Obese women who have undergone bariatric surgical procedures before pregnancy are three times less likely to develop gestational diabetes (GDM) than women who have bariatric operations after delivery, according to a new study.
The retrospective study also found that delivery after bariatric procedures was associated with reduced odds of cesarean section-an outcome associated with GDM.
"The major finding of our study is that women who had bariatric surgery before they delivered reduced odds of gestational diabetes when compared with women had bariatric surgery after they delivered," said Anne E. Burke, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Martin Makary of Johns Hopkins said: "Despite a growing body of evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of bariatric surgery in reversing obesity-related complications, few candidates for the procedure are referred to a surgeon to discuss their options.
Researchers performed a retrospective study to compare rates of GDM and related outcomes between a group of women who had bariatric operations between 2002 and 2006.
Women who delivered after bariatric procedures had lower incidences of GDM (8 percent vs. 27 percent, odds ratio (OR) 0.23) and cesarean section (28 percent vs. 43 percent, OR 0.53) than those who delivered before bariatric procedures.
Deliveries before bariatric operations occurred at a median time of 16.5 months, meaning that most women waited more than a year after delivery before having bariatric procedures.