Lap-Band and gastric bypass surgeries are increasing in numbers to help the morbidly obese achieve a healthier weight. Also increasing is the number of these patients experiencing severe depression after the surgery.
All patients should undergo a psychiatric evaluation before surgery, as the journey can be emotionally taxing; but this doesn’t rule out the possibility of depression occurring later on. While one would think the transformation to losing so much weight should bring about happy feelings, the significant fluctuation of hormones and dietary deficiencies that can occur with massive weight loss are a likely culprit for depression.
Most important in massive weight loss is choosing a program, not a procedure. Nutritional and emotional counseling must be a very active part of the process, and support groups and expert contacts should be readily available to work through the sometimes stressful emotional days.
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