…. a revolution in mental health care
Dr. Mabel Lopez has a subspecialty in Health Psychology and was trained at the University of Florida to conduct Bariatric Pre-surgical evaluations. She has been conducting bariatric psychological pre-surgical screenings for over fifteen (15) years.
Bariatric surgery (ie, laparoscopic gastric banding, gastric bypass) offers patients the opportunity to experience significant weight loss that can be maintained. However, unlike traditional diet and exercise programs, bariatric surgery has inherent risks and requires highly restrictive, long-term behavioral changes afterwards. Therefore, patients who are considering bariatric surgery are well served undergo a thorough psychological assessment, to determine their appropriateness for surgery. The requirement for a psychological evaluation prior to electing bariatric surgery stems from the National Institutes of Health consensus statement (1991) that recommended that patients be “selected carefully after evaluation by a multidisciplinary team with medical, surgical, psychiatric, and nutritional expertise.” Hence, psychological evaluation has become a standard part of the screening of candidates for bariatric surgery.
The psychological assessment involves two parts: (1) a clinical interview and (2) psychological testing. Patients meet with a psychologist for a clinical interview that focuses on behavior, psychiatric symptoms, and understanding of the surgery; they then complete psychological testing, which provides an objective measure of their presentation style, psychological adjustment, and readiness for surgery.
Some patients are scared or anxious about seeing a psychologist before surgery. This is normal. Patients may be put at ease by knowing 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 postsurgery adjustment. In fact, many patients find that the assessment was very valuable for them because it examined issues about their eating behaviors which they had not considered.
Testing consists of objective personality, mood, and cognitive tests, which are useful for determining the patient’s level of psychological adjustment and any potential challenges for the surgical team in the management of the patient.
REPORT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION. When all this information has been obtained and scored, it is summarized in a brief report for the surgeon. Contained in this report are summaries of the patient’s background and history, current and past psychiatric issues, testing results, and conclusions and recommendations.
The patient is welcome to come back and sit down with the psychologist evaluating him/her to receive feedback on the report.
We are aware that other providers and services are available, including very affordable online assessments. However, we want you to be successful with weight loss after surgery and 50% of patients re-gain weight after Bariatric
Surgery due to behavioral factors (see study here). By seeing us, you will gain insight into specific reasons YOU might re-gain weight, as to prevent weight gain complications in your future.
We engage in a very comprehensive evaluation, based on established guidelines that will set you on the path to overcome obesity.