Recommendations for the presurgical psychosocial evaluation of bariatric surgery patients.
BACKGROUND Bariatric surgery is the most effective obesity treatment in terms of weight loss and resolution of comorbidities. Roux-en-Y bypass surgery achieves weight loss of 60% to 70% excess body weight in most morbidly obese individuals. Patients with psychological disorders are reported to have less optimal results and those with bipolar, possibly worse. METHODS A retrospective survey of Roux-en-Y bypass bariatric surgery patient clinical records to assess weight loss outcomes for morbidly obese patients, including those with bipolar disorders, other psychiatric conditions, and those without psychiatric diagnoses, was conducted. RESULTS For all three study subgroups, the baseline mean weight exceeded 300 lbs, and mean BMI was 50. At 6 months, mean values for weight, percent weight loss, BMI, and percent change in BMI for all three groups were not significantly different. At 1 year, overall mean weight was less than 200 lbs, percent weight loss exceeded 35%, and mean BMI was 32. These outcomes were remarkably similar and not significantly different for those with bipolar disorder, other psychological conditions, and those without. The percent reaching follow-up at 12 months also did not differ between the three psychiatric status subgroups. CONCLUSION In patients who undergo Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, those with bipolar disorder have successful weight loss outcomes at 12 months that are not significantly different than those who have other psychiatric diagnoses and those with no psychiatric disorder. Despite practices that suggest the contrary, well-managed morbidly obese bipolar patients should be considered as suitable candidates for bariatric surgery using established criteria for risk assessment.