Post-bariatric surgery nightmare!

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    Help! Help! Help! Has anyone heard of anyone "changing" so dramatically after having a gastric bypass? I feel like I am living a nightmare because my family member is 2 years post-op. He went from 420lbs to approx 250lbs, gaining only about 15-20 back at any given time & will lose it again. He has gone from being a caring, family oriented, spiritual, hard working man who LOVED people(kids especially) and life itself. He is now a full-fledged alcoholic-NEVER used to drink, smokes about a pack a day-used to take a week to get a pack down, abandoned wife and kids, isolates himself from the rest of the family, is paranoid that everyone is out to get him, and darn near close to being an atheist! He has even spoken of suicide on occassion. He said he had a premonition prior to being transported to OR that he should not have the surgery. He has not done any follow up care with his MD since 6 months out. Is this an extremely rare effect or is this just not widely reported? Any suggestions?
    Last edit by trnsplntgirl on Oct 5, '09 : Reason: Wanted all caps
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    Never heard of it. He may have started out as a case of post-op blues that developed into a full blown depression. I have heard of marriages splitting up because the bariatric patient has "found a new sense of self" with the weight loss and has "blossomed" into a social butterfly. It's like they are trying to make up for everything they missed in their "fat live".
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    This person needs to follow up with a PCP who is familiar with bariatric surgery. There are documented incidences of bariatric patients substituting other addictions for the former food addition. In addition, severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies, notably B12 deficiency, can cause emotional instability.

    I had bariatric surgery 8 years ago. PM me if you have other questions or concerns.
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    Quote from Fiona59
    I have heard of marriages splitting up because the bariatric patient has "found a new sense of self" with the weight loss and has "blossomed" into a social butterfly.
    conversely, if they have not successfully dealt with the psychological reasons as to why they became obese, then drinking and other vices would seem to reflect their unresolved issues.

    i hope the pt gets himself the help he so desperately needs.

    leslie
    sharpeimom likes this.
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    Yes, there are those that take a leap into a wild life they never experienced before, however it does not sound like this is the case. Although I cannot offer anything that can remotely be construed as medical advice, I will say he needs to see a Doc, preferably one who is experienced with post op pts. The issues we face in our post op lives are so specialized, that a well versed physician is needed. This is as much a psychological issue as a physiological one. There are vitamin deficiencies that come with bypass that can only be diagnosed by an MD. The deficiencies can lead show up in behavior as well as physical signs.

    Speaking only of myself, yes the weight came off, but the same person with the same fears and issues was still inside. I had to learn to deal with the issues once the safety (obesity) blanket was off.

    I hope this helps and I wish you the best. I hope that you can convince him that help is out there and the right doc makes all the difference in the world. If he doesnt know where to go, I would recommend starting with his surgeons office, they can point him in the right direction.

    Blessings~
    sharpeimom and HM2VikingRN like this.
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    I am 4 days post op (yay) and know that depression is a possible biggie, as well as addictive behaviors.....He needs to go see a specialist, and fast. Get the main support people (wife/girlfriend/SO, immediate family, etc) into action quick. This is not behavior that started overnight, so it will not resolve overnight. I believe this poor guy may need a full blown "intervention" so to speak, just going off the information that has been given. My heart and prayers go out to his loved ones as well as him. It always hurts to see someone we love destroying themself...Take care and keep us posted....
    mesa1979 likes this.
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    Wow!! I have not heard of a case that extreme either. I am a lap band patient 5 years out, lost 130. I have talked with hundreds of post op, most do great. If he would be willing to go, a doc is needed fast here! Just restating what you already know. Did he have to undergo a psychological profile pre-op? My surgeons requires this of all their patients. The most common complaint I hear from bariatric patients is a sense of frustration. Food never judges you, you can always sit down on the couch with a gallon of ice cream or a bag of chips and "feel better". Taking the ablility to "comfort" oneself with food can be more difficult for some. So sorry to hear your predicament, hope you can find some help!
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    Quote from Jennifer Smith LVN
    Wow!! I have not heard of a case that extreme either. I am a lap band patient 5 years out, lost 130. I have talked with hundreds of post op, most do great. If he would be willing to go, a doc is needed fast here! Just restating what you already know. Did he have to undergo a psychological profile pre-op? My surgeons requires this of all their patients. The most common complaint I hear from bariatric patients is a sense of frustration. Food never judges you, you can always sit down on the couch with a gallon of ice cream or a bag of chips and "feel better". Taking the ablility to "comfort" oneself with food can be more difficult for some. So sorry to hear your predicament, hope you can find some help!
    I had to do a psych profile as well, and attend a few seminars and classes, and have my main support person(s) attend as well so that expectations and needs could be anticipated.....
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    I've certainly heard of going from the food addiction behavior to another maladaptive addiction behavior after the surgery when huge weight loss is achieved when the psych part is not adequately addressed. I'm just thinking his other problems may have been present long ago and were dealt with very "effectively" with overeating. I've also heard that the surgery and subsequent weight loss success can really shine light on problems in a relationship, if there were indeed problems in the first place.

    (What's being an atheist have to do with weight loss?)
    Last edit by Baloney Amputation on Oct 5, '09
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. Yes I agree and have suggested that the first stop needs to be to his doctor's office. And yes he went through the pre-surgery psych profile and deemed a qualified, well adjusted candidate. My hope too is that he soon gets the help that is needed.




    P.S. - Atheism has nothing to do with weightloss. My point was that his faith, which was an integral part of his life and character, was effected as well.
    Baloney Amputation likes this.


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