When considering bariatric surgery, one of the most common concerns people have is their ability to get pregnant after the procedure. Is pregnancy possible after weight-loss surgery? The short answer is yes—bariatric surgery can even help ease some obesity-related pregnancy risks. However, for those planning for both bariatric surgery and pregnancy in the future, the Lap-Band® Program may offer some distinct advantages over other forms of bariatric surgery.
Pregnancy after weight-loss surgery
With any type of bariatric surgery, people who are or may soon become pregnant should not undergo the procedure. After procedures like the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass, pregnancy is possible, but it’s recommended you wait at least 12–24 months for your weight to stabilize. You will need to take precautions to safeguard the health of you and your future child, and the pregnancy will need to be closely managed by your health care provider.
Unlike the Lap-Band Procedure, the gastric sleeve and gastric band surgeries are malabsorptive—they alter your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. As such, they often require extensive supplement routines to prevent nutritional deficiencies. To ensure your child is getting the nutrients they need, your weight-loss team will need to monitor your nutrition throughout your pregnancy, which may require more supplements.
Pregnancy after the Lap-Band procedure
For those who plan to get pregnant, the Lap-Band Program may be the right choice. As with other surgeries, it’s recommended you wait 12–24 months before getting pregnant. You will lose the majority of your weight in the first year after surgery, so getting pregnant can be counterproductive to your weight-loss goals.
Because the Lap-Band is fully adjustable to your unique and changing needs, it can remain in place during pregnancy. Depending on your specific situation, your doctor may recommend loosening it to allow of larger portions or emptying it entirely before giving birth. If, for any reason, the Lap-Band needed to be removed during your pregnancy, the procedure is completely reversible.
One of the greatest benefits for people considering the Lap-Band is that the surgery doesn’t involve a partial amputation of the stomach or digestive tract, unlike the gastric sleeve or bypass. This means the Lap-Band is not a malabsorptive procedure, making it easier for your body to continue getting the nutrients it needs. Lap-Band patients typically only take a daily multivitamin post-surgery—you may need additional vitamins and minerals during pregnancy, but you won’t need to worry about the expensive, extensive supplement routines associated with other types of weight-loss surgery.
Because the Lap-Band is fully adjustable to your unique and changing needs, it can remain in place during pregnancy. Depending on your specific situation, your doctor may recommend loosening it to allow of larger portions or emptying it entirely before giving birth. If, for any reason, the Lap-Band needed to be removed during your pregnancy, the procedure is completely reversible. The Lap-Band can also help you maintain healthy portion control during your pregnancy, helping you stay on track with your overall weight-loss goals.
The benefits of pregnancy after losing weight with the Lap-Band
Losing weight with the Lap-Band can result in a safer overall pregnancy. There are several obesity-related pregnancy complications, the risk of which may be reduced by losing weight pre-pregnancy. These complications include:
- Gestational diabetes
- Longer labor
- Increased risk for C-section
- High birth weight
- Postpartum hemorrhage
In addition, obesity can negatively affect fertility—losing weight may mean faster and more successful conception. The Lap-Band can also help you maintain healthy portion control during your pregnancy, helping you stay on track with your overall weight-loss goals.