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Medication and the Gastric Sleeve

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Hi, I'm considering the gastric sleeve. I am 55 years old and 270 lbs. No diet is working for me. I'm so frustrated. I am on a lot of medication especially psych meds. My psychiatrist thinks I will run into problems being approved for surgery because of these meds. My appointment with the surgeon isn't until the beginning of October. Did anyone else run into problems getting approved for surgery because of medications they were taking? Were they able to work around it?

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Yes unfortunately the antipsychotics cause metabolic issues, such as lot of weight gain and increased cholesterol levels. Quetiapine, risperidone, mirtazapine all come to mind as some of the worst offenders, but all psych meds have this unfortunate side effect. Whether your surgeon wants to proceed, I can't say. Your weight loss may not be as effective as you expect.

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I was on psych meds and didn't have any issues getting approved. However, I was told to work closely with my med provider to make sure my medications stayed at therapeutic levels as I lost weight. If you're not already, talking with a therapist might help. Also, FYI, part of the approval process for most insurances is a psych evaluation.

And, as already stated, a lot of psych meds do cause weight gain. So that is something to consider for long-term success. One of the medications I was on contributed to a 60lb weight gain in a years time. Thankfully, I was able to find an alternative.

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For me, I had already been off psych meds for a year prior to going into the process of getting weight loss surgery.

Even though I had been going to therapy I had to have a psych evaluation and the psychologist told me that psych meds can interfere with anesthesia. Do not let this discourage you, it may take a little longer to get surgery, but there are workarounds.

Your surgeon will let you know for sure, so do not stress about this until you get your surgeon's opinion, they will help your figure out what to do so you can be successful. There is always a solution to every problem.

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I'm on a lot of psych meds, and it hasn't stopped me for getting approved for surgery. My med manager is worried about therapeutic levels after the surgery, but at 240 pounds, I'm willing to risk it.

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Posted (edited)

I am on a number of psych meds for PTSD and depression. I had a hysterectomy with no changes to my meds for anesthesia, they adjust the meds they use to your own particular cocktail. I've been told there will be no issues with my meds and surgery.

I talked with my psych about meds and absorption and she said that she doesn't usually have issues with sleeve patients, the most she has to do is a tweak here and there, but you might want to consider more weight neutral formulations. She said she's had more issues with RNY and DS patients, but again, nothing is impossible and there are solutions for even those patients, it just takes more work to maintain therapeutic levels like compounded liquid formulations for some patients. It really depends on your particular meds and what wiggle room you have.

My surgeon wasn't concerned at all with my meds and surgery/recovery, so I think maybe your doctor isn't educated enough on the subject? Patients on psych meds have surgery all the time with no problems...

ETA: I'm on other meds too and the only adjustment to those was to skip my morning doses as one of them could have interacted with the anesthesia they were using. I was able to take it that night with no problem. They go over every med you are on during your pre-surgical appointment.

Edited by ChunkCat

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