Gastric surgery: risk of suicide in patients with gastric bypass

Gastric surgery: risk of suicide in patients with gastric bypass

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Study confirms that self-injurious behavior and obesity surgery are related
A recent study found that people who had gastric bypass surgery had an increased risk of injuring themselves. Self-harming behavior, thoughts of suicide and attempts at suicide in the past seem to be related to obesity surgery, Canadian scientists report in the journal "JAMA Surgery" the behavior is even mitigated.

A longitudinal cohort analysis examined 8,815 adults from Ontario in Canada on this topic. These had all been treated by bariatric surgery between April 1, 2006 and March 31, 2011. The doctors observed the patients three years before the operation and three years after the operation. Almost 82 percent of the sample consisted of women. Most of those examined were 35 years or older (80.1%). Of the 8,815 patients, 8,681 (98.5%) had gastric bypass surgery.

Subjects under observation for six years
The researchers found that self-injuring behavior was increasingly observed among the treated. 111 of the patients were involved in 158 self-harm emergencies. These events all took place in the three years of aftercare. The emergencies caused by self-injurious behavior increased significantly after the operation. Before the operation, the value was much lower (2.33 per 1,000 patient-years) than after the operation (3.63 per 1,000 patient-years). The most common form of self-harm was an intended overdose. Such behavior was observed in 115 cases, which corresponds to almost 73 percent of suicide attempts.

Bariatric surgery increases susceptibility to self-harm
Obesity surgery seems to be more than just an operation. The intervention apparently has profound effects and can support self-harming behavior. Dr. Amir Ghafer from the University of Michigan explained in an accompanying editorial that the study carried out clearly shows the unique susceptibility of people to self-injurious behavior after gastric bypass surgery. It should now be carefully examined why suicide rates in these patients are more than four times higher than in the normal population. Obesity surgery (bariatric surgery) is understood to mean various surgical measures to combat pathological obesity, with gastric bypass surgery being one of the most common interventions of this type.

Lose weight but the problems remain
Dr. Craig Primack of the Scottsdale Weight Loss Center in Arizona told MedPage that in his practice a group of patients believed that many problems were related to their weight. These people are of the opinion that if they reach a specific weight, their problems such as underpaid work, unsuccessful partner search, marriage problems and lack of friendships can be dealt with. Then, when the person reaches that desired weight, the problems are still there. Despite losing weight, the job continues to be poorly paid or there are still marital problems. If this becomes clear to the patient, weight loss often comes to a standstill. (as)

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Video: Scarless Revision Surgery after Gastric Bypass


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