Bariatric Surgery May Impact Depression

The prevalence of depression increases after the first year of bariatric surgery but tends to improve after 2 years post-surgery, according to the results of a recent study.  Pre- and post-surgery depression may also impact weight loss and patient satisfaction.

The researchers assessed data from individuals who underwent either Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) or sleeve gastrectomy between 2015 to 2018. The 1991 [a1] participants included in the study self-reported symptoms of depression using the Patient Health Questionnaire 8 (PHQ-8), their satisfaction with surgery, weight pre-surgery, weight 1 year post-surgery, and weight 2 years post-surgery.

The PHQ-8 scores of patients at 1 year and 2 years post-surgery indicated that fewer participants had clinically significant depression, defined as a PHQ-8 score of less than or equal to 10, compared with [a2] pre-surgery scores. Between year 1 and 2 post-surgery, the researchers found a significant increase in the prevalence of clinical depression.

The researchers found that a higher initial PHQ-8 was related to less weight loss at 1 year post-surgery. It was also observed that higher PHQ-8 scores at baseline trended toward statistical significance at 2 years post-surgery.

At both 1 and 2 years post-surgery, depression was linked to a lower total weight loss percentage, excess weight loss percentage and less reduction in body mass index. Lower patient satisfaction was associated with both baseline and post-operative depression.


—Leigh Precopio



Martens K, Hamann A, Miller-Matero LR, et al. Relationship between depression, weight, and patient satisfaction two years after bariatric surgery. Surg Obes Relat Dis. Published online September 21, 2020. doi:10.1016/j.soard.2020.09.024