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After weight loss surgery: Women to wait 12 months before trying for a baby

Women should wait atleast 12 months before trying for a baby following weight loss surgery and need further advice and information on reproductive issues, suggests a new evidence-based literature review published in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, TOG.

The review looks at the safety, advantages and limitations of bariatric surgery and multidisciplinary management of patients before, during and after pregnancy.

With the prevalence of obesity among women of reproductive age expected to rise from 24.2 percent in 2005 to 28.3 percent in 2015, the number of women undergoing bariatric surgery is increasing.


Obesity increases the risk of obstetric complications, however, pregnancy after bariatric surgery is safer than pregnancy in morbidly obese women, states the review.

“An increasing number of women of child-bearing age are undergoing bariatric surgery procedures and need information and guidance regarding reproductive issues,” notes Rahat Khan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, Harlow and co- author of the review.

“In light of current evidence available, pregnancy after bariatric surgery is safer, with fewer complications, than pregnancy in morbidly obese women.

“Increasingly, obstetricians, surgeons and primary care clinicians will be required to address questions posed by their patients regarding the safety of pregnancy after weight loss surgery.” A previous study following pregnancies after weight loss surgery concluded that pregnancy is safe with 79.2 percent of participants having no complications during their pregnancy.

Furthermore, based on the current evidence available, they  recommend that patients should not get pregnant for at least 12 months following bariatric surgery.

The first bariatric surgery in in Nigeria was conducted at the Federal Capital Territory in 2011.

Bariatric surgery, is a specialised procedure carried out on patients with challenge of obesity.

It comprises a  weight loss process to  tackle high blood pressure and other commonly associated ailments.


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