Women with extreme and severe obesity who have gastric bypass surgery to lose weight before becoming pregnant might be very less likely to have babies with birth defects than similar women who do not have weight-loss surgery, a recent study recommends.
As reported in JAMA(The Journal of the American Medical Association), researchers have examined the data on over 33,000 women with a history of extreme obesity who gave birth, including 2,921 who had gastric bypass surgery and furthermore lost weight before conception.
Overall, 3.4 percent of women who had surgery had babies with some major birth defects, compared with 4.9 percent of women who didn’t have weight-loss operations.
In the surgery group, women started out with an average BMI(Body Mass Index) of 43.5 and an average weight of 122 kg (269 pounds). After the surgery, their average body weight was 82 kg (181 pounds) prior to conception. Before gastric bypass surgery, 9.7 percent of the women in that group had been taking prescription diabetes drugs to lower their blood sugar.
But in the 6 months prior to conception, only 1.5 percent of them took diabetes drugs. These upgrades might be the mechanism behind the observed lower danger of birth defects.
Significant heart defects accounted for 60 percent of the birth defects among mothers who experienced gastric bypass procedures.
No infants in this group had neural tube defects, while there were twenty cases of neural tube defects among women who didn’t have surgery. For the examination, researchers examined some data on singleton births in Sweden from 2007 to 2014.
One major restriction of the study is that it only included data on live births, not miscarriages or pregnancy terminations or stillbirths. It’s possible that the outcomes may underestimate the birth defects by barring these pregnancies, at least some of which might have ended because babies had birth defects too severe to survive.
Obesity can add to infertility, noted by Dr. Brian Smith, co-director of the minimally invasive surgery fellowship at the UC Irvine Health and head of surgery at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System.