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Bariatric surgery reduces pregnancy risks in obese women


Obese women who undergo bariatric surgery before conceiving have a significantly lower risk of developing hypertensive disorders during pregnancy than those who have it afterwards, US researchers have found.

The study of 585 obese women, published in BMJ online, found those who had surgery before giving birth had an 80 per cent reduced risk of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, a 74 per cent reduced risk of gestational hypertension and a 61 per cent reduced risk of chronic hypertension in pregnancy.

The study findings could be used to “open a dialogue” on the risks and benefits of bariatric surgery between clinicians and obese women who want to become pregnant, said the authors.


Readers' comments (4)

  • Does this mean paying for more bloaters to have surgery when a simple diet and exercise regime would rid them of their excess blubber? Fat women have fat kids, even more misery for everyone and national expense.

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  • If it were as simple as a 'simple diet and exercise' then why does anyone believe a person would put themselves through major surgery and then a lifetime of food restrictions and medication? I pray that you are never in a position to provide care for any person in that position. Also, for your information, I have seen many so called 'normal' sized parents with overweight children, and vice versa. So before you post such ridiculous, offensive comments, you should at least have some evidence on which to base your bigotry.

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  • As a nurse consultant in bariatric surgery (with 10 years in the speciality), the above post doesn't surprise me as one of the main reasons for choosing bariatric surgery is the bad experiences at the hands of ignorant HCPs!

    Bariatric surgery is for morbid obesity. It isn't an alternative to diet and exercise for those who simply need to diet. Morbid obesity is a serious health problem and it is costing the nation highly in terms of NHS demands, sick pay etc.

    Simply saying "cut down" is like telling someone that you will give them a million pounds if they hold their breath for 10 minutes. The motivation is there but they simply can't do it. Obesity is multifactoral. Clearly, there is a need to change eating and exercise habits but modern society doesn't easily support that change. Nothing is physical anymore and parents are scared to allow their children to play outside for fears to their safety.

    Of course, we could ignore it and hope it will go away but that would lead to much sicker mothers and babies.

    I'm not suggesting we pretend that diet and exercise aren't important. Simply suggesting that this patient group needs help, tolerance and understanding to support them through difficult changes.

    Anyone thinking that bariatric surgery is easy and a cheat's way out is an idiot. Spend a day with a patient and then make up your mind. You may realise you don't have ALL the answers then.

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  • "as one of the main reasons for choosing bariatric surgery is the bad experiences at the hands of ignorant HCPs!"

    Care to explain the above comment Toni? Because the NHS is generally not geared up to either empowering people in their own health or because it's really poor at health promotion? I was sure it was because these patients have morbidly low levels self esteem / self efficacy which leads to looking for a solution to their problems outside of themselves? As with the 24 hr eating culture this is a symptom of our times rather than being an 'illness'. Nobody believes that this is not a tragedy, but can we ask the taxpayer to subsidise the costs of poor self control?

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