Before undergoing a bariatric procedure having bariatric counseling is best. You may think the process for bariatric surgery is an easy one-step process. It is not that way at all. Part of the pre-surgical process is a psychological assessment. Before any surgery, you must have a pre-op appointment. In most pre-op appointments, your primary care physician makes sure your heart rate and blood pressure are okay. They also make sure there are no changes or signs of any illnesses before surgery. The pre-op appointment is very important. If you do not have the pre-op appointment, you will not be cleared for surgery. When bariatric surgery is involved, you need the pre-op appointment, but you also need to be mentally prepared for the surgery and your weight loss mission after surgery.
You may not understand how much power the mind has over you. The mind they say is a terrible thing to waste. It is very true. It is in the mind where dreams are created, and businesses are formed. Once you make up your mind to do something, nothing, and no one can stop you. When you decide to run a marathon, you may have the physical capability to do it, but your mind has to be prepared for it too. Weight loss is a different type of battle. Some people fail on their weight loss journey because they just do not have the mental drive to finish. Unlike a 5K race, weight loss is ongoing. Once you get to your designated weight, you are not done. You have to stay consistent and continue to do what you did to get to that weight. Once you let up, you begin to regain back everything you lost. Being prepared mentally for weight loss will allow you to keep the weight off.
When you have surgery, it is important to have a pre-op appointment. The pre-op appointment clears you for surgery. Most pre-op appointments do not assess your psychological status, but a pre-op appointment for bariatric surgery does. It is not always mandatory for you to do a psychological assessment, but it has been considered a strong suggestion. The psychological assessment is not 100% foolproof. The doctor is making a prediction of your mental status during and after surgery. These psychological assessments are suggested because, as stated earlier, losing weight is not merely a physical thing, it is a mental thing as well.
Rather than using a primary care physician for the assessment, a behavioral health specialist does the psychological assessment. A psychological assessment helps a physician to identify risk factors of behavioral problems. After surgery, if you are not psychologically stable, you will not reach your weight loss goals. The behavioral specialist works with the surgeon to help the patient have the best outcome. With all the changes to the body after surgery, you can go on an emotional rollercoaster When you are under emotional stress; it is hard to eat right and exercise.
The assessment analyzes overall behavior. The content of an assessment includes:
- Current Life Situation
These things all together help the doctor predict your outcome. Expectations are a good place to start. It is important to assess what the patient expects. If their expectations are unrealistic, they will not reach their goals. Understanding your motivation is another good assessment tool. If you do not have the right motivation, you also will not finish because you will be undergoing surgery for the wrong reasons. Development and behavior go hand in hand. If your current life situation is not ideal, it will add excess stress which is not helpful. Emotional stability is also important. Emotions can drive us, and when we are sad or depressed, we have no motivation or anything else. A doctor will also assess your diet, previous weight loss attempts, physical activity, and use of substances like drugs, alcohol, and even tobacco.
Counseling may be done in conjunction with a psychological assessment. If a behavioral specialist believes you need counseling, they may suggest it to your surgeon. Counseling may be necessary for those who have had real depressing issues occur that put them in the position they are in. If your current life situation is also difficult and not, ideal counseling can help you work through those things and improve your emotional status. The goal of counseling is to lower your risk of failure after the procedure.
Counseling and psychological assessments may seem unnecessary, but they are great tools that help to improve surgical outcomes. Bariatric surgery is like a last resort for most patients. Once you undergo surgery, there is no going back. You have to be sure that this is the route you want to take. The greatest joy of a bariatric surgeon is to see you succeed and get to your desired weight loss goals. If that means doing counseling or doing other assessments, then that is what you should do. Take every precaution to guarantee success.
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