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Psychology is an important aspect of Bariatric surgery as it helps to support the patient to understand the process (what changes they will need to make etc), identify any psychological factors that would impact on the success of the surgery (such as mental health, cognitive and behavioural patterns and social supports), establish readiness for change, provide psychoeducation and support on developing healthy behaviour patterns and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time based) goals.

Why is it so important to see a psychologist prior to Bariatric surgery?

Our main aim is to ensure our patients are ready for surgery. We want to support our patients to ensure they succeed in losing excess body weight, become healthier and improve their quality of life to the greatest extent possible.

The Psychologist can help identify strengths and areas where patients may need further support in order to maximise outcomes. They may want to work further with a patient pre/post-surgery to help develop additional tools and strategies.

We find that most patients are hesitant and uncomfortable with the thought of seeing a psychologist prior to surgery, although the information discussed during the clinical interview is critical not only for assessing their appropriateness for surgery but also for enhancing their success during the post-surgery adjustment.

Many patients report, after the assessment, how valuable it was for them to examine the issues raised. The core parts of the clinical interview include reasons for seeking surgery, weight and diet history, current eating behaviours, understanding of the surgery and its associated lifestyle changes, social supports and history, and psychiatric symptoms (current and past).

What are the benefits of keeping in touch with a psychologist post-surgery?

  • The Psychologist will help support you to effectively deal with some of the struggles and head games you may experience post-surgery. This in turn will help you maintain the lifestyle changes for long-term success.
  • To help with stress, anxiety, mood swings that some patients experience after surgery.
  • To help patients deal with triggers that may arise for post emotional eating.
  • To help problem solve and find strategies for any difficulties that may arise to enhance success.
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