Pre-Surgical Screening

Dr. Chase holds extensive experience in providing surgery candidates with psychological evaluations when requested by their physicians to undergo pre-surgical mental health screening. Surgeries include bariatric, elective cosmetic, spinal implant, and nerve stimulators. When a patient is considered for surgical interventions, depending on the type, a psychological evaluation may be requested in order to gather helpful information for the surgical care team.

Cosmetic surgery providers may sometimes request psychological evaluation before patients are scheduled for surgery. This is due to the psychological complexity, expectations, and potential contraindications for a small proportion of patients. In some cases, strong or extreme personality factors or acute psychiatric disorders may warrant hesitation or special considerations on the part of the care team. Personality conflicts are not uncommon when a patient interacts frequently with a medical team and is required or encouraged to follow various practices associated with presurgical preparation and post-surgical recovery.

Patients who are under consideration for surgical interventions for pain management are often likely to undergo psychological assessment. Pain management-related surgeries can include nerve stimulator implants or spine augmentations. Due to the high involvement of psychiatric symptoms and complexity with chronic pain patients, physicians seek to identify any complicating factors that might present a “red flag” or impediment to successful pain management care. Care providers want to know how invested and how effortful a patient will be in the process of improving their pain management.

Bariatric surgeries are a high-stakes medical procedure. Outcomes in weight loss surgeries are highly dependent on the behavior of the patient in the post-surgical phase of care. Physicians aim to gather specific information from psychologists about a person’s agency, resources, support, and plans for addressing necessary behavior changes after a weight loss surgery. Medical teams want to know that a patient does not expect a passive role in attaining a healthier lifestyle and state of medical wellness. Successful postsurgical outcomes often require a comprehensive, sustained change initiative involving dietary, exercise, work, and social domains. A psychological evaluation can help to identify areas that might be lacking and therefore reveal helpful recommendations for enhancing the surgical candidate’s readiness, bettering the post-surgical behavior prognosis, and mitigating risk factors.