Weight Loss Surgery May Decrease Post-Pregnancy Risks

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If you’re among the 50,000 or so women of child-bearing age in the United States who have weight loss surgery every year, there’s good news: medical experts say weight loss surgery may decrease post-pregnancy risks.

A recent study funded by the federal Agency for Health Care Research and Quality reports that women who have had obesity surgery have fewer health problems during pregnancy than obese women, and that their newborns have fewer complications, as well.

Data for the report, which appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, were collated from 75 existing studies published between 1985 and 2008. Several studies indicated that obese women who had Lap-band surgery before their pregnancies had lower rates of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia during pregnancy, fewer premature deliveries, fewer incidences of dangerously low or high birth weight, and less mortality among newborns than women who did not undergo weight loss surgery.

Interestingly, researchers found no differences in neonatal outcomes after gastric bypass surgery. However, patients who had a biliopancreatic diversion procedure were found to have a greater number of miscarriages than those who did not.

Researchers think the increase may stem from nutritional deficiencies – which are common among biliopancreatic diversion patients — and stress the importance of following your prescribed course of vitamins and nutritional supplements if you’ve had this type of bariatric procedure.

Overall, the study findings are good news for weight loss surgery posties who want to have a baby. But, researchers recommend that women who have had bariatric surgery wait at least a year after their rapid weight loss stops before getting pregnant and say that more research is needed to determine exactly how much weight loss surgery may mitigate pregnancy risks.

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