New research suggests that bariatric-surgery-induced weight loss is associated with lower risks for adverse delivery outcomes among women in term births.
The study compared data on 1,431 term births in women with a history of bariatric surgery and 4,476 population control births.
They found that women who had undergone bariatric surgery were less likely to have caesarean (18.2% versus 25.0%; risk ratio [RR] 0.70; 95% CI 0.60-0.80) or instrumental (5.0% versus 6.5%; RR 0.73; 95% CI 0.53-0.98) delivery and had lower risks for post-term pregnancy (4.2% versus 10.3%; RR 0.40; 95% CI 0.30-0.53) and induction of labour (23.4% versus 34.0%; RR 0.68; 95% CI 0.59-0.78). Risks were also reduced for obstetric anal sphincter injury (1.5% versus 2.9%; RR 0.46; 95% CI 0.25-0.81), and postpartum haemorrhage (4.6% versus 8.0%; RR 0.58; 95% CI 0.44-0.76).
Writing in PLOS Medicine, the authors said bariatric surgery may be an important procedure for improving delivery outcomes in obese and morbidly obese women. They cautioned, however, that there is also an increased risk of complications for the infant, including small for gestational age and preterm birth, and said this has to be taken into consideration.