Before making the decision to have weight loss surgery, patients have typically tried many other ways to lose weight. After patients make the decision to undergo surgery, they are quite excited and ready to embark on a new journey to a healthier life. There are quite a few steps that patients have to take before they are ready to have surgery.
Addressing the psychological and behavioral contributors to obesity and ensuring that you are prepared to undergo surgery is an important step in treatment. Dr. Shapiro is a licensed clinical psychologist who regularly conducts pre-bariatric surgery psychological evaluations that meets all insurance and surgeon requirements.
Why have a pre-bariatric surgery psychological evaluation?
- Your insurance requires it.
- Your surgeon requires it.
- To learn more about your own unique triggers and challenges to eating, reasons for your habits, barriers that prevent you from staying on track and come up with the best plan to help get you on your way for post-surgical success.
- You want to discuss the impact (psychological, behavioral, relationship, etc.) that surgery may have on you.
- To have an ally on your side to better prepare you for surgery.
What does a pre-bariatric surgery psychological evaluation entail?
While this sounds frightening and intimidating, Dr. Shapiro ensures that it will not be.
- You will first fill out some paper forms about your weight, eating, drinking, alcohol use, and feelings.
- You will meet with Dr. Shapiro for 50-60 minutes to discuss:
- Your eating habits. Dr. Shapiro understands that you may not have the healthiest habits. She will not judge you. Many people have unhealthy eating habits and this is NOT a reason to deny someone surgery! Dr. Shapiro will discuss these habits with you so that she can make recommendations for a more successful transition into your new lifestyle.
- Your mood and emotional stability and psychological history. It is normal for people to have ups and downs at times as well as normal bouts of sadness or anxiety. This is not a reason to deny someone surgery!
- Your understanding of the weight loss surgery procedure, any risks involved, and the necessary long-term behavioral changes that you will have to make so that you are most prepared for success. Having surgery is serious – Dr. Shapiro just wants to make sure that you have done your homework, are prepared for surgery, and understand what to expect!
- It is also your chance to ask questions and express concerns and Dr. Shapiro will address them.
The evaluation is not a pass or fail test. It is more of a discussion to help you identify potential problems that might lead to difficulty after surgery. Since many obese individuals may suffer from depression, anxiety, binge eating, and other problems, these are typically NOT reasons to delay or deny surgery. If there is anything that concerns Dr. Shapiro, she will share it with you during the visit and she will work with you to develop a plan to better prepare you to have surgery. The majority of patients that Dr. Shapiro evaluates are ready to have surgery. Those who may need treatment prior to surgery will be given specific recommendations and referrals. Ultimately, your surgeon will make a decision as to whether he or she will proceed with the surgery – not the psychologist.
How long will the pre-bariatric surgery evaluation take?
- Meeting with Dr. Shapiro will take about 50 – 60 minutes.
What happens after the pre-bariatric surgery evaluation?
- After the evaluation, Dr. Shapiro will prepare a report and send it directly to your surgeon. Dr. Shapiro’s policy is to guarantee that your surgeon will have the report within 7 days of your evaluation date.
How much does the evaluation cost and will insurance cover the cost of the visit?
- Dr. Shapiro is in-network for several insurance companies. Please contact Dr. Shapiro to inquire about your insurance plan. If she is not in-network with your insurance plan, she is happy to bill your insurance company as an out-of-network provider.
- If Dr. Shapiro is not on your insurance plan, she has reasonable fees for self-pay patients. Many patients elect to meet with Dr. Shapiro for the psychological evaluation rather than use someone else on their insurance plan because they prefer to receive a gold standard psychological examination from a highly experienced and nationally recognized bariatric psychologist. By now, you have likely invested a lot of thought, time, and money on your decision to pursue weight loss surgery. The psychologist is an important qualifier for your insurance company and for your surgeon. Dr. Shapiro understands insurance requirements, surgeon requirements, and the pre-and post-operative process much more than clinicians who do not specialize in bariatric psychology. Plus, you will receive tips and recommendations to help you with your post-operative changes.
Why should I use Dr. Shapiro for my pre-surgical psychological evaluation?
- Dr. Shapiro is the top bariatric psychologist in San Diego and she has performed hundreds of pre-bariatric psychological evaluations.
She specializes in Eating Disorders and Obesity, is passionate about people who struggle with their weight, and her entire practice is devoted to disordered eating and obesity.
She has trained at the most esteemed obesity centers including Duke University’s Weight Loss Surgery Center, Duke University Eating Disorder Program, Structure House LLC, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eating Disorder Program.
- Dr. Shapiro will not just conduct an evaluation. You have put a lot of time, thought, and money into this surgery and you want the evaluation performed by a clinician who thoroughly understands bariatric surgery. Dr. Shapiro is compassionate about the daily battles and struggles (emotionally, physically, psychologically, etc) surrounding obesity. In addition to the evaluation required by insurance companies and surgeons, Dr. Shapiro will offer education and behavior modification tips unique to your own needs to better prepare you for success.
- Dr. Shapiro will offer you an appointment typically within 1-2 weeks of your phone call and your report will be on your surgeon’s desk within 7 days of your evaluation.
- Dr. Shapiro’s office has handicapped parking, an elevator, and comfortable bariatric seating.
- Dr. Shapiro is available for pre and post weight loss surgery support, therapy, and/or behavior modification, as well as brief phone counseling.