, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 349-352

Surgical Treatment of Morbid Obesity in Schizophrenic Patients

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Background: Newer antipsychotic medications have greatly improved the treatment of schizophrenia, but they are known to be associated with serious weight gain. Little is known about treatment of morbid obesity in this population. Methods: 5 patients with schizophrenia and morbid obesity were studied.Weight loss was compared with that achieved by 165 non-psychotic patients who also underwent bariatric surgery during a 1-year period. Results: 5 morbidly obese patients with schizophrenia underwent bariatric surgery between February 1999 and April 2003. All patients were well controlled on antipsychotics. The median BMI was 54 (51-70) and all had obesity-related co-morbities. All patients had been previously treated unsuccessfully with conservative methods of weight reduction. 3 patients had a duodenal switch operation, 1 patient had a sleeve gastrectomy, and 1 had conversion of a silastic ring gastroplasty to biliopancreatic diversion. All patients were maintained on their antipsychotic medications until 24 hours before surgery. Median percent excess weight loss at 6 months was comparable to that achieved in the control group. Conclusions: Good control of schizophrenia may be achieved by newer therapies but at the risk of weight gain. The results of bariatric surgery in such patients are comparable to those of non-psychotic morbidly obese patients. Further follow-up is needed, but the results are encouraging.