VIDEO: Bariatric surgery not precluded by mental health concerns, fears of substance abuse
LOS ANGELES —Perceptions of how bariatric surgery relates to behavioral and mental health have changed dramatically in the past several years, said Goutham Rao, MD, of NorthShore University HealthSystem and The University of Chicago, in a video interview.
No longer is major depression viewed as a contraindication to surgery; instead evidence now shows that depression often improves dramatically after the procedure, especially in the first year. Theories surrounding substance abuse, such as the notion that overeating will be replaced by a different addiction, have not been validated, according to Rao. Some patients do have a lower tolerance for alcohol, but this is related to metabolic changes, not addictive behavior, Rao explained.