Dr. Diana Farmer from Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco is cautioning young women from undergoing gastric bypass surgery. Besides the obvious risks and side effects, a new study has shown a possible link between the surgical procedure and spina bifida in babies.
Often times, patients who have gastric bypass have difficulty absorbing nutrients. This could be a very dangerous side effect if the woman ever plans to have children. While in utero, the fetus gathers all nutrition from its mother. If the mother is malnourished, the fetus will be as well. Malnutrition greatly increases the risk of birth defects.
If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, be sure to take a daily folic acid supplement. Adequate consumption of folic acid by expecting mothers helps to prevent spina bifida. This is especially important if you’ve ever undergone gastric bypass surgery or have any conditions that make it difficult to absorb nutrients.
The decision to have weight loss surgery is yours. I can’t tell you if it’s right or wrong. There may be situations when it’s the best decision to make, but if you’re a woman of child-bearing age, think about the possible effects not just for you, but for your future children as well.
What I can tell you is that a healthy, active lifestyle might not be easy to obtain but it is always a good choice.