To treat obesity, bariatric surgery is growing, but it is not without risk. The women who had the surgery have more complicated pregnancies than the average, with risks to the health of the fetus, according to a new study.
The researchers compared more than 14,800 pregnancies of obese women who were operated on in nearly 4 million normal pregnancies. The results showed that babies born after bariatric surgery were 57% more likely to be preterm, 29% more likely to have congenital anomalies and 41% more likely to be admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit. In addition, children born after obesity surgery had a 38% higher risk of dying within seven days after birth, and were lighter than others.
"Our results indicate that women with a history of bariatric surgery, particularly bypass surgery, are much more exposed," says Zainab Akhter, director of research. "These women need specific nutritional support prior to conception and pregnancy, and our results highlight the importance of dietary supplements and the monitoring of fetal growth and development." Health professionals also need training and guidance to be able to provide the right advice, "he says.
Prevalence of operated women
Obesity in France affects 15.8% of men and 15.6% of women. As a result, the rate of use of bariatric surgery increased 2.6 times between 2008 and 2014. In 2014, 45,474 patients, 65.6% of whom were morbidly obese, underwent bariatric surgery. , with a predominance of operated women, at a younger age than men. Bariatric surgery aims to change the way food is absorbed by the digestive system and includes three main operations: gastric bypass, vertical gastrectomy and gastric band.
"We do not know exactly how bariatric surgery can affect fetal development but we do know that people who suffer from it are more likely to have micronutrient deficiencies," says Akhter.
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