Friday, January 2, 2009

Bariatric Surgery Before Pregnancy Reduces Risks

A group of researchers from the U.S. recently announced that obese women are more likely to reduce their chances of complications during their pregnancy if they have bariatric surgery before getting pregnant. The researchers evaluated the results of 75 past studies involving bariatric surgery and pregnancy that were conducted from 1985 to early 2008. These studies were obtained from several databases, including the Controlled Clinical Trials Register Database, Cochrane Database of Reviews of Effectiveness, Medline and EMBASE, as well as the Nationwide Inpatient Sample from 1998 to 2005. What researchers found was that women who had the procedure before conceiving were much less likely to develop gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, a condition affecting at least 5-8% of all pregnancies, characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Some studies reported that having the surgery before pregnancy reduced maternal complications, while others showed that women that received the surgery had the same or lower risk of giving birth to a premature or underweight baby as women that did not have surgery.

Obesity levels have soared, causing more people to consider weight-loss surgery, especially women of childbearing age (18-45) that still would like to have children. Review of the studies revealed that between 1998 and 2005, bariatric surgery rates rose an estimated 800% in the U.S., with about 83% of those surgeries being performed on women of childbearing age. These procedures were found to be beneficial to women who became pregnant after the surgery, however, researchers also cited some negative results. One type of weight-loss surgery, biliopancreatic diversion, was found to increase a woman’s risk of miscarriage and nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy. However, researchers noted that many of the studies involving this procedure pointed out that the failure to take vitamin supplements after their surgery may be to blame for deficiencies.

More research still needs to be done on specific areas, including fertility, contraception, nutrition and caesarean delivery, after bariatric surgery has been performed. It is important to discuss all aspects of weight-loss surgery with a doctor to reduce the risk of complications, especially if pregnancy is a possibility in the future. If you or a loved one has medical malpractice questions in New York, please contact Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, serving clients with Nassau and Suffolk County medical malpractice, Brooklyn medical malpractice, Bronx medical malpractice and Queens medical malpractice cases. Silberstein, Awad & Miklos also serve clients located in Staten Island and Westchester County.

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