Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Nutrition Journal and BioMed Central.

Open Access Case Report

Malnutrition in pregnancy following bariatric surgery: three clinical cases of fetal neural defects

Gloria Pelizzo1*, Valeria Calcaterra2, Mario Fusillo1, Ghassan Nakib1, Antonio Maria Ierullo3, Alessandro Alfei3, Arsenio Spinillo3, Mauro Stronati4 and Hellas Cena5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Maternal and Children’s Health, Pediatric Surgery Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo and University of Pavia, P.le Golgi 2, Pavia 27100, Italy

2 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pavia and Department of Maternal and Children’s Health, Pediatric Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Pavia, P.le Golgi 2, Pavia 27100, Italy

3 Department of Maternal and Children’s Health, Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Pavia and University of Pavia, P.le Golgi 2, Pavia 27100, Italy

4 Department of Maternal and Children’s Health, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Pavia, P.le Golgi 2, Pavia 27100, Italy

5 Department of Public Health, Neurosciences, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, Section of Human Nutrition, University of Pavia, Cascina Cravino, Pavia 27100, Italy

For all author emails, please log on.

Nutrition Journal 2014, 13:59  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-59

Published: 14 June 2014

Abstract

Objective

Bariatric surgery results in decreased food intake and a variable degree of malabsorption. Without adequate supplementation, the most common complications of this surgery are nutritional disorders. Pregnancy following surgery for obesity is a particular condition requiring strict monitoring of nutrient intake necessary for fetal development and a favourable neonatal prognosis.

Patients

Malnutrition in pregnancy and congenital neural malformations are reported in three women who had previously undergone bariatric surgery (1, 5 and 18 years before pregnancy, respectively). Two patients underwent the Roux en Y bypass and one bilio-pancreatic diversion with gastroplasty. None of the three received pre-conceptional nutritional counselling. Patients 1 and 2 did not undergo postoperative nutritional surveillance; nutrient supplementation was started at 22 and 20 weeks gestation, respectively. In patient 3, supplementation was stopped at six weeks gestation.

Results

Newborns 1 and 2 presented with dorsal myelomeningocele and ventricular dilation. Both underwent surgery and a ventriculo-peritoneal shunt was inserted in the first month of life. Newborn 3 had microcephaly, bilateral microphthalmia and sensorineural deafness.

Conclusions

Diet and nutritional status, before and during pregnancy, play an important role in the early processes of fetal development and neonatal outcome. Women of childbearing age who have had bariatric surgery, should be encouraged to follow a well-balanced diet as part of a weight management strategy. They should be advised to take recommended maternal supplements.

Keywords:
Maternal malnutrition; Obesity; Bariatric surgery; Neural; Malformations