Re: Gastric Bypass Surgery and Bipolar
My husband is bipolar and had gastric bypass surgery in June '03. He has now lost over 200 pounds, but it has been rough.
The surgery really messed with his meds. He had to stop them for a few days after surgery (unable to swallow pills, have anything in the stomach, etc.). But once he started again there were still problems. You always hear "90 pounds in 90 days" - he lost that and more. But to lose that much weight that fast you are on a starvation diet. Even after over a year, he is still loosing. And losing weight alters your body chemistry, and that affects your meds. Right after it was almost impossible, and even now it is challenging. Just about the time that he finds a med regimen that works, he has lost another 20 pounds, and we have to start all over again.
Also, food was a great source of comfort to him. And after surgery, he lost that. He lost one of the few things that he could do for himself that was emotionally supportive and comforting. And he lost it at a very difficult time, when he probably needed it the most. Some people look at binge eating as an addiction. So you have to take that into account to - he had to quit his addiction cold turkey.
The entire surgery experience put a tremendous strain on him and our relationship. Due to all the problems he was having, he had to take 12 weeks off work this spring and go to an intensive outpatient treatment program. There were times when I was worried that he might kill himself.
I know this sounds very dramatic, but I am not necessarily trying to discourage you from surgery. You know the limitations and risks of morbid obesity. Those are gone for him now, and our lives have so many more possibilities, so I am not saying that it is all bad. It was completely life changing for him, and he is a completely different person.
As of right now, I am not sure if it was worth it. There has been a lot of good and bad. We have talked about it, and he says he doesn't know either, but that in another year, we will be able to tell.
I would also be very interested in what other people's experiences have been, and in what you decide.