Getting pregnant after bariatric surgery: Everything you need to know
Have you been considering bariatric surgery but are concerned about how it will impact your ability to get pregnant in the future?
Many people forego weight-loss surgery as they believe they will not be able to conceive following the procedure, but this is not the case.
In fact, weight-loss surgery can be an effective infertility treatment method. Women who could not previously get pregnant due to obesity-related issues often find themselves ovulating more regularly post-surgery.
The Lap-Band®, in particular, is an excellent option for those who plan on getting pregnant after bariatric surgery; they offer more distinct advantages than any other weight-loss procedure.
Pregnancy after weight-loss surgery
Although getting pregnant is a safe option after bariatric surgery, it is recommended not to do so for 12-24 months.
Following the procedure, weight loss can be rapid, which means your body goes through some stressful changes and is at risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. These deficiencies can be harmful to the baby and lead to complications.
Remember that newfound fertility can raise your chances of getting pregnant by accident, so it's essential to take the relevant precautions to prevent this from occurring.
When the time does come to conceive safely, your pregnancy will need to be closely managed by your health care provider to safeguard the health of both you and your future child.
You will be provided pregnancy-specific vitamin and mineral supplements by your doctor to ensure your baby gets all the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.
Pregnancy after a laparoscopic band procedure
Lap-Band surgeries are an excellent option for those looking to get pregnant following weight-loss surgery. Because the Lap-Band is fully adjustable to your unique and changing needs, it can remain in place during pregnancy.
During a Lap-Band procedure, a silicone band is placed around the stomach, ultimately reducing its size and the amount of food it can hold.
Lap-Band is a bariatric-surgery procedure that's adjustable. During the operation, your surgeon will place a port outside your body that allows the Lap-Band to be loosened or tightened without further surgery.
This is particularly useful during pregnancy, and depending on your circumstances, your doctor may recommend that the Lap-Band be loosened to allow for the consumption of more significant portions of food.
Similarly, the Lap-Band can be released entirely while you give birth. The Lap-Band is completely reversible and can be removed anytime during your pregnancy if the need should arise. It is the only bariatric-surgery option that is not permanent.
In many cases, it is safe for the Lap-Band to remain as it is without any adjustments during pregnancy. In fact, it can be beneficial in helping patients to stay on track with their overall weight-loss goals.
Lap-Band procedures do not require extensive supplement routines
Unlike the Lap-Band, other bariatric surgeries such as gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgeries require extensive supplement routines during pregnancy. This is because they are what is known as malabsorptive procedures.
Malabsorptive bariatric procedures limit the number of nutrients the body absorbs as they remove 80% of the stomach and shorten part of the intestines.
Lap-Band, on the other hand, is non-malabsorptive. They are much less invasive; during the procedure, no stomach cutting or rerouting of the organs occurs.
The procedure generally lasts under one hour and allows for a quick recovery time. Most patients are in and out of the hospital on the same day.
With Lap-Band surgery, you won’t need to worry about the expensive, extensive supplement routines associated with other types of weight-loss surgery.
The benefits of pregnancy after losing weight with a Lap-Band
The weight loss resulting from a Lap-Band increases fertility by menstrual cycle regularity, and makes for a safer pregnancy. As little as 5% weight loss is proven to reverse obesity- related lack of ovulation.
In addition, a study on the effects of bariatric surgery on fertility found that 70 of 98 women who weren't ovulating began regular menstrual cycles within a few months post-surgery. Losing weight may mean faster and more successful conception.
Weight loss before pregnancy also helps tackle several obesity-related pregnancy complications. These complications include:
- Gestational diabetes
- Longer labour
- Increased risk for C-section
- High birth weight
- Postpartum haemorrhage
Overall, the Lap-Band is a safe, minimally invasive procedure that is well tolerated during pregnancy with little negative implications for mother or baby.
If you’d like to learn more about options for bariatric surgery in Ireland, feel free to contact a member of our talented team.
The team at Auralia has years of experience perfecting their surgical techniques and can provide you with the surgery you need to feel more confident about your body.
Book in for a free consultation today with our leading team of Irish bariatric surgeons.