Why Bariatric Surgeons Refer Patients to Psychologists

Bariatric surgeons often refer patients to psychologists before surgery for several important reasons:

1. Assessing mental health and readiness for surgery:

  • Psychologists can help identify any underlying mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or eating disorders, that could affect a patient’s ability to cope with weight loss surgery and make the necessary lifestyle changes afterward.
  • They can also assess a patient’s motivation for surgery and their understanding of the risks and benefits involved.
  • Bariatric surgery is a major life change, and it’s important to make sure that patients are emotionally and mentally prepared for the fast weight loss.

2. Developing coping mechanisms and addressing behavioral issues:

  • Psychologists can help patients develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and food cravings.
  • They can also address any behavioral issues that may interfere with weight loss, such as emotional eating or binge eating.
  • By developing healthy coping mechanisms and addressing behavioral issues, federal patients can increase their chances of long-term success after surgery.

3. Providing support and guidance throughout the process:

  • Bariatric surgery is a journey, not a destination. Psychologists can provide support and guidance to patients throughout the process, from pre-surgery preparation to post-surgery follow-up.
  • They can help patients adjust to their new bodies and lifestyles, and they can offer support during times of challenge or difficulty.
  • Having a psychologist as part of the support network can make a big difference in a patient’s long-term success.

4. Identifying potential contraindications to surgery:

  • In some cases, a psychological evaluation may reveal that a patient is not a good candidate for bariatric surgery.
  • This could be due to a variety of factors, such as severe mental illness, substance abuse, or an inability to make the necessary lifestyle changes.
  • By identifying these contraindications early on, it can prevent patients from undergoing surgery that may not be in their best interest.

Overall, referring patients to psychologists before bariatric surgery is an important part of ensuring their safety and success. By addressing any mental health concerns, developing healthy coping mechanisms, and providing support throughout the process, psychologists can help patients achieve their weight loss goals and improve their overall quality of life.