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Acta Anaesthesiol Belg. 2007;58(2):119-23.

First trimester anesthesia exposure and fetal outcome. A review.

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Department of Anesthesia, AZ Groeninge, Loofstraat 43, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium.


Approximately 0.5-2% of all pregnant women undergo nonobstetric surgery during their pregnancy. This percentage does not include patients who are in the early phase of gestation and are not aware of it at the time of surgery. When pregnancy is diagnosed, the concern raises whether surgery and anesthesia during early gestation pose hazard to the developing fetus, by increasing the risk of congenital anomalies and spontaneous abortion. Literature review suggests that there is no increase in congenital anomalies at birth in women who underwent anesthesia during pregnancy. However, first trimester anesthesia exposure does increase the risk of spontaneous abortion and lower birth weight. This is more likely due to surgical manipulation and the medical condition that necessitates surgery than to the exposure to anesthesia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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