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December 26, 2010 at 1:00 PMComments: 4 Faves: 0

Gastric Bypass Surgery: Reproductive Risks for Teen Girls

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

The most frequent bariatric surgery in the country is a gastric bypass. Its purpose is to change the digestive system of the patient. Generally, the surgery lowers body weight and limits the amount of food that can be eaten.

When a gastric bypass is combined with a healthy diet and a consistent exercise program, long term weight loss is possible. However, there are a number of risks associated with the surgery, and for teen girls, those risks might be even more significant.

Obesity and Gastric Bypass

Many of the patients that decide to have gastric bypass surgery are seriously overweight or obese. These people cannot maintain a healthy weight by exercising and eating the right foods. Since they are more prone to illnesses that are linked to obesity, surgery is an option for them.

Any way you look at it, there is something very sad about a teenager who is overweight to the extent of considering this type of surgery. During this period of a person's life, they should be focused on enjoying all of the aspects of being young, which include increased energy and optimism. When a person is obese, their energy is drained and they often have a low level of self-esteem. This is a dangerous combination.

Gastric bypass surgery might offer a chance to avoid the damaging effects of obesity, but it is essential that the patient alter their lifestyle accordingly. The success of the surgery depends on the person's dedication to eating healthier and exercising. Among the side effects and risks of a gastric bypass are vitamin and mineral deficiency, dehydration, a bleeding stomach ulcer, kidney stones, gallstones, low blood sugar, and intolerance to certain foods.

The Controversy of Gastric Bypass and Teen Pregnancy

Recently, the level of concern for teenagers who have had gastric bypass surgery has been raised due to the possible effects it could have on pregnancy. Because of the stapling of the stomach and rearranging of the anatomy that is done in a gastric bypass, there could be a deficiency in the way that nutrients are absorbed from foods.

If a teenage girl who has had a gastric bypass surgery becomes pregnant, complications for the fetus are possible. As explained above, a vitamin deficiency is a risk of the surgery, which might lead to an impaired development of the brain and spinal cord in a fetus. Paralysis and neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, could also occur in babies born to teenage mothers that have had gastric bypass surgery. The reason for the clarification in age is that adult women are more likely to follow the instructions and advice of doctors than teenage women.

To counter the concerns of pregnancy risks, other medical experts think gastric bypass surgery does not have much negative impact on the health of a baby. Their opinion is based on the fact that a mother's obesity places the baby at risk. If a person receives the surgery and removes the obesity, they should theoretically be in better condition to have a child.

Both sides of the debate make valid points. With a gastric bypass surgery, there is the possibility of healthier weight management and a risk of vitamin deficiency that could endanger a fetus. So, the solution is to consult with a doctor and learn about the repercussions of a gastric bypass surgery. Teenage girls need to be well informed about all of the complications that might arise if they become pregnant after the surgery. More studies and future research should be done in order to understand the extent of the risks of a gastric bypass.

Every person has an individual situation that is considered when approaching any type of surgery. All teenagers can greatly improve their health and life by eating nutritious foods and staying physically active. Those two things should receive just as much attention and consideration. In the last two or three years, the number of teens who have had gastric bypass surgeries has more than doubled.


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  • Being a person who has had Gastric bypass and has had two children before as well as two children after gastric bypass, I had like every person who has had the surgery concerns about: Can I have kids? Will they have problems? I had the same concerns mentioned in the articles about low birth weight and will they have developmental problems? So I made it a point to see five different fetal maternal specialist and It was explained to me by all five of them at separate times that the fetus is like a parasite and it will feed off of the mother and it will get what it needs regardless if you want it to or not. It is the mother who will have the deficiency and suffer not the fetus. Some of the things that can happen are your hair may fall out more than normal, or you could have dental problems or even skin issues. But this can happen with any pregnancy! The key is to make anything you eat worth while vitamin and mineral wise. Don't deprive yourself of junk food but limit it so you are still getting your nutrients. We (meaning gastric bypass patients who are pregnant) are at risk for gestational Diabetes as well, and you would not think that would be possible with our diet. But it is.
    I made it a point to see the fetal maternal specialist at least once a month for my own piece of mind and had ultrasounds regularly as well. Time and time again the specialist was proven correct. I had my babies within 1 week of the due date and had good sizes. One was just 1 ounce off from being 8lbs and the other was 1/2 ounce from being 7lbs. They were healthy babies that measured good per the ultrasound time and time again. No complications whats so ever! So just because you had the surgery don't mean your always going to have problems through your pregnancy or after.

  • I have been taking the Diet Defense for about 2 weeks now and I can tell a difference. I have noticed that I am full when I take it more than the recommended doses on the bottle. I have lost weight and my double chin is getting smaller. I squirt it every three to four hours through out the day. I am eating alot alot less on my plate. This makes me so happy because it is all natural and I LOVE the fact that it is. I recommend this product to everyone who is trying to loose some weight.
    Thanks DR.

  • @Vicky - Thank-you for sharing your story!

  • Dawn,
    That is awesome about the Diet Defense, we do need a little help getting us in the right direction.

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