Purpose: Metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) is increasingly used in adolescents. The aim was to explore symptoms of depression and anxiety in young adults over 5 years’ follow-up after undergoing MBS.
Methods: Beck Depression Inventory-2 and the Beck Anxiety Inventory were used to assess symptoms of depression and anxiety in 62 patients 1, 2, and 5 years after having Roux-en-Y gastric bypass at 13-18 years of age. Mental health, eating-related problems, and weight outcomes were tested for association with suicidal ideation at the 5-year follow-up.
Results: At the 5-year follow-up, the mean score for depression was 11.4 (± 12.4), indicating minimal symptoms of depression. The mean score for anxiety was 12.82 (± 11.50), indicating mild anxiety symptoms. Still, several participants reported moderate or severe symptoms of depression (26%) and anxiety (32%). Women reported more symptoms than men (P = 0.03 and 0.04). No significant changes were found in self-reported symptoms of depression and anxiety between the 1-year and the 5-year follow-up (P = 0.367 and 0.934). Suicidal ideation was reported by 16% at the 5-year follow-up. Participants reporting suicidal ideation had lost significantly less excess weight than participants without suicidal ideation (P = 0.009).
Conclusion: Five years after adolescent MBS, a substantial minority still struggles with mental health issues, and women are more burdened than men. Our results indicate an association between less optimal weight loss and suicidal ideation 5 years after MBS. The findings emphasize the importance of offering long-term follow-up and mental health treatment several years after MBS.