Embryopathy Following Maternal Biliopancreatic Diversion: Is Bariatric Surgery Really Safe?

Giorgio Conti, Giuseppe Zampino, Roberta Onesimo, Chiara Leoni, Ilaria Contaldo, Annabella Salerni, Marco Tartaglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pregnancy after bariatric surgery is usually considered safe. Recently, a few studies reported that bariatric surgery represents a risk factor for birth defects. A case series of six patients, born from women who had undergone biliopancreatic diversion, is reported. The clinical pattern was characterized by psychomotor development delay (100%), microphthalmia (83%), growth retardation (66%), hearing loss (66%), and variable facial dysmorphism. Based on the clinical profile and symptoms reported by women during pregnancy, a causal association between maternal chronic post-surgical malabsorption, congenital anomalies, and neonatal outcome is proposed, with vitamin A deficiency representing a major causing factor. Educational follow-up support, continuous clinical monitoring, and appropriate nutritional assessment appear to be crucial to reduce the potential risk of congenital malformations and child disability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
JournalObesity Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Biliopancreatic diversion
  • Embryopathy
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity surgery safeness
  • Vitamin A deficiency


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