Woman Develops 'Temporary Kleptomania' After Surgery

Brazilian went in for a tummy tuck and boob job, came out with a desire to steal
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2016 10:52 AM CST
Cosmetic Surgery Turns Woman Into 'Temporary Klepto'
A woman's stomach was flatter after surgery, but she couldn't stop taking things that didn't belong to her.   (Shutterstock)

A woman who went under the knife for a little nip-and-tuck in 2013 ended up with a case of pocket-and-run as well. Per Live Science, the 40-year-old Brazilian had cosmetic surgery on her stomach, arms, and breasts, but just a few days after the procedure, she started having "recurring intrusive thoughts and an irresistible compulsion towards stealing as well as feeling relieved after the act," the study in the BMJ Case Reports journal notes. She had turned into a kleptomaniac overnight, all because doctors think the woman—who had no history of substance abuse or mental health issues—suffered from something called "hypoxic-ischemic brain injury" while undergoing the surgery.

She complained of certain symptoms (mainly feeling sleepy, disoriented, and apathetic) after going under, so doctors ran her through an MRI machine. They found her brain had been deprived of blood flow at some point during her procedure, and that because oxygen didn't get to the part of her brain in charge of memory and learning, it set off a slew of symptoms, including a desire to steal and an inability to control impulses. Doctors say this type of behavior has been spotted before in post-operative cases, though it's not common. The good news: The woman wasn't destined for a life of crime, as her brain simply "rewired" itself in a couple of weeks and the klepto compulsion disappeared. (Meanwhile, this man thought every day was March 14, 2005, after a root canal.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.