Lap-Band Surgery and Pregnancy

Lap-band surgery is often the best solution for treating obesity in women who plan to have children, because it can be adjusted during pregnancy to meet the unique needs of each patient. While a woman is purposefully trying to gain weight during pregnancy, the Lap-Band can be adjusted down. Removing saline to loosen the band makes it possible for the body to take in more healthy calories to provide the extra nutrition needed during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Also, unlike gastric bypass surgery, which is both restrictive and malabsorptive, the Lap-Band procedure only limits caloric intake without affecting the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. This is particularly important during pregnancy, because patients need to ensure that they take in extra vitamins and minerals to support the growth of the baby in the womb. Later, the Lap-Band can be adjusted back to kick-start weight loss again.

The Lap-Band is also a good option for women who may be in a high-risk category for pregnancy, because the surgery is reversible. Removing the band entirely before trying to have a child can minimizing the chance of health risks related to the gastric band during pregnancy.

Perhaps more importantly, a bariatric procedure, like Lap-Band surgery, can increase the odds of getting pregnant in the first place.

“In many cases, gastric banding surgery can help women who are clinically obese and have experienced fertility problems,” notes Central Texas Lap-Band surgeon Dr. David Provost. Obesity has been linked to ovulation problems and also to infertility in women who ovulate normally, research shows. In many cases, after a woman loses a significant amount of her excess weight, she is able to conceive more easily.

In a study from late 2006, women who had a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher had more trouble conceiving than normal weight or overweight women. The higher the woman’s BMI, the lower her chance of conceiving, researchers found. For example, a woman with a BMI of 35 was 26% less likely to become pregnant, whereas a woman with a BMI over 40 was 43% less likely to get pregnant.

The sudden ability to conceive after dramatic weight loss can sometimes have comical results.

“What some patients think is nausea caused by their Lap-Band turns out to be good old fashioned morning sickness,” says Dr. Provost.

Although there are many advantages to the Lap-Band for pregnancy—from improving the chance of conceiving to allowing for weight gain during pregnancy and increasing the nutrients consumed while breastfeeding—gastric banding surgery is not the right option for everyone. Gastric bypass surgery and the sleeve gastrectomy also offer benefits for women who struggle with obesity and are planning to have a family. To learn more about the risks and benefits of each bariatric procedure and discuss your specific needs, please contact our office or attend one of our upcoming information sessions.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.