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Am J Surg. 1991 Jan;161(1):154-7; discussion 157-8.

Long-term studies of mental health after the Greenville gastric bypass operation for morbid obesity.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, North Carolina 27858-4354.


From February 1, 1980, to May 1, 1989, 462 patients underwent the Greenville gastric bypass at the East Carolina University School of Medicine. The operation effectively maintained satisfactory weight loss after 9 years (mean weight preoperatively, 293 lbs; at 24 months, 179 lbs; at 96 months, 194 lbs). The gastric bypass favorably affected non-insulin-dependent diabetes, hypertension, and physical and role functioning. In the most recent 157 patients, our studies were extended to study the effects of the gastric bypass on mental health. The significant improvements in mental health indices that were observed 6 and 12 months after surgery eroded by the end of 2 years. This return of the mental health indices to the preoperative status, plus the late occurrence of 3 suicides and 2 deaths from alcohol abuse among the total 462 patients, suggest that long-term follow-up and continued emotional support are essential ingredients for successful bariatric surgery.

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