Jump to content
×
Are you looking for the BariatricPal Store? Go now!

Understanding the Pre-op Psychological Evaluation



Recommended Posts

Licensed psychologist, Dr. Colleen Long has worked in the field of bariatrics for 10 years and discusses the ins and outs of the pre-op psychological evaluation to put anyone getting ready to go through the process at ease.



Every time I sit down with someone to do their VSG and Bypass psych pre-op evaluation- they are understandably nervous and on edge. My first question is: "Has anyone explained to you the reason for why you need a psychological evaluation?" and there answer is always, "no, I have no idea why I am here."

I explain to them the reasons are threefold: 1) to make sure they understand the risks, benefits, and outcomes of the surgery, 2) to understand any psychological/behavioral ties to food that would benefit from behavioral recommendations/modification, and 3) to help the surgeon understand one's personality as it relates to a healthcare context, to better inform treatment.

1) Most people have been able to go over the risks, benefits, and outcomes with their medical team, but if not- I make sure last minute questions are addressed before they proceed.

2) During the evaluation- we talk about the patient's unique eating behaviors and how to modify them to help with maximum weight loss after the surgery. For instance, last week- I met with a guy who said he normally has a bowl of Cereal at night in front of the TV and it provides him with a sense of "contentment." We talked about other ideas to create that same sense of contentment without sabotaging his weight loss surgery outcome, such as reaching out for support, taking a hot bath, listening to music, meditating, journaling, and/or creating a self-care ritual each night before bed.

3) The results of psychological testing provide me with really strong insight into each person's psyche as it relates to a medical setting. For instance, some results will say- " this person is uncomfortable talking about health care issues with strangers and may require more prompting than the average patient," or " this patient is likely to look compliant by being overly agreeable, but has a tendency to venture out on their own, and therefore frequent follow up is recommended," or " this person is uncomfortable in the patient role and will become increasingly agitated in the event of long-term health issues."

The 3rd piece of this evaluation is of concern to some, but for the most part- it is meant to help better inform their treatment plan. If a surgeon understands that a patient is more apt to look compliant but "go rogue," they are probably going to incorporate more frequent follow up to make sure that person has the best chance of success.

In the end- a psychologist's goal is not to be a hurdle in a patient's weight loss journey, but a catalyst.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recent Topics

  • Most popular:

  • Recent Status Updates

    • Darbs4Mayor

      Met with my surgeon yesterday and he said that he is so excited for me and the progress that will be made! Waiting for insurance pre-auth and then will get everything scheduled! 
       
      So excited to start this journey and become a new person!! 
      · 0 replies
      1. This update has no replies.
    • Krestel

      New found appreciation for you all!
      So Im back in the US to take care of my aging father and it seems like more than ever that being bigger is the norm everywhere here. I cant say that Ive been the best, healthiest me at the moment, but I think you all Americans are doing GREAT to even be working towards the goal of getting healthier in face of all this temptation (even if you are a "slow loser"). So give all yourselves a pat on the back!
      · 1 reply
      1. FluffyChix

        Yep. Temptation around every corner!

    • zombierayvinn

      I am now 10 days post op and I am down 16lbs. I had an allergic reaction to the glue my doctor used so I am still sore and trying to keep moving to not get stiff. 
      · 1 reply
      1. Tory Myers

        Hello congratulations on your new journey I am 5 days post op and still trying to get the hang of things. I’m supposed to return back to work in a few days but still sore as well. Do you have any advice for me being 5 days post opt?

    • Tabatha529

      Hello,  I am brand new on here. 
      The doctor qualified me yesterday for the surgery, so now I have to take 12 weeks of education classes and then he said they will schedule the surgery 4-6 weeks after I complete the classes. 
      I am excited to start this new journey.
      · 0 replies
      1. This update has no replies.
    • Anki

      Am at the half-way mark of the six month pre-op program.  So excited!  Got clearance from psychologist this morning, so I scheduled my surgery consult for early March.  It is becoming more real now.  Have lost 18 pounds so far, since I began this journey on 12/18/19.  
      · 0 replies
      1. This update has no replies.
  • Trending Topics

  • Together, we have lost...
      lbs
    ×