The decision to pursue bariatric surgery is a major one. For those seeking approval from their insurance companies for surgery, one of the requirements is psychological clearance prior to surgery. While this may seem intimidating, it is an important and informative process for anyone considering this surgery.
The essential purpose of a psychological evaluation to is make sure that you are “ready” for surgery from a psychological perspective. This means that taking on this potentially stressful endeavor of bariatric surgery is something that you will be able to handle emotionally. In addition, since we want to make sure the surgery is successful in the short and long-term, a psychological screening can help ensure that this will be the case.
The psychological evaluation for bariatric surgery is a straightforward process. The examiner will review your mental health and physical history. He/she will conduct a clinical interview with you and also discuss your weight history. A thorough assessment of your emotional strengths and vulnerabilities will also be discussed.
Patients are often worried that this is a pass/fail test. It is not. The idea is to assess readiness for surgery. If the examiner finds that you are not ready at this time, we will make a plan of action to get you ready. We do provide counseling services and make appropriate referrals to specialist, if needed.
At the end of the evaluation, a report is generated that will be shared with your surgeon to use with the application for insurance authorization. You will also receive a copy of this report, if you would like.
Typically, the psychological evaluation process can be 2-3 meetings. There is an initial meeting to review history and to obtain insurance authorization for the evaluation. The evaluation will take place on the second meeting. You may also have a final feedback meeting to go over results.