.

Our care providers at Peachtree Surgical & Bariatrics in Atlanta, Georgia, are fully committed to doing everything possible to make sure your surgery — including Lap-Band® and gastric sleeve — is a success. 

That includes performing psychological evaluations beforehand, as well as providing you with a full range of support at every stage of your surgical journey.

We believe in doing everything possible to ensure that our surgical patients have a constructive experience and a positive outcome. Guided by those values, we believe that every patient should undergo a psychological evaluation. 

We recommend testing for several reasons, which we explain here.

Making the right choice

Choosing whether to have weight loss surgery is a big decision, one that will impact your lifestyle and your health for the rest of your life. Talking with a psychologist can ensure that you are making the right decision at the right time for the right reasons and that you understand any potential risks to your physical or emotional health.

Checking for disordered eating

Having a history of disordered eating doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from candidacy for weight loss surgery. But before you have surgery, a psychologist can help determine whether you are in a healthy place in terms of how you think about food and your weight. 

It can also provide insight about whether your eating and exercise habits are healthy enough to sustain you after surgery.

Determining readiness for surgery and beyond

Weight loss surgery isn’t just a procedure you receive during a few hours in the hospital. It is the first step of a multistep process that includes a lifelong commitment to better health. 

As such, it requires you to make a long-term commitment to healthy choices around food, exercise, supplements, and other lifestyle approaches. A psychological assessment helps determine whether you are ready to make those choices.

Considering your mental health history

For someone with a history of mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety, weight loss surgery and the ensuing lifestyle changes could bring up difficult emotions. A psych evaluation helps identify any potential mental health risks so you aren't caught by surprise if psychological symptoms occur after surgery.

You also talk with the psychologist about any traumas, abuse, or other factors in your past that could affect your adjustment to a constructive post-surgery lifestyle.

Preparing to support you

Finally, one of the most important reasons to have a psychological evaluation is so that we here at Peachtree Surgical & Bariatrics can gather the information we need to fully understand how we can support you before, during, and after surgery.

We treat every patient as an individual, and it is our honor to offer each patient personalized care.

Discover more about weight loss surgery

If you’re considering weight loss surgery, we invite you to view our free online seminar, which gives many details about weight loss surgery at Peachtree Surgical & Bariatrics. 

We also invite you to visit our office for a consultation. To meet with one of our weight loss surgery specialists, contact us to request an appointment.

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