Why are mental health evaluations required prior to weight loss surgery?
Quality of care requires that patients be both physically and emotionally stable, as well as mentally fit, for the surgical experience, and the post-surgery period.
What does a mental health evaluation for weight loss surgery consist of?
Clinical Interview – Patients will participate in a one-on-one clinical interview with licensed psychologist, Dr. Rolf Gordhamer, Ph.D., via telephone/FaceTime.
This approach is convenient and time saving for the patient in that the patient doesn’t have to go to the trouble of waiting weeks for an in-office appointment, locating and driving to an office, searching for parking, sitting in crowded waiting rooms in unfamiliar surroundings. Rather, the patient can remain in the privacy and comfort of their own home. They can schedule the interview for times outside normal business operating hours.
The psychologist will use the results of the inventories as he guides the patient through the clinical interview. The interview will investigate the patient’s reason for seeking bariatric surgery, their weight and diet history, their eating habits, life changes which have affected their weight or might affect their success with the surgery. Also discussed are social support systems, the patient’s mental health history, and any current mental health issues that might affect the patient’s success with the surgery.
The psychologist will offer suggestions to the patient to assist them as they make life adjustments both pre-and-post surgery.
Should I feel uncomfortable being interviewed by a mental health professional?
What mental health conditions would cause problems with weight loss surgery?
The issues noted above, and others, are a concern to bariatric professionals. Some patients find it is better to sort out their personal problems before undertaking bariatric surgery. The psychologist is a professional skilled in helping patients assess their decision. It is not unusual for a patient to be accepted for bariatric surgery who also accepts a referral to a therapist as a support system before or after bariatric surgery.