Bariatric Evaluations

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At Counseling Institute of Atlanta, we would be more than glad to help you to complete a comprehensive and detailed clinical evaluation before performing a bariatric surgery. Our team of bilingual counselors led by Dr. Jose Maria Artadi, psychiatrist, will be able to conduct mental health evaluations in Spanish.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health includes different studies about assessments of patients undergoing bariatric surgery:

As the rates of obesity increase, so do the medical problems caused and exacerbated by this physical state. For many, traditional methods of weight loss have proven ineffective for achieving and maintaining significant weight reduction. Bariatric surgery (ie, laparoscopic gastric banding, gastric bypass) offers these patients the opportunity to experience significant weight loss that can be maintained. The number of obese patients seeking bariatric surgery is steadily rising. But, unlike traditional diets for which risks are low and discontinuation can occur at any time, bariatric surgery has inherent risks and requires highly restrictive, long-term behavioral changes afterwards. Therefore, these patients typically are required to complete a thorough evaluation, including psychological assessment, to determine their appropriateness for surgery.

Mental health evaluations of patients before bariatric surgery is a critical step, not only to identify contraindications for surgery, but also — and more so — to better understand their motivation, readiness, behavioral challenges, and emotional factors that may impact their coping and adjustment through surgery and the associated lifestyle changes.

The counselor’s challenge is to collect a vast amount of data while simultaneously educating and motivating the patients in their pursuit of improved health. For some patients, that initial experience is enough. However, for many, it is simply the beginning, as they will need psychological support to maintain the lifestyle changes essential for long-term success. A positive experience during this assessment often sets the stage for patients to seek assistance when faced with later struggles. As such, the mental health evaluation of the patient undergoing bariatric surgery is an invaluable piece of the larger presurgical assessment, both in the short and long term.

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