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Pregnancy After Weight Loss Surgery

Pregnancy After Weight Loss Surgery

Pregnancy after weight loss surgery is a major subject of studies. Researchers have found that the benefits of weight loss surgery extend beyond women’s health and affect their future children. Undergoing weight loss surgery before pregnancy makes future children healthier and at less risk of obesity-related conditions.

Risks of pregnancy when obese

Compared to women of healthy weight, obese women who are pregnant are more likely to:

  • Have chest infections
  • Have headaches and migraines
  • Suffer from heartburn
  • Be depressed
  • Have gestational diabetes
  • Have infections of the genital and urinary tracts
  • Have emergency caesarian delivery


In contrast, pregnancy after weight loss surgery has been linked to the following:

  • Lower complication risks such as gestational diabetes
  • Lower likelihood of premature delivery
  • Better chances of healthy birth weight
  • Lower risk of high blood pressure

The benefits of weight loss surgery affect not only the mothers during pregnancy, but also their children. A study conducted by Canadian researchers at the Laval University in Quebec followed 50 children from 20 mothers: the children were equally divided between being born before their mothers had weight loss surgery and after the surgery.

The study found that children had lower health risks when their mothers had had surgery to lose weight such as the gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, gastric plication, or gastric banding.

Children who were born before their mothers had weight loss surgery had elevated risks of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and high blood pressure, among other conditions.


When is it safe to become pregnant after weight loss surgery?

Patients usually experience tremendous weight loss within the first year after weight loss surgery. During this time, they might also have a deficit of some vital vitamins and minerals such as iron and calcium among others. This is why it is not recommended for a woman to get pregnant during the first year or 18 months after her surgery, as it would be difficult to ensure that both she and her baby get adequate nutrition and the substances necessary for the development of the fetus.

So, if you are considering pregnancy after weight loss surgery, be careful to consult with your bariatric doctor and nutritionist to make sure that you are not jeopardizing your health or your baby’s health.

Author Info

Dr Nagi Safa

Dr Nagi Safa is a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeon (Weight-Loss Surgeon) at the Advanced BMI in Lebanon and at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, and holds an academic appointment at the University of Montreal. Furthermore, he is involved in the training of residents and surgical fellows on how to perform advanced laparoscopic obesity surgery. In 2010, he launched the Advanced Bariatric and Metabolic Institute (Advanced BMI) in Lebanon, and has been helping hundreds of patients from all over the Middle-East through his expertise in obesity surgery. Education: Dr Safa completed his residency training at the University of Montreal General Surgery Program. He then performed a fellowship in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and Minimal Invasive Surgery (Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery), at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, which is the largest Weight Loss Surgery center in the Montreal area, and one of the busiest in Canada. Experience: During his training, and throughout his practice, Dr Safa performed more than one thousand laparoscopic procedures, including Roux en Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding, gastric plication and many other abdominal surgery procedures. He has a particular interest in LaparoscopicRevisional Surgery including banding, bypass and sleeve. With a keen interest in the advancement of obesity surgery and newer minimally invasive surgical techniques, Dr Safa gained experience in the single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS), and offers Single Incision gastric banding and Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery. Research: His current research interests include clinical outcomes from various bariatric surgery procedures and investigations on the impact of bariatric surgery on Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome X. Memberships: Dr Safa holds professional memberships with the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons, Canadian Association of General Surgeons, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Association for Surgical Oncology, Quebec Medical Association, Trauma Association of Canada, Association Quebecoise de Chirurgie, International College of Surgeon, and the College des Medecins du Quebec.