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Post Surgical Psychosis
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Post Surgical Psychosis


  My 36 year old brother had minor hernia surgery on May13, 1998.
  Prior to that he had no medical problems and no history of mental illness.
  In the eight weeks since the surgery he has been slowly deteriorating
  mentally.  He is suffering from paranoid delusions, hearing voices and having major anxiety attacks as a result.  The neurologist we're dealing with feels he is suffering from a chemical imbalance induced by one or more of the drugs administered during or after surgery.  A psychiatrist also involved with his case doesn't seem willing to accept this explanation, although he admits that it would be unusual for the first presentation of these symptoms to happen at age 36 if this were a psychiatric problem.
  Have there been other cases of post surgical psychosis and if so, where can we go to insure that everything possible is being done to help him ?
  Thank you.....
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Dear Pat,
It would be unusual for a new organic psychosis to arise in a patient in the early postoperative setting like this.  At times patients can get a bit
'goofy' after surgery, particularly older people.  This usually resolves on
its own.  A major cause of such things is pain medication that is sent home
with the patient.  This would be the most likely cause.  If your brother is
still taking new or unusual medications, call your physician and see if stopping them is an option.  It is conceivable that your brother has developed a new psychiatric condition requiring long term care, but it is
an unlikely coincidence given that it arose shortly after surgery.  
It is likely that stopping unnecessary medications and simply time will allow you brother to return to his baseline.  Should his problems persist
you should contact your brother's physician for another evaluation.
Good luck.








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