Bariatric surgery has helped to improve the health and quality of life of thousands of morbidly obese Americans. Yet, despite a notable short-term safety profile, several questions have recently been raised about its long-term physiological and psychosocial effects. Suicide, for example, may be more common after bariatric surgery than before, in spite of apparent improvements in patients’ underlying depression.1 In this issue of JAMA Surgery, Parent and colleagues2 add to this debate by suggesting that women who undergo bariatric surgery may be at higher risk for certain perinatal complications, especially if they get pregnant within 2 years of their operation. While these findings are compelling, additional questions must be answered before they can be used to guide patient care.
Dawes AJ, Dawes DM, Maggard-Gibbons M. Corrected vs Uncorrected Obesity in Childbearing Women—What Really Drives Fetal Risks?. JAMA Surg. Published online October 19, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.3597