Washington: A new study has found that vitamin deficiency after weight loss surgery can cause vision loss in newborns.
Researchers documented the case of a woman who had undergone biliopancreatic diversion surgery for obesity seven years before the birth of her child.
At nine weeks gestation, the mother was diagnosed with severe deficiencies of Vitamins A, D and K, as well as iron-deficiency anaemia, which had been undetected prior to this point.
Despite treatment, her serum vitamin A level remained critically low throughout the pregnancy.
Her infant son had significant malformations of both eyes, and his vision remains poor despite treatment.
"The mother’s description of night blindness, recurrent low vitamin A levels during the pregnancy, and demonstrated vitamin A deficiency in the neonate support vitamin A deficiency as the cause,” said Glen Gole of University of Queensland.
“This case illustrates that vitamin A is very important for normal eye development in the foetus, particularly for pregnant women who have undergone gastric bypass surgery in order to improve their fertility," he added.
David G. Hunter of American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS), said: "Weight-reduction surgery is becoming more common, especially with the potential for health benefits that result from reducing obesity.”
“Unfortunately some forms of this surgery cause vitamin deficiency, and in this case the problem led to a birth defect that caused blindness in one child.
“It is important for any woman who has had this form of gastric bypass surgery to be checked for vitamin deficiency and have it corrected before considering having a baby," he added.
The findings were published in the June issue of the Journal of AAPOS.