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Support to bariatric surgeries

To increase the patient’s motivation and ability to commit to make changes on behaviour, nutritional and psychosocial levels before and after the bariatric surgery

Also known as obesity surgery, bariatric surgery constitutes an intervention possibility when obesity already reached a critical level and physical exercise and food regimen alterations do not produce any effect. With patients in age groups between 18 and 69, the indications for bariatric surgery are:

  1. With a BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2  
  2. With a BMI 35-40 Kg/m2, with comorbidities in which the weight loss induced by surgery is the best option (such as metabolic disorders, cardiorespiratory disease, severe articular disease, or severe psychological problems related to obesity).
Pre-surgery Psychological Evaluation

Psychological evaluation of behavior, nutritional factors, family members and personality must be an integral part of the patient's pre-surgery evaluation at Oficina de Psicologia. The information collected by the clinical psychologist is quite relevant for the entire obesity surgery team.

The goal of the psychological evaluation for the weight loss surgery is not only to reach a diagnosis but also to assure the safety and efficacy of the surgical treatment by identifying areas of potential vulnerability, challenges and strong points in order to create an individualized treatment plan.

The preoperative psychological evaluation must include psychopathology evaluation, as well as information on personality profile, expectation and motivation for the surgery, weight lifelong history, eating patterns, life style and social support network. The preoperative psychological evaluation allows the identification of interventions which, for each specific case, may trigger a long term commitment and the weight maintenance (ex: indication for psychotherapy before and/or after surgery).

The objective is to increase the patient’s motivation and ability to commit himself/herself to make changes on behaviour, nutritional and psychosocial levels before and after the bariatric surgery.

The information collected in the pre-surgery psychological exam, which is compiled in a report, may be used in case of a post-surgical emotional relapse (depression, anxiety), allowing for a faster decision of the intervention to be taken.

A pre-surgery psychological evaluation must still detect potential psychological contraindications for surgery, such as severe eating disorders, severe personality disorders with or without follow up control, or addiction to substances.

Preparation for surgery

Preoperative procedures include anxiety regulation training, as well as some mindfulness exercises to enhance a state of post-surgery tranquillity, regulation of discomfort and pain tolerance, and management of expectations.

Post-Surgery Phase

Food disorders like Binge Eating increase the risk of minor weight loss after surgery and a weight regain on medium term. The presence of two or more psychological disorders may still increase the risk of not so adequate behaviors concerning post-surgery weight loss.

It is important to have a post-surgery follow-up, based on the risk factors identified during the evaluation, in order to prevent relapses or aggravate previous conditions.  The solutions, taken case by case, can go from EMDR, and Medical Hypnotherapy to Mindfulness.

If you would like to learn more information about Support to Bariatric Surgeries in Portugal, contact us through email, by calling +351 220 973 751, +351 211 379 718, +351 911 046 197, or by filling out our form. You can also contact us through our free call service to your right.

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