Psychological considerations play a big part in qualifying for bariatric surgery. While the benefits of surgery for obese people may seem very straightforward, a significant strain can be placed on the psyche from losing a great deal of weight and the extreme lifestyle changes that go along with it.
Weight loss surgery is not a magic bullet and patients must understand that what they do after surgery will, to a large degree, affect their success in weight loss and disease resolution. First, patients will have to be ready to overhaul their lifestyle with a strict diet, a consistent exercise regimen and other changes.
While these changes seem positive, they may also elicit some negative effects psychologically, especially in those closest to the patient. Family, friends and/or romantic relationships may change. A spouse or significant other may become jealous of the attention that the weight loss surgery patient receives after surgery. A patient’s new-found confidence may compel them to become more social, something a spouse, friends or loved ones may not be comfortable with. A patient may decide to change social circles as he or she loses weight. All of these considerations must be taken into account before undergoing a procedure.
Pre-existing Psychological Problems:
Underlying psychological conditions that, in some cases, may have actually caused the obesity will remain even after surgery. Trauma, body image distortions, difficult memories and anxiety or depression may not be cured by undergoing a bariatric procedure. For that reason, it is important to offer clear and complete information during pre-op psychological evaluations. Patients may also consider therapy before and after surgery to ensure that any psychological considerations are addressed.
A staff or contracted psychiatrist will evaluate each and every patient to ensure that they understand how their lives will change after surgery and make sure that they are prepared for those changes. While most weight loss surgery patients will enjoy great success and a better life after surgery, it is imperative that patients cover all their bases.