-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Women should wait at least
one year after having weight-loss surgery before they try to get
pregnant, researchers say.
The obesity rate among women of child-bearing age is expected to
rise from about 24 percent in 2005 to about 28 percent in 2015, and
the number of women having weight-loss surgery is increasing, the
In a review, published Jan. 11 in
The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, investigators looked
at previous studies to assess the safety, limitations and
advantages of weight-loss ("bariatric") surgery, and management of
weight-loss surgery patients before, during and after
Obesity increases the risk of pregnancy complications, but
weight-loss surgery reduces the risk in extremely obese women, the
review authors said. One study found that 79 percent of women who
had weight-loss surgery experienced no complications during their
However, the review also found that complications during
pregnancy can occur in women who have had weight-loss surgery. One
study found that gastric band slippage and movement can occur,
resulting in severe vomiting, and that band leakage was reported in
24 percent of pregnancies.
Based on current evidence, the review authors recommend that
women should not get pregnant for at least one year after
weight-loss surgery. They noted that one study found that the
miscarriage rate was 31 percent among women who became pregnant
within 18 months after having weight-loss surgery, compared with 18
percent among those who waited longer than 18 months to become
The authors also said that women who have weight-loss surgery
should receive advice and information before they become pregnant
on topics such as birth control, nutrition and weight gain, and
"An increasing number of women of child-bearing age are undergoing bariatric surgery procedures and need information and guidance regarding reproductive issues. In light of current evidence available, pregnancy after bariatric surgery is safer, with fewer complications, than pregnancy in morbidly obese women," review co-author Rahat Khan, a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist at Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in Harlow, England, said in a journal news release.
Guidance from a variety of health care specialists "is the key
to a healthy pregnancy for women who have undergone bariatric
surgery. However, this group of women should still be considered
high risk by both obstetricians and surgeons," Khan added.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases has more about
weight loss surgery.
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