Study Shows Gastric Bypass Surgery Lowers Risk of Birth Defects

In a recent study released by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), over 33,000 women living with severe obesity who gave birth, including those who had gastric bypass surgery and lost weight before conception, were less likely to have babies with birth defects than similar women who did not have weight-loss surgery, a new study suggests.

Martin Neovius, lead study author, says “Changes in weight and blood sugar may explain these results. These improvements may be the mechanism behind the observed lower risk of birth defects.” Of those women who had bariatric surgery, about 9.7% were on diabetes medication, prior to their procedure. However, post-operatively and about six months before conception, only 1.5% were required to continue on with their diabetes medications.

According to the article published in Saltwire Network, “Many women elect to undergo bariatric surgery in order to facilitate pregnancy and/or treat polycystic ovary syndrome, a major contributor to infertility,” says Dr. Brian Smith. “Fewer birth defects appears to be yet another important health benefit of weight loss surgery (specifically gastric bypass). Women considering pregnancy and bariatric surgery should consider postponing pregnancy until after they have achieved post-operative weight loss and their weight is stable.” Smith says.

“One of those most rewarding moments as a Certified Bariatric Nurse at SmartShape is when we receive touching stories from our patients who struggled with pregnancy before their procedure to experiencing one of the most happiest times in their lives and sharing with us a photo of their healthy baby and new family.” says Tammy Mitchell.

As Dr. Smith stated in the article, the increased likelihood of a successful pregnancy is just one of the many benefits patients experience from having bariatric (weight-loss) surgery. SmartShape can attest to these benefits given our own patients’ milestone moments with their improved overall quality of life. Check out real life stories here.

If this story resonated with you and would like to consult with one of our surgeons regarding weight loss surgery, free consultations are available at SmartShape. Contact 1-888-278-7952 to schedule your appointment.

Source: Saltwire Network, Oct 2019.

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