What is Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery, which includes gastric bypass and other weight loss treatments, involves adjusting your digestive system to help you lose weight.
When diet and exercise haven’t worked, or you’re having major health problems due to your weight, you may need bariatric surgery. The surgery may limit how much you can consume. At the same time, other surgical methods function by inhibiting the body’s capacity to absorb nutrients. Some procedures combine the two.1
Why Do I Need a Psychological Evaluation Before Bariatric Surgery?
Addressing the psychological and behavioral causes of obesity and making sure you’re ready for surgery are critical first steps in treatment.2
The following are reasons why a bariatric psychological evaluation is needed or required before bariatric surgery:
- Your insurance policy requires it.
- Your surgeon requires it.
- To understand more about your eating disorders or issues, the reasons for your behaviors, and the roadblocks preventing you from staying on track.
- To devise the best plan to assist you in achieving post-surgical success.
- You wish to talk about the impact of surgery (psychological, behavioral, relationship, etc.).
- To have someone on your side who can help you prepare for surgery.
Jump to Section
- What is Bariatric Surgery?
- Why Do I Need a Psychological Evaluation Before Bariatric Surgery?
- What To Expect from a Pre-Bariatric Surgery Psychological Evaluation?
- How Long Does a Bariatric Surgery Evaluation Take?
- Cost & Insurance Coverage for Bariatric Psychological Evaluations
- Can I Fail a Bariatric Psychological Evaluation?
- Can I Get a Bariatric Psychological Evaluation Online?
- Why Choose Athena Care for Bariatric Psychological Evaluation in Tennessee?
What To Expect from a Pre-Bariatric Surgery Psychological Evaluation?
You’ll start by filling out questionnaires regarding your weight, eating habits, drinking habits, alcohol use, and feelings.
Below are a couple of examples of bariatric surgery psychological evaluation questions:3
- Were you confident in your ability to lose weight on your own?
- Did you feel that you had no control over your weight?
Suggestions are made for a smoother transition into your new way of life as you discuss these habits. In addition, your psychological history, mood, and emotional stability will be taken into account. You’ll also discuss your knowledge about bariatric surgery, any associated risks, and the essential long-term behavioral changes you will need to make to succeed. This is also your opportunity to raise questions and express concerns.
Furthermore, an Audit-C alcohol screen may be used to assess if the person undergoing bariatric surgery has any dangerous drinking habits or active alcohol issues. A drug abuse screening test will be administered to see if a potential bariatric patient is abusing substances other than alcohol.4
A Millon Behavioral Medicine Diagnostic (MBMD) test will determine whether or not you are psychologically prepared for bariatric surgery. Many mental indicators separate the MBMD test. These include coping styles, stress moderators, treatment prognostics, and management guidance.
In addition, the Multidimensional Health Locust of Control (MHLC) test uses rating scales to assess general or specific health issues. The type of form used (form A, B, or C) determines the measured conditions.
After the evaluation, your surgeon will discuss the evaluation’s findings with you.
How Long Does a Bariatric Surgery Evaluation Take?
A psych evaluation for bariatric surgery typically takes between 2-4 hours, depending on your individual pace when filling out forms and completing assessments.
Cost & Insurance Coverage for Bariatric Psychological Evaluations
While every insurance carrier is different, many insurance companies cover most of the costs, leaving you with only the cost of the testing materials and any co-pays, deductibles, or co-insurance. Please keep in mind that what you see here is not a guarantee of what your insurance company will pay. Even under the same insurance company, payment rates for different policies may change.
If the deductible has been met, the average out-of-pocket fees for a bariatric surgery psychological evaluation range from $20 to $150, including copayments and co-insurances.5
Athena Care is in-network with most major insurance plans. Filling out our free and confidential online insurance verification form is the best method to determine if your insurance covers bariatric psychological evaluations in Tennessee.
Allow our highly skilled care coordinators to handle the hassles of contacting your insurance company for more information about bariatric psychological evaluations and tests. A care coordinator will check your insurance and thoroughly explain your options after you’ve submitted the form. Rest assured that all information shared or discussed is kept confidential.
Can I Fail a Bariatric Psychological Evaluation?
The bariatric psychological evaluation is not a pass/fail test. Its main goal is for everyone involved to foresee any future issues you may experience and prevent them as much as possible.6
The following are the criteria for excluding patients from bariatric surgery:
- Evidence that psychosis is still active.
- Recent hospitalization for psychosis may also disqualify a potential patient from getting bariatric surgery.
- If the prospective bariatric patient has attempted suicide many times in the previous five years, weight loss surgery may be denied.
- Weight loss surgery may be denied if there is evidence of an alcohol use disorder or a substance use disorder in the previous five months.
In most cases, the best answer is to address the issue. With the help of qualified psychologists and a support network, your chances of being approved for bariatric surgery in the future increase significantly.
Can I Get a Bariatric Psychological Evaluation Online?
Yes, you may be able to complete a bariatric psychological evaluation online.
Why Choose Athena Care for Bariatric Psychological Evaluation in Tennessee?
With Athena Care, gaining access to mental health clinics in Tennessee has never been easier.
A care coordinator can assist you with any questions or concerns about your bariatric psychological evaluation in Tennessee at one of our various Tennessee locations. Athena Care health clinics are open Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Athena Care offers a full-spectrum of mental and behavioral health services to those in Tennessee.
We have qualified therapists and accept many of the big name insurance providers. Our locations are open Monday-Friday from 7am to 6pm. Learn more below:
- “Bariatric Surgery.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), 2022, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/bariatric-surgery/about/pac-20394258
- “Pre-Bariatric Surgery Psychological Evaluation.” everyBody Behavioral Health, 2021, https://everybodybehavioralhealth.com/pre-bariatric-surgery-psychological-evaluation/
- Mahony, David. “Research 2014;1:1196.” http://dx.doi.org/10.13070/rs.en.1.1196
- “Passing the Bariatric Psych Evaluation.” Bome LLC, 2015. https://mybariatriclife.org/bariatric-psych-evaluation/
- “Patient Financial Responsibility for Bariatric Evaluations.” MH Sub I, LLC dba TherapySites, 2022, https://www.newleafinstitute.com/PatientFinancialResponsibilityforBariatricEvaluations.en.html
- Aydoğan, Dr.Ceyhun. “All About Pre-Bariatric Psychological Evaluation and How to Pass It.” 2021, https://ceyhunaydogan.com/en/bariatric-surgery-psychological-evaluation/
If you or someone you love would benefit from talking to a mental health provider in Tennessee, contact Athena Care.
One of our Care Coordinators will help you get the care you need.