There has been longstanding concern that bariatric surgery may increase the risk of major birth defects, concern that has appeared to be bourne out in the scientific literature.
A new study conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Örebro University, Sweden may go some way towards casting these previous findings into doubt.
This matched-cohort study compared two groups of births in Sweden: nearly 3,000 children born to mothers who underwent gastric bypass, and over 30,000 children born to mothers who, at their first prenatal checkup, weighed roughly the same as the gastric bypass women did pre-surgery, an average of 40 kilos more.
The study showed that the risk of major birth defects in the first group was 3.4 per cent, in line with the risk for women of average weight. For the women in the second group, this risk was 4.9 per cent.
These results would seem to indicate that bariatric surgery can in fact lower the risk of birth defects, given the weight loss and improved blood sugar control it causes. The far greater risk is to children of women who have severe obesity at the start of their pregnancy.
The study authors hasten to add that these results are predicated on women who have undergone surgery taking recommended nutritional supplements and receiving additional antenatal care, including additional ultrasounds and detailed nutritional counseling.
>> Read the original article here
Source: Medical Xpress