Depression and postoperative complications: an overview.
The interaction of depression and anesthesia and surgery may result in significant increases in morbidity and mortality of patients. Major depressive disorder is a frequent complication of surgery, which may lead to further morbidity and mortality.
Several electronic data bases, including PubMed, were searched pairing “depression” with surgery, postoperative complications, postoperative cognitive impairment, cognition disorder, intensive care unit, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE:
The suppression of the immune system in depressive disorders may expose the patients to increased rates of postoperative infections and increased mortality from cancer. Depression is commonly associated with cognitive impairment, which may be exacerbated postoperatively. There is evidence that acute postoperative pain causes depression and depression lowers the threshold for pain. Depression is also a strong predictor and correlate of chronic post-surgical pain. Many studies have identified depression as an independent risk factor for development of postoperative delirium, which may be a cause for a long and incomplete recovery after surgery. Depression is also frequent in intensive care unit patients and is associated with a lower health-related quality of life and increased mortality. Depression and anxiety have been widely reported soon after coronary artery bypass surgery and remain evident one year after surgery. They may increase the likelihood for new coronary artery events, further hospitalizations and increased mortality. Morbidly obese patients who undergo bariatric surgery have an increased risk of depression. Postoperative depression may also be associated with less weight loss at one year and longer. The extent of preoperative depression in patients scheduled for lumbar discectomy is a predictor of functional outcome and patient’s dissatisfaction, especially after revision surgery. General postoperative mortality is increased.
Depression is a frequent cause of morbidity in surgery patients suffering from a wide range of conditions. Depression may be identified through the use of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 or similar instruments. Counseling interventions may be useful in ameliorating depression, but should be subject to clinical trials.
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