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Bariatric surgery and pregnancy

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For women who have had weight loss surgery, there are both benefits and risks. (WPVI)

For women who have had weight loss surgery, there are both benefits and risks.

And there are plenty of things patients need to know if they plan on starting a family.

Weight loss surgery has proven benefits: lowering the risk for diabetes and heart disease and also reducing the risk for complications during child birth.

But a new study by Dr. Brodie Parent at the University of Washington Medical Center and others shows infants born less than two years after a mother's bariatric surgery had higher risks for pre-maturity, low birth weight, and admission into neonatal intensive care.

"The way to reduce that risk is perhaps by waiting two to three years after they've had the operation," Parent said.

There's also concern that the baby's development could be affected due to a mother's nutritional deficits because of surgery, but that remains to be seen.

Dr. Parent says neither of these should deter women from considering weight loss surgery, but it's something to keep in mind.
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