Support before and after Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is a significant undertaking which requires many practical and psychological adjustments. The required pre- and post-operative dietary changes are substantial and many people benefit from support during the months leading up to, and immediately after, the bariatric procedure. We offer personalized dietary support before and after bariatric surgery such that you can achieve your weight loss goals efficiently. In addition to the necessary eating adjustments required, it is common for bariatric surgery candidates to encounter other life changes, such as how to handle social situations after dramatic weight loss, as well as unexpected reactions of friends and families. We will help you to overcome any barriers to your success, and help you cope with any physical or psychological difficulties you may be experiencing.

Psychological Evaluations for Bariatric Surgery

MLT offers the pre-operative psychological evaluation that is required by most hospitals and insurance companies. Our clinicians were trained in these assessments at Bariatric Surgery Program at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and have completed hundreds of these evaluations.

Why is it necessary to get a psychological evaluation before I get weight-loss surgery?
Most hospitals and insurance companies require a psychological evaluation prior to surgery. They do this for several reasons. First, your surgeon wants to make sure that you have understood the benefits and risks of bariatric surgery, and that you have made a fully informed decision to pursue weight-loss surgery. In other words, they want to make sure that you have the best possible information so that you will not regret your decision to have surgery. Second, they want to make sure that you are fully prepared for your upcoming surgery from a behavioral perspective. Many changes to your lifestyle are required to have a successful bariatric surgery experience, and your doctors want to know that you are ready for these changes. Finally, your surgeon wants to assess whether there are any psychosocial problems that could interfere with your success following the surgery.

Psychological evaluations prior to surgery are recommended for everyone by The American Society for Bariatric Surgery. This is because there is research showing that certain pre-operative conditions predict poorer outcomes following surgery. Weight-loss surgery is a significant undertaking, and your surgeon wants to make sure that you are fully prepared.

What does a psychological assessment for weight-loss surgery involve?
In advance of your scheduled evaluation appointment, you will be asked to complete a form which provides the interviewer with information about your weight history, your family’s weight history, your eating and exercise habits, and any psychological symptoms you may be experiencing. You must bring this form completed with you to the evaluation. You can expect the evaluation to last approximately 60-75 minutes. During the evaluation you will be weighed, and you will meet with a licensed clinical psychologist face-to-face so that we can assess your expectations for surgery and your readiness to undertake the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes. At the end of the evaluation, we will discuss any recommendations that will help you to be fully prepared for the surgery from a behavioral and psychological perspective. Any recommendations that will be made to your surgeon in a letter will be openly discussed with you.

What happens after the psychological evaluation?
Following the evaluation, the clinician who evaluated you will write a detailed letter to your surgeon which will outline their impression of your readiness for surgery and provide concrete recommendations to improve the chances of an excellent outcome following surgery. You will have a good idea of the content of that letter before you leave our clinic.

American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

University of Pennsylvania’s Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program