Women who have bariatric surgery (such as the lap band) should wait at least 12-18 months after surgery before becoming pregnant, says a new review of research published in The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist journal. The BBC reports that researchers found an increased risk of miscarriage in pregnancies conceived less than 18 months after surgery. 31% of those early pregnancies ended in miscarriage, as opposed to 18% in women who waited at least 18 months to conceive.
There are currently no universally accepted guidelines regarding pregnacy after weight loss surgery. While most women will have normal pregnancies after surgery, in one study 24% of women suffered from band leakage during their pregnancies.
One of the authors of the review, Dr. Rahat Khan, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in Harlow, Essex, concluded that despite the risks, “In light of current evidence available, pregnancy after bariatric surgery is safer, with fewer complications, than pregnancy in morbidly obese women.”