Most people know that you have to go through pre-operative assessments before having surgery. During those assessments, doctors will give you a physical examination, measure your vital signs (such as pulse and respiration), and discuss any history that may affect the procedure. What you may not know is that for some operations, it’s best to also undergo a psychological pre-op before the surgery happens to get an accurate idea of what to expect during life post-surgery.
What is A Psychological Pre-Operative Evaluation?
Typically, psychological pre-ops are recommended before surgeries that will significantly change your lifestyle. A prime example – and the one where doctors generally recommend a psychological pre-op the most highly – is bariatric surgery. It’s important to realize that with operations of that magnitude, you will experience lifestyle changes, unfamiliar bodily sensations, and changes in the way your body looks and feels. You also may have to deal with the reality that the people around you will see you differently. Most of them will likely be supportive, but it will be helpful to know how to handle discussions about the changes you are going through.
One of our experienced and trained psychologists will work with your doctor to personalize the contents of your assessment to you. Whether your procedure is bariatric surgery to assist with weight loss, or spinal cord stimulation to help you control chronic back pain, we’ll help you prepare for both the procedure and the lifestyle changes that may happen as a result. We will discuss other programs you’ve tried in the past, your current lifestyle, your social support systems, and general life questions that are applicable to your situation, such as work, education, exercise, and diet.
Why Do I Need One?
Some surgeries will change your life no matter what. And some conditions, such as pain and overeating, can be aggravated by psychological issues that come with them. Your surgery is only part of a much bigger picture that shapes your overall behavior and quality of life. The more that you and the professionals who help you learn about your habits, body, and the actions that shape your daily life, the more control you will learn to have over them. This will help you recover, receive the optimal benefits of surgery, and give you greater control over your body and everyday habits.