scale, fruit and tape measure

Bariatric surgery (i.e., laparoscopic gastric banding, gastric bypass) offers individuals an opportunity to experience significant weight loss.  Unlike other weight loss strategies, bariatric surgery has risks and requires highly restrictive, long-term behavioral changes after the procedure.  As a result, bariatric surgery candidates are typically required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation.  This process has two components, both a clinical interview and psychological testing.

obese patient receiving psychological evaluation for bariatric surgery
Bariatric patient meeting with clinician.

Clinical Interview for Bariatric Surgery

During the clinical interview, several elements are covered.

  • Reasons for seeking this surgery specifically
    • Does the candidate has realistic expectations about what can be achieved?
  • Weight as well as diet history
    • Candidates should have attempted more traditional approaches to weight loss first
  • Current eating behaviors
    • What is their motivation and attitude about lifestyle changes?
    • Have they followed pre-surgery diet modifications?
  • Understanding the surgery as well as its associated lifestyle changes
    • Does the candidate fully understand what the surgery entails?
    • Do they appreciate the risks and potential benefits of the procedure?
    • Does the candidate understand that lifestyle changes are required for success?
    • What are their plans with regard to future exercise?
  • Social supports
    • Are immediate family members, extended family, friends, and colleagues supportive?
    • What are the eating habits of household members?
  • Psychiatric history
  • Substance abuse history

A thorough clinical history is especially important. Bariatric surgery will be contraindicate for the following issues:

  • Cirrhosis
  • Substance abuse
  • Smoking
  • Long-term steroid use
  • Uncontrolled psychiatric disorder
  • Suicide attempt within the last 18 months
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Intellectual limitations that would make adherence to both dietary and lifestyle changes challenging

Psychological Testing for Bariatric Surgery

Some of the most common psychological tests administered include:

To conclude the evaluation, the psychologist will compile the results into a written report for the surgeon. 

Our Jones-Wood Psychological Associates, Inc. staff that are specifically qualified to perform these assessments include:

Lynn A. Luna Jones, Ph.D. (Independent medical evaluation) ABPP
Lynn A. Luna Jones, PhD, ABPP
Michael Biscaro - psychologist and immigration specialist - pre-surgical psychological evaluation-professional licensure evaluations- violence risk assessments
​Michael Biscaro, PsyD, ABPP
Michael Purdum, Ph.D., ABPP
Michael Purdum, Ph.D., ABPP
Arcangela Wood - psychologist
Arcangela Wood, PsyD

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