Lucy F. Faulconbridge, PhD
Call: (610) 688-4147

Bariatric Surgery Evaluations

Psychological Evaluations for Bariatric Surgery

For clients pursuing bariatric surgery for weight loss, Main Line Therapy and Psychological Services offers the psychological evaluation that is required by most hospitals and insurance companies. Dr. Faulconbridge has more than 7 years of experience conducting these sorts of assessments at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s Bariatric Surgery Program.

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 by bariatric surgery, 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 Dr. Faulconbridge 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 Dr. Faulconbridge face-to-face so that she can assess your expectations for surgery, and help you to be fully prepared for the surgery from a behavioral and psychological perspective. At the end of the evaluation, Dr. Faulconbridge will discuss openly with you the recommendations that she plans to make to your surgeon.

What happens after the psychological evaluation?
Following the evaluation, Dr. Faulconbridge will write a detailed letter to your surgeon which will outline the details of her meeting with you, and provide any concrete recommendations to improve your chances of an excellent outcome following surgery.

Do you offer any other services besides psychological evaluations?
Yes. Dr. Faulconbridge provides personalized support following bariatric surgery such that you can achieve your weight loss goals fully. Bariatric surgery candidates often find the adjustment to their new lifestyle more challenging than they predicted, and Dr. Faulconbridge will help you to overcome any barriers to your success, or any difficulties you may be experiencing.

American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

University of Pennsylvania’s Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program