Weight-Loss Surgery May Mean Fewer Pregnancy RisksNovember 14, 2016
Samantha Drew (left) and Brittanie Young were awarded “Poster of Exceptional Merit”
in the General Surgery
Education category at the ACS Clinical Congress in Washington, DC.
Bariatric or weight-loss surgery prior to conception may lead to less risk for both
mother and child than conception while morbidly obese, according to a recent study
co-authored by students at Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Samantha Drew and Brittanie Young – both fourth-year osteopathic medical students
– conducted the research under the mentorship of Aliu Sanni, MD. The study’s senior
author, Dr. Sanni is the medical director of the department of metabolic and bariatric
surgery at Eastside Medical Center in Snellville, Georgia.
The student doctors met Dr. Sanni while participating in their third-year surgical
rotations at Georgia SurgiCare. After expressing interest in researching bariatric
surgery and perinatal outcomes, Dr. Sanni agreed to mentor them. Drew and Young later
earned $1,000 from PCOM’s Albert D'Alonzo Memorial Student Fund, which supports unique
and academic student activities through individual grants, to aid their research.
“We know that the prevalence of obesity in women is increasing, so we wanted to know
more about the impact of bariatric surgery on pregnancy, the mother and the baby,”
During the study, Drew and Young evaluated maternal and fetal outcomes in pregnancies
after women underwent bariatric operations in comparison with pregnancies in obese
women who did not have bariatric procedures.
Brittanie Young (left) and Samantha Drew were selected out of 1,500 submissions to
research poster project at the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress.
“Our research included women that were at least 18 months post-bariatric surgery,
which is the general recommendation,” Young said.
Compared to pregnancies in morbidly obese women who did not have bariatric surgery,
research found that the rate of caesarian section (C-section) deliveries was lower
for mothers who had undergone bariatric operations prior to conception.
The researchers also discovered a decreased rate of newborns who are larger than average
regardless of gestational age, with gestational age taken into account, and with assisted
vaginal deliveries. The reduced likelihood of giving birth to large babies also reduces
the likeliness that the mother will deliver via C-section, explained Brittanie Young.
The student doctors submitted their abstract entitled, “Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes
following Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” to the American
College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress and were selected out of 1,500 submissions
to have a poster displayed at the conference.
The Clinical Congress is a scientific and educational meeting designed to keep ACS
Members and interested non-Fellow physicians informed of the current status of the
art and science of surgery. This year’s Clinical Congress was held October 16 – 20,
2016, in Washington, DC. Drew and Young presented their research posters to conference
attendees and gave an oral presentation to a panel of judges. They were awarded “Poster
of Exceptional Merit” in the General Surgery Education category and were the only
medical students (among residents) to place in the top ten overall posters.
These outcomes have the potential to impact clinical practice, Young says. “Women
who are morbidly obese and considering pregnancy can use this information to make
more informed decisions about their health and the health of their child.”
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Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated
to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied
history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and
physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science,
and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM
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an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment.
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