Can I get pregnant after gastric sleeve surgery?

For a safe and healthy pregnancy, you should wait at least 18 months for your weight to stabilize before getting pregnant. Most women can get pregnant after a gastric sleeve surgery. However, after the surgery, your body will go through a lot of demanding changes.

Gastric sleeve surgery is a surgical weight loss method, recommended for individuals with a body mass index of 35 or more. The procedure restricts the amount of food intake and helps control hunger, by considerably reducing the size of the stomach. The excised part of the stomach is removed so a patient will be able to consume only 1/10 of the amount of food he or she was used to prior to surgery. Patients are expected to lose between 50 and 80 percent of their excess body weight within the first year following surgery. A normal weight should be reached within 2 years. In the U.S. the most often quoted gastric sleeve cost is $14,900.

The procedure itself can help certain women get pregnant in case their infertility was obesity-related. A huge impact on infertility has been registered thanks to the gastric sleeve surgery. Approximately 71.4% of patients went back to a normal menstrual cycle. Most surgeons, however, recommend to postpone a pregnancy for 18 months after the surgery and to allow the body to stabilize its weight. After the waiting period comes the next step, which is the pregnancy. There are some things that you will need to take care of differently, during pregnancy after your gastric sleeve surgery.

Despite recommendations, an increased number of patients reported becoming pregnant in the first couple of months after gastric sleeve surgery. If that is the case, future moms have to take extra care to make sure their baby will develop normally. The good news is that gastric sleeve surgery does not prevent normal digestion or absorption of nutrients and calories. The only issue is that a woman might feel she is just not eating enough to support a baby.

Regular visits to the doctor will determine whether the baby is developing normally or if any vitamins or minerals are insufficient. Most women, however, are able to take their pregnancy to term without serious issues, simply adhering to some basic rules such as:

  • make sure to stay well hydrated
  • make sure to consume small portions of meal several times a day
  • take prenatal vitamins and supplemental iron if prescribed
  • consume fresh fruits and vegetables every day

Women that had a gastric sleeve procedure will probably end up with a c-section. Nothing is clear about what factors are involved and why this is the case. You may be able to avoid a c-section by following your doctor’s increasing weight recommendations, taking childbirth preparation classes and exercising during pregnancy.

Another issue women will be facing in case of a pregnancy following gastric sleeve surgery is the fact that they will start gaining weight again. While some patients understand that it is a normal process and once the baby born they will lose the extra weight, for others it can be a frustrating situation after so much time and effort spent to lose weight. If such psychological issues appear, patients are advised to contact one of the many support groups housed by bariatric centers or to join a prenatal class to better understand their situation and benefit from the support of both specialists and other women in similar situations.

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Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

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