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Bariatric Services

Bariatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with obesity. It encompasses dieting, exercise, psychological therapy, behavioral therapy, pharmacotherapy, and surgical approaches to weight loss.

Obesity is a “biopsychosocial” problem that affects millions of Americans. Using a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more, nearly one-third of adults are obese. Morbid obesity (or “clinically severe obesity”) is defined as a BMI of 40 or more – or 100 or more pounds overweight ; studies estimate there are 5-10 million Americans in this category. A U.S. Surgeon General report implicated obesity as a direct contribution to 300,000 deaths annually – second only to cigarette smoking.

The bariatric surgical procedures are generally limited to treating morbid obesity. There are now several different approaches available including gastric bypass surgery, gastric banding techniques, Roex-en-Y procedure, and laproscopic surgery (lapband). They all involve imposing a physical restriction on eating capacity and require changes in eating behavior, diet, and other adjustments after the surgery.

If you are considering a bariatric surgical procedure, a psychological evaluation will likely be required by your insurance company. Your surgeon will also want the evaluation in order to increase the chances of having a good outcome for you. The evaluation can help determine if you are prepared for the surgery and to cope with the adjustments afterwards. It is rare that the surgery would be denied after the evaluation. More common is the offering of suggestions to increase the chances of success.

Several of the psychologists at BHI have extensive experience conducting the bariatric evaluations. In fact, we have been doing them for several different surgeons for over 10 years. If you are in need of a psychological evaluation for bariatric surgery, please call our office at 954-340-0888. Upon completion of the evaluation process, a report will be sent to your surgeon promptly.

In addition, we can also provide any needed counseling to assist in coping with the often dramatic behavioral and social changes that occur after bariatric surgery. Our goal is the same as yours and your surgeon’s – a successful long-term outcome for you!