Delay pregnancy after obesity surgery, women warned
14 January, 2013
Nevada: Women who have had weight loss surgery should wait at least a year before trying for a baby, experts have warned.
Having a baby after surgery is safer and associated with fewer complications than becoming pregnant when morbidly obese, say doctors. But patients should still be treated as high-risk and be "strongly advised" not to get pregnant for 12 to 18 months afterwards, a review suggests.
Obesity among women of childbearing age is expected to rise to 28% by 2015. National guidelines recommend weight loss surgery - most commonly done through a gastric band or gastric bypass - as an option for anyone with a body mass index of more than 40kg/sq m.
The review of the latest evidence, published in The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist journal, says that it will become more and more common for doctors to be asked for advice about the safety of becoming pregnant after bariatric surgery.
Researchers found that most women who get pregnant after bariatric surgery would have no complications, with one study suggesting 79% would have a straightforward pregnancy.
But there can be surgical complications with the potential for a gastric band to slip or move during pregnancy, leading to severe vomiting.One study found that band leakage was reported in 24% of pregnancies. Women who become pregnant after weight loss surgery should be managed by a team of experts that includes an obstetrician, surgeon, fertility specialist and nutritionist, the review recommends.
The researchers also pointed out that the female patients should receive advice and information before they got pregnant, on contraception, nutrition and weight gain, and vitamin supplements.