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Surg Gynecol Obstet. 1992 Jun;174(6):465-8.

Cholecystectomy during pregnancy without fetal loss.

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Department of Surgery, United States Air Force Medical Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio.


Cholecystectomy in the pregnant patient has been generally avoided because of the reported high incidence of associated fetal loss that has been linked to spontaneous and elective abortion during the first trimester and premature labor during the third trimester. Recent developments relating to diagnostic and anesthetic management and the use of tocolytic agents have altered the over-all approach to patients. We have, therefore, retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all women discharged from four area hospitals during 1982 to 1987 with a concurrent diagnosis of cholelithiasis and pregnancy. Twenty-two patients met the review criteria. The incidence of biliary stone disease among gravid patients during the time interval was 0.05 per cent. Of 22 patients, none underwent radiation for diagnosis. Nine patients underwent cholecystectomy while pregnant; two were operated upon during the first trimester, four during the second and three during the third. Three required common bile duct exploration and three had intraoperative cholangiograms. Elective abortion was not recommended to the six patients because of radiation exposure. Two of nine had premature contractions develop that were controlled with tocolytic agents. There were no spontaneous abortions. The mean Apgar scores for neonates born subsequent to cholecystectomy was virtually identical to neonates born to patients in whom cholecystectomy was deferred. It is concluded that the diagnosis and surgical treatment of cholelithiasis can be safely undertaken in the pregnant patient without fetal loss. Delaying appropriate surgical therapy no longer seems warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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