Surgical Clearance Evaluations

Some surgeons or hospitals require a surgical clearance assessment from a practicing psychiatrist in order to allow patients to undergo extensive surgeries like a bariatric surgery. This evaluation is part of the surgical clearance process that must be completed. Insurance companies may also require this type of screening along with a clearance letter from a psychiatrist.

The Holiner Psychiatric Group can perform a psychiatric evaluation to determine if there are any issues that might impede a surgery’s successful outcome for you. The intent of a psychiatric evaluation is not to fail you so that you cannot undergo the surgery. Instead, a psychiatric evaluation can help us determine if you are psychologically and emotionally ready to undergo a surgical procedure. This screening will also show whether you can adequately make the lifestyle changes after surgery and if you may need support after the surgery.

If our psychiatric evaluation identifies anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or other issues, then we can help you get the appropriate treatment before and after the procedure.

Psychiatric Evaluation for Bariatric Surgery

One in five patients who wanted bariatric surgery didn’t get the psychiatric clearance before the operation, according to a study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. The study found that patients cited a current eating disorder or unmanaged mental health disorders as reasons for not receiving a psychological evaluation.  The study’s lead author noted that a psychiatric evaluation can result in a mostly favorable outcome from bariatric surgery if a patient first treats any mental health issues before the procedure.

This study’s findings underscore the importance of undergoing a psychiatric evaluation before weight loss surgery. We certainly want you to have a positive outcome from your surgery. We also want you to have an overall improved quality of life.

In order to determine if you’re an appropriate surgical candidate, our psychiatric evaluation will assess the following:

  • your psychiatric history as well as the psychiatric history of your family;
  • any mental illness issues that required hospitalization;
  • history of any psychiatric medications;
  • history of any treatment noncompliance;
  • substance abuse issues;
  • eating behavior in which food was used as a method to cope with psychological issues; and
  • motivation for undergoing surgery.

The screening we do will also identify areas where you might need help after the surgery. For instance, if our screening determines that you may be susceptible to depression or mood swings before the surgery, then we know that you may potentially need treatment for this mental health condition after the procedure.

When you’re undergoing a bariatric surgery, it’s important to remember that we are performing a psychiatric evaluation that is in the best interest for your overall health. If you do have any mental health disorders, we certainly want to recognize them before surgery and determine a course of treatment. Contact us today if you need a psychiatric evaluation as part of the surgical clearance process.

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