Obesity and Weight Loss Surgery

Obesity is a debilitating illness with profound emotional, social, and medical consequences.  Because weight lost through dieting is frequently regained, the feeling of not having control over one’s own body and health in spite of lengthy, arduous effort is often frustrating and depressing.

Weight loss surgery has become a valued tool in helping very overweight people to lose significant amounts of weight, retain the weight loss, and gain control over their health and lives. In addition, weight loss surgery has wide-ranging medical benefits, including lowered blood pressure and cholesterol as well as improvement of mobility. Significantly, gastric bypass surgery can improve diabetes and is currently the only known cure for type-two diabetes. Few medical procedures have so many benefits.

With so much to offer, all weight loss surgeries– gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and lap band — have become hugely popular. However, they are not magical and not a panacea.  These procedures make enormous demands on the patient for life-altering changes in eating behaviors and exercise.  Success with weight loss surgery does not come with just the surgery itself.  Patients must have the emotional strength and stability to comply with the changes required and to sustain those changes for a lifetime.

Psychological evaluation is utilized to determine if patients seeking weight loss surgery are capable of sustaining the lifestyle changes needed for a safe and successful post-surgery. Most potential patients are highly motivated and able to cope in a healthy manner with the losses of foods and changes in long-term habits.  For some individuals, psychological evaluation recommends psychotherapy and/or psychotropic medication to support them through the process and to help deal with personal problems which could interfere with their success. Due to concerns over psychological difficulties impairing post-surgery success and health, a small number of those evaluated are counseled not to have the surgery.

I conduct psychological evaluations for patients preparing to undergo weightloss surgery, primarily in partnership with Pacific Bariatric Surgical Medical Group. Pacific Bariatirc Surgical Medical Group is a designated Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence ®.  www.PacificBariatric.com

If you have wish to explore weight-loss therapy, please call me at (619) 295-7094 or email me at ebmarg@sbcglobal.net to discuss how I can help you.