Monday, January 21, 2013

Ask Us Anything: Can I Become Pregnant After Bariatric Surgery?

"Can I become pregnant after bariatric surgery? Will it inhibit the growth of the baby?"

Dr. Bruce Rodgers Adds:

Bariatric surgery most often refers to gastric bypass or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. It is definitely safe to become pregnant after bariatric surgery. In fact, bariatric surgery actually improves pregnancy outcome when compared to women of similar weight who do not undergo the procedure.

There is a reduced incidence of gestational diabetes, preterm delivery, and preeclampsia, and no increase in the risk of intrauterine growth restriction (small or low birth weight babies). Fertility is also improved.

Complications of the bypass surgery, such as internal hernia, can occur during pregnancy, though these issues are rare.

Iron and vitamin B12 supplementation are usually required during pregnancy.

It is advisable that pregnancy be delayed at least one year following bariatric surgery, since this is generally the time of greatest weight loss.

– Dr. Bruce Rodgers

Dr. Rodgers is the Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Catholic Health and Director of the Fetal Testing Unit at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo.

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