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Arch Gynecol Obstet. 1998;261(4):193-9.

Reproductive outcome after exposure to surgery under anesthesia during pregnancy.

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  • 1Department of Human Genetics and Teratology, National Institute of Hygiene-WHO Collaborating Centre for the Community Control of Hereditary Diseases, Budapest, Hungary.


The objective of the study was to examine the teratogenic potential of surgery under anesthesia during pregnancy in the large population-based dataset of the Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities, 1980-1994. An analysis of cases with congenital abnormalities and matched healthy controls was performed. Of 35,727 pregnant women who had babies without any defects (control group), 73 (0.20%) had had operations under anesthesia. Of 20,830 pregnant women who had offspring with congenital abnormalities, 31 (0.15%) had operations with anesthesia. There was no higher rate of surgery under anesthesia in any congenital abnormality group. In addition, the case-control pair analysis did not show a significantly higher rate of surgery and anesthesia in the second and third months of gestation in any group of congenital abnormalities. A lower birth weight was found in healthy newborn infants born to mothers with surgery during pregnancy, however, it was explained by the subgroup with cervical incompetence often treated by cerclage which is of limited efficacy. Surgery under anesthesia does not appear to present teratogenic risk to the fetus.

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