Bariatric surgery can help with many life goals, including having a baby
Weight loss is the obvious goal with bariatric surgery, but for many people, it’s not the only one. Treating obesity successfully can lead to better health, increased physical activity, improved sleep and countless other benefits.
The main reason for Meg Appel to have surgery stemmed from her and her husband’s desire to start a family.
Meg had weight loss surgery at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in October 2015, after a fertility specialist suggested that her weight — then 330 pounds — may be why the couple was struggling to get pregnant. They turned to Inova bariatric surgeon Amir Moazzez, MD, and the considerable resources available through Inova, from dietitians to behavioral health experts.
When Meg found out last July that she was expecting, one of her first calls was to the Inova team.
“I wanted to make sure that I would be on a good nutritional track while pregnant,” says Meg, whose baby is due early this year. “Everyone was super-excited and supportive, and they helped to ease my anxieties about how having the surgery would affect the pregnancy.”
For example, she notes, bariatric surgery increases sugar sensitivity, which means that certain glucose tests would likely make her feel ill. The Inova team has been able to recommend different, more appropriate, tests as well as guide her through food changes that will support her pregnancy.
Understanding that patients like Meg will need resources on an ongoing basis is part of what sets Inova apart, says Dr. Moazzez. “Obesity is a chronic condition, like hypertension,” he says. “Having a program that recognizes that is what makes our success rate so high.”
Meg appreciates that the bariatric team has stepped up to make her and her baby’s health such a priority. “I didn’t expect them to be with me every step of the way like this, but I’m thrilled that they are,” she says. “The support they’ve shown didn’t stop after I had the surgery. I feel like they’re here for me no matter what life changes come my way.”
Journey to Good Health