Nearly a fifth of patients undergoing obesity surgery have not had a psychiatric assessment prior to surgery, a new study has found.
Researchers found that 18 per cent of 500 obesity surgery patients had not received psychiatric clearance for surgery, despite the fact that patients tend to benefit more from the operation if they have been cleared or received the necessary counselling.
Dr Mark Zimmerman, director of outpatient psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital, said that psychiatric evaluation does not aim to prevent patients from having obesity surgery.
"Rather, the goal is to determine if there are any problems that might interfere with the success of surgery, and have the patient get treatment for these problems," he explained.
"In so doing, the patient is more likely to have a positive outcome from surgery that is delayed to allow time to address the problems," the expert added.
The number of UK patients opting for obesity surgery is likely to continue rising over the coming years, as a government-commissioned report, due to be published this week, suggests half of Britons may be obese in 25 years' time.
Independent advice on private healthcare