Pre-Operative Bariatric Surgery Assessments
Prior to Bariatric surgery, patients are required to go through various prerequisite preparatory and evaluative steps. Per guidelines set forth by The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, one such step is obtaining a Preoperative Mental Health Assessment.
The fee for a pre-surgical psychological assessment is $180. Payment will be collected from the patient at the time of visit.
Assessments typical take about 50min-1 hour. The final report typically will be sent to the patient’s doctor within a week of the assessment appointment.
The American Society for Bariatric Surgery recommends for patients who are seeking bariatric (i.e. weight-loss) surgery obtain a psychological evaluation. Your doctor will likely require an evaluation in order to assess if there are any issues that could interfere with the best surgery outcome. Your weight-loss surgery is a life changing decision and your doctor wants to make sure you are prepared. By completing a psychological assessment, we can help you identify your strengths and areas where you may need additional support in order to help maintain your weight loss goals.
After your surgery, it is important to have support in maintaining your new lifestyle. This turns out to be a greater challenge than most people realize. Our counseling sessions can also assist you with relapse prevention, struggles with eating disorders, and address concerns with mood disorders including depression and anxiety. Engaging in counseling following surgery can help prevent weight regain and maintain your weight-loss. Consumers who receive their Bariatric Evaluations with us then receive a discount towards post-surgical counseling.
What Is A Bariatric Psychological Assessment?
- Insurance companies and/or surgeons require that a patient be "cleared" for weight loss (bariatric) surgery.
- Patients are assessed for where they are on the path of developing healthy behaviors and realistic expectations as they prepare for surgery.
- Questions will be asked that address motivation, understanding their procedure and aftercare, and factors that could interfere with compliance to dietary restrictions and postoperative instructions.
- Often, recommendations regarding lifestyle or eating disorder are made to improve the success of the patient post-surgery.
Is The Assessment Covered by Insurance?
At times, insurance will cover this service. Your insurance company will be contacted to verify if the psychological assessment is a covered service. If not, a fee-for-service arrangement is made.
Who Conducts the Evaluation?
The pre-operative psychological evaluation will be conducted by Chikeitha Owens, LPC. She is a Board Certified Bariatric Counselor issued by the (American Association of Bariatric Counselors). She is qualified in the assessment and diagnosis of mental health illness with certification of bariatric surgery procedures, follow-up, and required behavioral changes.
The Evaluation May Consist Of:
1. Review of the medical record including mental or behavioral health record
2. The use of specific psychological assessment instruments
3. Clinical interview
4. Written report provided to you and your doctor
Specific items to assess with interview and review of medical record include:
1. Active psychosis and alcohol or substance use disorders
2. Other mental health illness (active, inactive, hospitalizations)
3. Borderline personality disorder
4. Social/family situation and supports
5. Follow up abnormal results from psychological instruments used
6. Discussion of alternative plans should patient be turned down for surgery