Gastric Sleeve Surgery and Pregnancy
There are a lot of questions that come up about Gastric Sleeve Surgery and Pregnancy. Many women are worried about the effect of their baby, and the effect on themselves.
Gastric sleeve surgery is a great way to lose weight, but with a smaller stomach, lots of women are concerned about the safety of gastric sleeve surgery and pregnancy.
Here we will give you information to help you answer the common questions about gastric sleeve surgery and pregnancy.
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Common Questions About Gastric Sleeve Surgery and Pregnancy
- Is pregnancy after gastric sleeve surgery safe?
- Is being pregnant while overweight just as safe as being pregnant after the weight loss?
- How long should you wait?
- Will the gastric sleeve affect the baby?
- Is a C-Section necessary?
- Can I get pregnant after or during other types of surgical weight loss?
- Should I use some type of contraceptive while losing weight?
Gastric Sleeve Surgery and Pregnancy – A New & Safer Trend
Exercise, diet and weight loss medications are not always 100% effective in losing excess weight and maintaining the new weight for obese women, so a good number of these women opt to undergo gastric sleeve surgery.
Overall, bariatric surgery in the United States has noticeably increased by 800% from 1998 to 2005. Women between the ages of 10 and 45 who are in their reproductive years were considered to be responsible for about 83% of that 800% jump. From 2003 to 2005, more than 50,000 women in this age bracket have undergone some form of bariatric surgery every year.
What is the implication here? Nearly all women in their childbearing age have undergone the bariatric surgery.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery and Pregnancy – The Questions
Is pregnancy after gastric sleeve surgery safe?
Yes. The latest reports show that getting pregnant after the bariatric surgery is indeed safe. In truth, it is safer to be pregnant after the bariatric surgery compared to being pregnant while overweight or obese. Most overweight women often suffer from infertility, but if they do get pregnant, they are categorized as high risk. Obesity can put any person at additional risk when undergoing any type of procedure that will put a strain on the body. This includes any type of surgery, and delivering a baby.
Is being pregnant while overweight just as safe as being pregnant after the weight loss?
No, being pregnant while overweight or obese can lead to complications such as:
- Elevated blood pressure
- Gestational diabetes increased sugar level in their blood during the course of pregnancy
- Large gestational babies, needing C section type of delivery.
- Fetal distress
Being pregnant following the bariatric procedure can actually cause less risk compared to conceiving while overweight. In the latest studies, the rates of the adverse outcomes for those pregnant women and their newborn babies are less after the bariatric surgery as weighed against those pregnant women who are still overweight. This study has appeared in the Nov. 19, 2008 copy of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
You should also note that the women who had undergone bariatric surgery gained less weight during their pregnancy than the women who did not undergo the weight loss surgery.
How long should you wait after a gastric sleeve operation?
Women who are in the childbearing period who wish to become pregnant following a gastric sleeve procedure or some other type of malabsorptive procedure like the duodenal switch surgery, are advised to wait for at least ,18 to 24 months before conceiving, because this is the time where the weight loss will happen.
It can be taxing to adhere to diet and the nutritional needs while losing the weight, adding a pregnancy on top of that will only complicate things. During this period of weight loss, the developing embryo can be deprived of the nutrients it needs in order to develop into a healthy baby.
Will the gastric sleeve affect the baby?
No. There is exactly no difference in the newborn result after the bariatric surgery when being compared to those moms who were overweight. Bariatric surgery will not affect the baby. Bariatric surgery will however reduce your health risks. As we mentioned before, it is much safer for you to have a baby when you are at a healthy weight, carrying and delivering a child when you are overweight comes with many complications.
Is a C-Section necessary?
No, a C-Section is not required. There is no medical rationale why women who become pregnant after bariatric surgery should be required to undergo the C-Section when delivering their babies. The possibility of delivering through C-Section is most likely to happen.
A C-Section is a safe way to deliver the baby, but it does have a lot of risks when compared with the normal vaginal delivery. The C-Section involves the delivering of the baby through an incision made on the lower belly area just above your symphysis pubis. It is still strongly recommended to consult your obstetrician about having a C-Section, as well as your own personal preferences for delivering your baby.
Can I get pregnant after or during other types of surgical weight loss?
No. In general, you should not conceive a child while you are losing weight through any type of bariatric surgery. Most forms of bariatric surgery limit the amount of nutrients your body will absorb, either by reducing the size of the stomach, or altering the digestive system. Your body must adapt to the new changes, and lose the weight first. Only after you’ve lost the weight, and have attained your ideal weight should you consider having a child.
For example, gastric banding can bring about a more steady weight loss and will not cause any nutritional deficiency concern, but the band will be in place for six months. This will limit the amount of nutrients your body can absorb, and again, the developing embryo will be deprived of nutrients. Those women who had undergone the banding procedure should generally wait for six months after having the bad removed before getting pregnant. This will ensure a healthy weight for the entire course of their pregnancy.
Should I use some type of contraceptive while losing weight?
YES…definitely! If you conceive shortly after your surgery, or during the weight loss period, it can have harmful effects on the fetus which can lead to many complications with the baby. It is better to wait until your doctor advises that it is safe to have a baby.
A lot of surgeons will advise women who are at their childbearing age who plan to undergo the bariatric surgery to use a dependable method of contraception during the period of wait. As the unwanted weight is shed, the possibility of becoming pregnant is very high. While it is difficult for obese women to be pregnant, losing those excess weight increases the fertility. As a matter of fact, issues of the inability to conceive are often linked to obesity and are time and again resolved as the hormones go back to their natural level. So precaution against getting pregnant is advised.
Another point is that as you lose the weight, you will become more appealing to your boyfriend or husband, and they may not be able to keep their hands off! Using a contraceptive is a very good idea because you may not plan for pregnancy, but you may become pregnant all the same. So use a dependable contraceptive to ensure your health, and the health of your baby. You can speak with your doctor for advice on a reliable contraceptive.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery and Pregnancy – The Bottom Line
Gastric sleeve surgery and pregnancy is safe. Conceiving a child while overweight or obese can have negative repercussions on both you and your baby. It is much safer to have a baby after you’ve lost the weight than it is to have a baby while obese. It is very important to remember that you must NOT become pregnant shortly after your bariatric surgery as this will definitely cause complications. If you have undergone a gastric sleeve, or are thinking about it, follow your doctor’s advice about when it is safe for you to conceive.
Having a baby once your doctor approves it, and you are at a healthy weight, will significantly reduce any health risks to you, and will improve the baby’s chances of developing normally. The best advice would be to speak with your bariatric surgeon or your doctor to find out more about Gastric Sleeve Surgery and Pregnancy.