Q:  Gastric Bypass Surgery and Bipolar

comments = I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder several months ago, and am currently stable on Lithium and Celexa.  My question is I am thinking about getting gastric bypass surgery done.  I am just over 100lbs over weight.  Will this help my depression?  I had heard that it would.  Will this affect my lithium levels?

Dear Tara -- 
I'm not aware of a literature on lithium after bypass.  Your surgeon might know more than I.   I'll confess I can't even remember whether lithium is easily absorbed in the stomach; but it is absorbed by the intestine, because slow-release lithium is designed to release there, so that should work ok, unchanged after bypass.   It would be worth checking your levels before and after just to make sure, though.  

Will it help your depression?  Hmm, probably "it depends" -- on what kind of depression, what factors go into that, what your hopes are and whether they are realistic, a lot of stuff like that.  Good luck. 

Dr. Phelps

Published March, 2001