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Bariatric Surgeon India

Bariatric Surgery and Mental Health: What You Need To Know

Bariatric surgery for weight loss is a life-changing procedure. There are different types of bariatric procedures, some of which have been in practice for decades. It is a major surgical procedure with numerous benefits and some manageable complications. This surgery not only impacts the physical health of a person, but it also has an impact on their mental health and emotional well-being. 

Understanding the psychological aspects before and after a weight loss procedure is very important for healthcare professionals to offer comprehensive treatment.

What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a safe and effective surgical procedure specially intended to treat obesity and related complications. Some of the common bariatric surgeries include:

  • Gastric bypass
  • Gastric sleeve (sleeve gastrectomy)
  • Mini Gastric Bypass 
  • Adjustable gastric band (AGB) or gastric banding
  • Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS)

These weight loss procedures are meant to modify the digestive system so that you can consume fewer calories, which may result in weight loss.

Candidates for Bariatric Surgery

According to guidelines from recognized institutes all over the world, bariatric surgery is an option for individuals who meet this specific criteria—body mass index (BMI) ≥ 37.5—and are eligible for bariatric surgery. In some exceptional cases, BMI ≥ 32.5 with comorbid conditions (obesity-related medical conditions) may also qualify.

The psychological impact of obesity


Obesity isn’t simply a physical condition; it extends beyond the physical concerns affecting your mental health. Many people suffering from obesity often encounter discrimination, societal judgment, and social isolation, which may lead to feelings of inferiority, depression, and stress. In addition, obesity limits your physical and social activities, resulting in a sedentary lifestyle, which worsens mental health problems.

Common mental health problems related to obesity

Depression: Many people who are suffering from obesity go into depression due to their physical appearance and the social stigma they are facing in life.

Anxiety: Obese people will be stressed and anxious because most of them are concerned about their current health status, physical looks, and social acceptance.

Poor self-esteem: Self-esteem and self-confidence in obese people might decrease over time due to their negative body image and judgmental society.

Eating Disorders: Obesity can be linked with disordered eating patterns, including binge eating disorder and emotional eating.

Disordered eating behaviours, such as emotional eating and binge eating, are commonly observed issues related to obesity.

Mental health benefits post-bariatric surgery

The benefits of bariatric surgery extend beyond weight loss—one such benefit is improvement in mental health. Losing weight post-surgery relieves many psychological issues, which eventually improves mental well-being and quality of life. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Better mental health (happiness) 
  • Improved self-esteem (self-confidence)
  • Reduced depression and anxiety 
  • Enhanced social life
  • Quality sleep and energy Levels

Psychological challenges after surgery

Bariatric surgery can’t address mental health issues instantly. Patients might face post-operative psychological challenges which require careful management and support. Some common psychological challenges are adjusting to new changes in the body, emotional adjustment, risk of drug addiction, and persistent emotional disorders.

Psychological support plays a crucial role in the post-operative care process. Comprehensive care to manage the patient’s physical and mental health is necessary to ensure long-term success and well-being. Psychological challenges can be addressed:

  • Counselling and therapy
  • Support groups
  • Monitoring mental health regularly 
  • Nutritional guidance 
  • regularly physical activity
  • Self-care

Bariatric surgery is a strong medium to fight against severe obesity and its related complications. However, Dr. Venugopal Pareek, one of the best bariatric surgeons in Hyderabad, instructs a complete psychological evaluation before suggesting a bariatric procedure, to discover any existing mental health issues and commitment of the patient to lifestyle changes necessary post-surgery.  

For more detailed information, call +91 91777 77715 and make your appointment with the doctor. 

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