Psychological support following failed weight loss surgery
Bringing a claim for weight loss surgery is much more than trying to understand and fix a physical problem. To achieve a positive longer term prognosis we aim to provide you with expert practical advice for both physical and psychological support.
For many people who undergo weight loss surgery, this is a product of years of mixed emotions culminating in one day that is life changing and the start of a new healthier journey. We understand that you have been through a lot to get to this point, and if weight loss surgery has not gone as planned you may be left feeling guilty, deflated and uncertain about the future.
Whether an individual had pre-existing mental health concerns that led them to poor eating habits, post traumatic stress after surgery has not got to plan, or anxieties about how to cope with life long enteral feeding, these are all normal psychological reactions to a very difficult life event and would benefit from expert input.
First and foremost, if you are worried about your mental health, see your GP or bariatric team. There are lots of local weight loss support groups available as either charities, or through the NHS. Search your location here for local groups available to you.
What issues might someone experience after failed surgery?
The decision to undergo any surgery is often difficult, and with weight loss there are so many mixed emotions. So many people pin all their hopes on this resulting in large amounts of weight loss, so when this doesn’t happen they feel like a failure and often isolated.
A number of clients we see, who have experienced failed bariatric surgery, have a range of psychological issues ranging from anxiety, depression and low mood, or even PTSD.
Many people who encounter failed surgery have long-term physical difficulties with eating and drinking which in turn results in further anxiety and an unhealthy relationship with food and mealtime. Negative feelings are common, and when you have no end in sight or long term treatment plan, your psychological health is all the more difficult to manage.
How can this impact on your weight loss journey post-op?
When someone experiences failed surgery as a result of negligence, feelings of guilt are often magnified as people are left thinking it was their fault. As with almost all treatment, the earlier you can get professional support, the more positive the outcome for you.
Often people need support managing and maintaining a balanced diet (specific to their needs), incorporating a balanced diet into their own individual lifestyle, managing emotions and anxieties when it comes to eating, or coming to terms with the fact you may be in worse health than before your surgery.
The Psychologist/Psychiatric experts we instruct specialise in these feelings, and will aim to give you treatment plan to make a real difference.
What sort of treatment is available as part of a claim?
When we progress your litigation claim, when appropriate (and we would of course discuss this fully with you), you will be seen by an expert psychologist or psychiatrist. They will take the time to review your history, talk to you about your individual concerns and devise a plan for how best to support you in the future including possible therapies and treatments. Cost for this on a private basis can then be incorporated into your claim for damages. This is a unique opportunity for people to get access to highly individualised care plans.
Treatment varies greatly from person to person, and will be specific to your needs. For instance it may be a case that focused thinking, such keep a diary, breathing techniques, or exercise helps you. For others, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) may be helpful in tackling underlying causes of eating habits.
Similarly, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Processing (EMDR) may help if there is one particularly distressing event that is causing long term negative thoughts.
Medication may also be helpful in tackling the symptoms of depression, to then be used in conjunction with another therapy to treat the underlying cause.