Roles of Psychologists Pre and Post Weight Loss Surgery

Preoperative Psychological Evaluation for Weight Loss Surgery Candidates

The decision to undergo bariatric surgery often represents a positive and hopeful change for one's overall health and well-being.  Nonetheless, it can be a major life stressor requiring both physical and emotional resources for a successful outcome.  For this reason, bariatric surgeons refer surgical candidates to psychologists for evaluations prior to clearance for the procedure.  These are specialized evaluations designed to provide information about an individual's social and emotional functioning as well as any specific recommendations or additional supports that may be needed to achieve the most positive post surgical outcome. 

Post-operative Psychological Support

After a bariatric surgery, individuals often benefit from working with a psychologist on related issues such as setting and achieving realistic goals, maintaining focus on internal motivators for change, intense (sometimes unexpected) emotional responses, body image, self esteem, reactions from others, and positive self care.

APA Article: How Psychologists Help with Weight Management

Links to Local Surgical Weight Loss Centers