You are here:

Anesthesiology/Bipolar II worsening after Surgery


Trish wrote at 2014-02-24 14:02:16
I also am bi-polar and have had three minor surgeries in the past 6 years.  Each was performed in under an hour.  About two weeks after the first operation, I fell into the worst depression I had experienced in years.

Three years ago, I had the second operation.  I mentioned to the surgeon that I was concerned about the aftermath of the anesthesia.  He was confident there was no connection that would cause depression, stating that modern drugs have not shown such side-effects.   About ten days after that op, i had a panic attack in a shopping centre.  I then cried constantly for days, and was unable to work for almost a month.

About a month ago, I had my most recent surgery. I had taken vitamin B supplements for the preceeding 3 weeks in hope of preventing the potential depression. My concerns were again disregarded by the surgeon.  

Though I wasn't as bad as previously, I have been low for the past fornight.  I am very irritable, which isn't nice for my elementary school students.  I am constantly on the verge of tears and my concentration is hopeless.  I frequently do things "almost" right, e.g. open a cupboard instead of the fridge; put on odd shoes; pick up hair brush and mirror instead of toothbrush and toothpaste.

I understand that this all may be like a self-fulfilling prophecy - I expect it; therefore it happens - but I would like to think that in the 40 years I've coped with my condition I am a bit more self-aware than that.  

Tracey wrote at 2014-08-17 12:43:18
I dont have a clear answer....but I can tell you my daughter experienced this.  In fact ..she had no history of bipolar or any other illness... (anxiety had been present off and on)   she experienced her first manic episode 3 days after surgery/anesthesia....that was 8 months ago....she just went through her 2nd psychiatric hospital stay and is now diagnosed bipolar and on medication for it.   I too am trying to learn what role the anesthesia had in changing her brain chemistry (maybe causing a dormant mental illness to surface.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Rex Russell


Any question dealing with general anesthesia issues. With particular emphasis on regional anesthesia.


I am a board certified anesthesiologist, graduated from residency in 2004 from Johns Hopkins Hospital. I have since worked as an anesthesiologist first in the Air Force for three years and then most recently in Texas in Private Practice.

Texas Medical Association Texas society of Anesthesiologists American Society of Anesthesiologists

BS, BYU MD, U of Texas, Galveston Intern-St. Joe's Hospital, Phx, AZ Internal Medicine Residency-Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

©2016 All rights reserved.