To Your Health
October, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 10)
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Weight-Loss Surgery Is Bad for Your Mental Health

By Editorial Staff

Weight loss - everyone seems concerned with it in one way or another. We're all trying to lose weight, maintain our current weight or help someone else achieve the same. Even with society trending toward embracing the human body in any shape, form and size, weight remains an obsession.

For some, particularly people who have been struggling long term with weight loss, surgery is the quick solution. In some cases, that may be an option to consider, but what many people don't consider is the potential consequences, including (depending on the procedure) pain, internal bleeding, nutritional deficiencies, the need to repeat the procedure ... and perhaps most importantly, failure to lose the desired weight even after the surgery.

Here's another potential complication to consider before even considering weight-loss surgery, and it's another big one: psychiatric issues. According to research published in JAMA Psychiatry, patients who undergo bariatric surgery are more than three times more likely to be admitted to the ER and three times more likely to require psychiatric hospitalization in the years following surgery compared to people who don't undergo a weight-loss procedure. Even more concerning, patients were five times more likely to visit the ER for deliberate self-harm at some point following surgery, and cases of suicide were also reported.

According to researchers: "Complications after bariatric surgery requiring further surgical intervention and a history of mental health service provision before surgery were the most important associations with subsequent mental health presentations after surgery."

The moral to the story? Weight-loss surgery isn't all it's cracked up to be, and the potential repercussions – particularly for an already vulnerable population that may be struggling mentally and emotionally with the burden of their weight – can be downright dangerous. If you'd like to lose weight the safe way, talk to your doctor about the right way to go about it.