Am I Required to See a Psychologist Before Having a Gastric Bypass?

I've been told that I will need to speak to a psychologist before I am allowed to have a gastric bypass. Is this true? Why would I need to speak to a psychologist first?

Doctor Answers 3

Psychology evaluation prior to gastric bypass surgery not a bad idea

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Don't be offended by the request that you see a psychologist prior to your gastric bypass surgery.  This surgery is very high risk, and the overall success of the surgery depends greatly on YOU and what you do after your recovery.  Insurance companies and bariatric surgeons both need to know that you are stable and capable of understanding the gravity of your situation and your responsibility in the success of your procedure. 

In addition, you may find the session(s) useful, as many people who struggle with weight issues have psychological issues with food.  Look at this "requirement" as an opportunity!

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Psychologist as

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In many instances, a team approach to Bariatric surgery is optimal to achieving a long term success and a solution to obesity. Having a psychologist as a team member is generally  very valuable.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Psychology Evaluation before Weight Loss Surgery

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Weight Loss Surgery (Bariatric Surgery) is a high risk - High gain operation. In the vast majority of cases the lion's share of the cost of the operation is paid by medical insurance companies. The vast majority of MORBIDLY obese (BMI 40 and over) patients have psychological issues which either are associated with the obesity and its effects and, or which came before the obesity, leading to it. It is vitally important that such patients - NOT have a psychological condition which impairs their understanding of the operation, its risks and its benefits - NOT have a condition which would interfere with the post-operative recovery OR with dietary compliance afterwards For this reason the vast majority of insurers and surgeons want to make sure such operations are carried out on patients who are not hampered psychologically and who can best benefit from these operations. Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.