Is gastric bypass surgery worth it in the long run, especially for girls? Teenagers make up an increasing percent of bariatric surgery patients, but a new report questions whether it will put the girls, at least, at an increase risk of having babies with birth defects.
A doctor behind the study says that the surgeries, which keep patients’ bodies from absorbing essential nutrients, could lead to an increase in birth defects.
Diana Farmer, chief of pediatric surgery at Benioff Children’s Hospital at the University of California, San Francisco and author of the report, presented her findings at the American Association of Pediatrics meeting.
Farmer argues that the increase in teenage obesity and the number of gastric bypass surgeries performed on teens could have some unaticpated consequences, like an increase in the number of babies born with birth defects. Even though patients are counseled to take supplements, only 14 percent of the teens who have undergone the surgeries follow these recommendations following the procedure.
We’ve long know that some nutrients, such as folic acid, can prevent some birth defects, such as spina bifida. As post-surgery teens move into child-bearing years, will they be more at risk for having babies with birth defects.
Farmer asks whether gastic bypass in teens in even worth it. She points out that teens aren’t at immediate risk for dying of heart disease. Rather, it’s the long-term effects of obesity that could cause life-threatening diseases in their adult lives.
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