Your guide to the psychological impact of weight loss surgery
Are you looking for more information about the potential psychological impact of weight loss surgery?
The health benefits of bariatric & metabolic surgery are well established; however, the psychological impact of weight loss surgery can be significant and should not be underestimated. Quite often these challenges don’t present themselves until after surgery, either early in the post operative phase or well down the track.
Our psychology is the control centre of our mind, behaviours and thoughts and can be one of the factors that leads patients to undergo bariatric surgery. This is why our team includes a psychological assessment for any patient undergoing bariatric surgery.
Considering the psychological impact of weight loss surgery before making a decision
The 2020 study on ‘Patient perspectives in psychological care after bariatric surgery,’ discusses setting realistic weight loss expectations for the changes and challenges patients may experience. Lifestyle changes are not always easy, which is why preparing for these changes and the psychological impact of weight loss surgery pre bariatric surgery is key.
Let’s face it, the behaviours individuals have around diet and lifestyle have likely been in place for years and years. The sooner these are addressed pre surgery, the easier it will be to adopt them into a healthy and balanced lifestyle post bariatric surgery.
Mental health is discussed in the study ‘Impact of mental health and wellbeing on bariatric surgery outcomes’ exploring issues associated with pre-existing psychological conditions prior to bariatric surgery, such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders. The study suggests that these conditions fail to resolve as anticipated post-surgery and thus highlights the need for ongoing psychological support.
What the study also showed was that the psychological impact of weight loss surgery presented improvements in self-confidence, social interactions, and quality of life post bariatric surgery. These benefits in mental health are also reflected in the 2013 study looking at ‘The Impact of Bariatric Surgery on Psychological Health’.
It is important to note that the psychological interventions discussed in this study are performed pre and post-surgery and therefore including psychologic input after surgery is beneficial to ensure durable, long term outcomes.
How to manage the psychological impact of weight loss surgery
Multidisciplinary care involves a variety of approaches and various disciplinary-based strategies and includes working together to reach your health goals, as seen in our team and the approach we provide our patients.
Alongside bariatric surgeon Dr Scott Whiting, patients have contact with our bariatric dietitian, nurse, and psychologist. Visits with each member of the team are scheduled regularly, pre- and post-surgery to ensure the best results possible are received.
In terms of psychological wellbeing, our team works closely with a psychologist who can provide the direct support you need including cognitive behaviour therapy, to help you achieve your goals. Our psychologist will monitor and help to manage the psychological impact of weight loss surgery, both pre- and post-surgery.
We are committed to ensuring patients are educated in all areas of bariatric surgery, particularly the psychological impacts.