Why a Psychological Assessment before Weight Loss Surgery is Required

by author on October 10, 2015

Psychological assessment before weight loss surgery

People who have been unable to lose weight via the conventional means, i.e. exercise and dieting, usually opt for bariatric surgery as a long-term, but simple solution. They are justified in their decision to opt for surgery as a means to lose weight. That would take a shorter amount of time than it would take if they follow the other methods. If you are considered eligible, you will be recommended for a psychological assessment before weight loss surgery. Now, this can be prove to be a deal breaker for some people as they feel they are being considered as mentally incapable of making a decision on their own.

Their viewpoint is valid, as it has been proven time and again that weight gain does not impair cognitive functions of a person in any way. However, what you should realize is that it is standard practice for you to be referred to a psychologist before you go under the knife. Also, the surgeon would want to ensure you are capable of understanding the risks associated with the surgery and the post-surgery lifestyle changes you have to make. Still, you might not be clear about the reason why psychological assessment before weight loss surgery is required as it isn’t a major factor.

The two main reasons for this are:

Insurance: Most insurance companies cover weight loss surgery under your health plan but if you are going under the knife, they want to make sure you are mentally sound and capable of understanding the risks associated with the procedure and the effects it could have on your health. So, there is a good chance your insurance carrier may reject your claim if you haven’t undergone psychological assessment before your bariatric surgery.

Results: The success of weight loss surgery depends on the patient’s ability and willingness to make lifestyle changes and follow the guidelines as laid out by the surgeon. The surgical team would want to ensure you are up to the task. For them, the assessment is a means of uncovering the motivation behind your decision to lose weight and whether it can be considered a valid reason or not.

So, as you can see, psychological assessment before weight loss surgery is a formal requirement which says nothing about your mental ability, but rather enables your insurance carrier to decide whether or not to cover it and your doctor to make better decisions regarding your overall health and wellbeing.

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