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Revista de Psiquiatria do Rio Grande do Sul

Print version ISSN 0101-8108


MAGDALENO JR., Ronis; CHAIM, Elinton Adami  and  TURATO, Egberto Ribeiro. Psychological characteristics of patients submitted to bariatric surgery. Rev. psiquiatr. Rio Gd. Sul [online]. 2009, vol.31, n.1, pp.73-78. ISSN 0101-8108.

INTRODUCTION: The great number of patients submitted bariatric surgery who have psychological and psychiatric complications during the postoperative period require a thorough preoperative investigation and a categorization with the purpose of predicting possible complications and personalizing psychological care that might favor patient compliance. Psychodynamic assessment may provide data for such categorization and, thus, suggest effective pre- and postoperative approach strategies. Therefore, the objective of this study was to identify personality structures that may be useful in the postoperative follow-up, as well as additional inclusion and exclusion criteria for the surgical procedure. METHOD: Report of empirical survey conducted during psychotherapy sessions with an open group of patients who underwent bariatric surgery. DISCUSSION: After surgery, patients may experience phases of emotional restructuring, such as an initial phase of feeling triumphant, followed by a phase when there is risk of melancholic behavior and new addictions. We identified three categories of psychological structures: melancholic structure (patients seem to be more likely to develop other postoperative addictive behaviors, mainly eating disorders, since they cannot tolerate the frustration of the loss); dementalized structure (due to the lack of elaborative capacity, patients are unable to reorganize themselves in face of the challenge of keeping their weight under control); and perverse structure (patients comply with the scheduled weight loss; however, their behavior makes the health team experience uncomfortable situations). Establishing psychological categories may be crucial in order to suggest postoperative management strategies, including referral to a psychotherapist with the purpose of providing personalized care, thus increasing specific therapeutic success.

Keywords : Morbid obesity; bariatric surgery; psychoanalysis; medical psychology; group psychotherapy.

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