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Bariatric surgery helps women with future pregnancies

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) published in the Nov. 19 Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that fertility improves in women of reproductive age following bariatric surgical procedures, based on a review of literature on open and laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic adjustable banding, biliopancreatic diversion and vertical-banded gastroplasty. Pregnancy-related risks of hypertension and diabetes may decline in patients whose morbid obesity is resolved with bariatric surgery prior to pregnancy, the research indicates. The review also found "no evidence that delivery complications are higher in post-surgery pregnancies," and that nutritional deficiencies for mother and child are minimal post-surgery, "as long as adequate maternal nutrition and vitamin supplementation are maintained." According to AHRQ, women aged 18-45 accounted for about half of the patients who underwent bariatric surgery between 1998 and 2005

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