Original Research Obstetrics| Volume 226, ISSUE 1, P121.e1-121.e16, January 2022

Perinatal outcomes after bariatric surgery


      Bariatric surgery is a widely used treatment option for obesity that often provides long-term weight control and health benefits. Although a growing number of women are becoming pregnant after bariatric surgery, only a few population-based studies have assessed the impact thereof on perinatal outcomes.


      This study aimed to examine the association between bariatric surgery and adverse perinatal outcomes in pregnant women and to examine whether the risk for adverse perinatal outcomes is modified by the postsurgery weight, gestational weight gain, type of bariatric surgery, timing of pregnancy after bariatric surgery, and maternal comorbidities.

      Study Design

      A retrospective cohort study was performed with the use of the Bariatric Surgery Registry and hospital inpatient and outpatient physician encounter records. The International Classification of Diseases, Ninth and Tenth Revision codes from hospitalizations during pregnancy and infant birth records were used to ascertain the outcomes of interest. Women eligible for BS who delivered at ≥20 weeks of gestation (n=20,213) at Kaiser Permanente Southern California hospitals (January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2018) were included in the study. Adjusted odds ratios were derived from logistic regression models with inverse probability of treatment weighting to adjust for confounding using propensity scores.


      Bariatric surgery was associated with a reduction in the risks for gestational diabetes (adjusted odds ratio, 0.60; 95% confidence interval, 0.53–0.69; P<.001), preeclampsia (adjusted odds ratio, 0.53; 95% confidence interval, 0.46–0.61; P<.001), chorioamnionitis (adjusted odds ratio, 0.45; 95% confidence interval, 0.32–0.63; P<.001), cesarean delivery (adjusted odds ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval, 0.59–0.72; P<.001), large for gestational age neonate (adjusted odds ratio, 0.23; 95% confidence interval, 0.19–0.29; P<.001), macrosomia (adjusted odds ratio, 0.24; 95% confidence interval, 0.19–0.30; P<.001), and neonatal intensive care unit admission (adjusted odds ratio, 0.70; 95% confidence interval, 0.61–0.81; P<.001). However, bariatric surgery was also associated with a significantly increased risk for small for gestational age neonates (adjusted odds ratio, 2.46; 95% confidence interval, 2.16–2.79; P<.001). The risk for the adverse outcomes is independent of the time interval between the surgery and subsequent pregnancy.


      These data suggest that there are many pregnancy outcome benefits for women with severe obesity who undergo bariatric surgery; however, women who have undergone bariatric surgery before pregnancy should be monitored closely to reduce the risk for small for gestational age neonates and postpartum hemorrhage.

      Key words

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