The Indian Premier League 2020

Lifestyle Viral and Trending 17 Feb 2016 Surgery causes tempo ...

Surgery causes temporary kleptomania

Published Feb 17, 2016, 12:13 am IST
Updated Feb 17, 2016, 12:13 am IST
A few days after cosmetic surgery, the woman began to have “an irresistible compulsion towards stealing”
A still  from Jackie Brown.
 A still from Jackie Brown.

A woman in Brazil who had cosmetic surgery ended up with not only a flatter stomach and larger breasts, she also developed kleptomania for a few weeks, a new case report reveals.

A few days after being released from the hospital following her cosmetic surgery, the 40-year-old woman began to have “recurring, intrusive thoughts and an irresistible compulsion towards stealing”, according to the case report, published online January 29 in the journal BMJ Case Reports.


The most likely explanation for her symptoms is that the woman suffered from inadequate blood flow to the brain at some point during or right after the surgical procedure, said case report co-author Dr Fabio Nascimento, who was part of the medical team during the woman’s hospitalisation in Brazil at the time of the case. Such a restricted blood flow could have deprived the woman’s brain of oxygen and nutrients, resulting in disrupted brain function and leading to brain damage, Nascimento said. This damage likely interfered with certain circuits within her brain, causing the neurological symptoms observed after the surgery, he said. There were clues that the woman had mental deficits immediately following her cosmetic procedures. The woman felt extremely drowsy, disoriented and apathetic after the surgery, and she also suffered memory lapses.


Caught stealing

After the Brazilian woman was sent home, she began to show what Nascimento described as “fairly typical symptoms of kleptomania”, such as an “urge to steal followed by a sense of relief after doing so”. The kleptomania episodes lasted for only a couple of weeks, but that was long enough to get the woman into trouble with the law.

One day while shopping, she felt an irresistible impulse to steal an item from a store despite having more than enough money to buy it, Nascimento told Live Science. The woman snatched it from the shelf and left. But a store security guard observed the theft and caught up with her. She was taken to the police station, and she was released only after her temporary psychiatric condition was explained to the police commissioner, Nascimento said. The woman did not need treatment for this temporary episode of kleptomania, and her brain injury resolved on its own, he told Live Science.


— Source: