Weight loss surgery can lead to suicide attempts, study reveals.
A new study made by Junaid Bhatti from Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto revealed that patients who undergo weight loss surgery are more likely to attempt suicide or to hurt themselves.
The research was based on 8,800 people who were followed over a period of 3 years before and after they had this operation. Most of them underwent the same type of operation, called gastric bypass, which reduces the stomach to the size of a glass.
In the first 3 years after they were operated on, 1% of them received medical care after they had injured themselves. Doctors suggest that these incidents are a proof that patients should receive more behavioral healthcare. However, this study should not discourage people suffering from mental illness to resort to such operation. Instead, healthcare providers should be aware of the fact that they must target these patients for improved results.
Gastric bypass operation increased in popularity in recent years, after people failed to lose weight through diets, pills or exercises. Like any other operation, it is not free of risks, as it implies malnutrition. Another risk is the overdose of alcohol or drug, as a consequence of the fact that the patients’ stomach is no longer able to receive the same quantity of liquids or medication as before.’
The study reveals that 3 put of 4 self-injuries were caused by drug overdoses.
Usually, the patients who injured themselves had been identified having a mental health disorder in the 5 years before surgery.
Nevertheless, the study revealed that the risk was not the same for all patients. For people over 35, the risk of self-injury increased with 76% after surgery and the risk even doubled for poorer people.
“These findings suggest that more effort may be needed to improve access to mental health care services in these patients should they need them, and perhaps some screening in the second year,” Bhatti declared.
Image Source: Pixabay