Patients with Schizophrenia Undergoing Gastric Bypass Surgery: a Case Series Study



Obesity affects approximately 45–55% of persons with schizophrenia and is more difficult to manage in these individuals than in the general population, apart from being an additional factor for morbidity and premature mortality. Although bariatric surgery is considered the most effective long-term treatment for severe obesity, there are few reports on the outcomes of this procedure in persons with schizophrenia. This study aimed to evaluate weight loss and psychiatric symptoms in persons with obesity and schizophrenia after bariatric surgery.

Materials and Methods

Five persons with schizophrenia and moderate to severe obesity who underwent bariatric surgery were followed up for 2 years. Anthropometric data were collected, and psychiatric symptoms were evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), which assessed the pre- and postoperative occurrence and severity of symptoms of schizophrenia.


The mean body mass index before surgery was 43.5 ± 5.2 kg/m2 and decreased to 28.1 ± 1.9 kg/m2 1 year postoperatively. The mean percentage of total postoperative weight loss was 30.7 ± 6.8% after 6 months, 34.7 ± 7.9% after 1 year, and 34.3 ± 5.5% after 2 years. Before surgery, all subjects were in remission based on the PANSS. Postoperative evaluations showed that the participants had no relapse of psychiatric symptoms (p > 0.05 for the three PANSS dimensions throughout the follow-up period). There were no considerable changes in their medication regimens.


These findings suggest that bariatric surgery may be a viable treatment option for stable patients with schizophrenia if they have a preoperative assessment and close management and involvement by mental health professionals throughout the course of treatment.

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This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001.

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Correspondence to Maíra E. Brito.

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Brito, M.E., Sampaio, I.M., Ferreira, A.C. et al. Patients with Schizophrenia Undergoing Gastric Bypass Surgery: a Case Series Study. OBES SURG 30, 3813–3821 (2020).

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  • Schizophrenia
  • Obesity
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Mental illness