A small group of scientists at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, has found that some types of weight loss surgery may affect not just the stomach, but the brain as well. The side effects of two types of bariatric surgeries (gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy) may affect the metabolism and brain. In a handful of studies in recent years, the outcomes have shown that alcohol abuse increased significantly in the second year following gastric bypass surgeries and that, among those reporting post-surgery alcohol problems, 60.5% had not had drinking problems prior to the surgery.
Bariatric surgery procedures have a rather significant learning curve. In one study, patient mortality rates of around 5% were noted in which surgeons had only performed less than 20 procedures as compared to mortality rates of around 0% for surgeons that had performed more than 250 procedures. Other studies confirm the same pattern as more inexperienced surgeons have significantly higher incidences of anastomotic leak rates and other complications.
There is a growing research literature suggesting that there may be an elevated risk of suicide following bariatric surgery, so far most data has been cross-sectional and observational and very little is know about the specific variables involved. The study concluded that there are a number of possible contributing factors that have been identified, such as: sensitivity to alcohol, hyperglycemia, changes in pharmacokinetics and genetics.
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