Is Lap Band Surgery for You? Psychological Screening, the First Step-From Mchenry and Schaumburg


Dr Mike Shery

Some of those who are desirous of lap band surgery may not be viable candidates for it. As with any elective surgery, there are significant risks and that is why a competent physician will always study your history and require that you undergo a psychological evaluation prior to performing the surgery.

Some important considerations for the lap band procedure are your age and weight. To qualify, you should be between the ages of 17-60 and be at least 100 pounds overweight.

Your weight, age, mental health status and the likelihood that you will comply with the important post-surgery lifestyle requirements are important considerations for you to qualify for the lap band operation .

The mental health evaluation that a psychologist may provide in an effort to qualify you may include:

Psychological History

Your mental health history is extremely important in qualifying you to undergo this operation and benefit from it over the long term. For example, if you are a compulsive over-eater or have an obsessive-compulsive personality, you may not be able to undergo lap band surgery without encountering serious emotional problems later.


If depression or another psychological disorder triggers you to over-eat, thereby causing your obesity, you may also be ineligible for weight loss surgery. This is because after the surgery, you are still likely to over-eat, thereby neutralizing the procedures effectiveness.

In clarifying what contributes to your obesity, the psychological screening should help determine if the lap band procedure will work for you.

Assessment of Perfectionism

People who tend to be perfectionist will likely develop more post operative dissatisfaction than those who are not; this can lead to frustration and anger. A perfectionist who truly wishes to get in shape and

efficiently lose weight would be more likely satisfied participating in a more standard weight loss program.

Assessment of Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is not eradicated by lap band surgery. If you are sedentary and compulsively eat loads of junk food when you are depressed, feeling anxious or stressed-out, the psychologist may recommend that you forgo weight loss surgery until you get the assistance of a clinical psychologist to learn to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Diet and Exercise Assessment

The psychological evaluation must fist establish that you have diligently attempted more conventional methods of weight loss with limited or no success. This is to prevent your using the lap band to unnecessarily circumvent safer and less risky solutions to your obesity.

The data demonstrates that those who have diligently engaged in a sound diet and exercise program prior to seeking weight loss surgery, are those most likely to succeed with it. They are the ones most likely to comply with the prescribed lap band meal, exercise and lifestyle requirements after surgery.

Psychological Tests

To enhance the odds that your lap band surgery will be a success over the longer term, a psychologist will most likely administer 2-3 paper-and-pencil psychological tests to establish your state of mind and emotional viability for surgery. The tests may include, but are not limited to, The Millon Behavioral Diagnostic, The Inventory for Health Improvement and The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory.

These are simple True-False tests that you can complete at home; they will help determine your mental preparedness for the procedure. Once the psychological findings have been reported, upon your surgeons approval, you will then be able to start the preparation phase for lap band surgery.

If You Think the Lap Band Surgery may be the Best Option for You

If you are committed to losing weight and are willing to make significant changes in your lifestyle to do so, a local bariatric physician or psychologist will be able to orient you to the procedure or refer you to someone who can. He or she will review the associated risks with you and help you to evaluate if the lap band surgery is your best option.

The good news is that, with the right mindset, lap band surgery can help you to look and feel your best and achieve your goal of a happier and more fulfilling life!

Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He’s a bariatric psychologist and has day, evening and Sat. appts. Call 1 847 275 8236 and make an appt or

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