Reproductive health counseling, attitudes, and practices: a cross-sectional survey among bariatric surgeons

Tair Ben Porat, Jonathan B. Yuval, Uriel Elchalal, Asher Shushan, Nasser Sakran, Ram Elazary, Amihai Rottenstreich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Women of childbearing age constitute a substantial proportion of patients who undergo weight loss procedures. However, little is known regarding family planning knowledge, attitudes, and practices among bariatric surgeons. Objectives: We explored the reproductive health and contraceptive practices among bariatric surgeons. Setting: A national society of bariatric surgeons. Methods: A cross-sectional study. Anonymous surveys were sent to all members of the Israeli Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Results: The Israeli Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery survey elicited a response rate of 96% (n = 48). Most (89.6%, n = 43) considered female reproductive health perioperative counseling very important, and the majority of respondents (66.7%, n = 32) felt comfortable discussing these issues. Nevertheless, only 54.2% (n = 25) reported routinely having family planning and pregnancy conversations with their patients. There was a general awareness that women should delay conception after surgery; however, only a minority of bariatric surgeons consistently either recommended the use of contraception after surgery (39.6%, n = 19) or referred patients for contraceptive advice (25.0%, n = 12). Most (81.3%, n = 39) practitioners reported not having accurate knowledge of contraception and felt that collaboration with other bariatric healthcare providers would provide patients with optimal reproductive-health counseling. Conclusions: Bariatric surgeons acknowledged the importance of reproductive healthcare and the need to delay conception among women undergoing bariatric surgery. However, they inconsistently addressed family planning and contraceptive issues and reported lack of accurate knowledge in this regard. This highlights the need for multidisciplinary collaboration between bariatric healthcare providers to improve reproductive and contraceptive care in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2101-2106
Number of pages6
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Volume15
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bariatric surgery
  • Contraception
  • Family planning
  • Fertility
  • Reproductive health
  • Weight loss surgery

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