As known to all, the appendix is a vestigial organ; it has no use. At times, it becomes inflamed and causes pain, a condition known as appendicitis. At this time, removal of the appendix is suggested by the doctors. Does appendicitis affect pregnancy? Is a surgery possible when you are pregnant? We will answer all such questions below.
Pregnancy and Appendix: What you need to know
As per an article by the Daily Mail, UK, women who have got their appendix removed have a higher chance of becoming pregnant. This invalidates a common myth that surgeries lower the chances of a woman becoming pregnant.
Appendicitis is a life-threatening health condition and the only way to tackle it is by getting the organ removed. In a research conducted on more than 76,000 women who have undergone an appendectomy (appendix removal), 39% of them had their first pregnancies over a span of 10 years. On the other hand, the figure was 28% for women who haven’t undergone the surgery.
However, what happens if you get appendicitis when you are pregnant? Can you get an appendectomy done while you carry a baby? Read on to know more.
Can you have appendectomy while you are pregnant?
One of the most common reasons behind pregnant women going under the knife before their delivery is appendicitis. It is said that at least one out of every 1,500 pregnant women need to get their appendix removed during their pregnancies. However, a normal delivery in Bangalore and other major cities of India is possible even after getting your appendix removed while being pregnant.
One of the major challenges related to this is getting diagnosed. It is easier to diagnose appendicitis during the first and second trimesters. After that, the diagnosis gets difficult as your body has a lot of physical burden to deal with.
It is important to get the diagnosis done early. With a delay, there will be a risk of serious complications, like appendix perforation.
If your appendix gets perforated, the chances of fetal loss or pre-term labor increases and is most likely to occur during your third trimester. However, the risk to the mother is near zero, but you need to ensure that the treatment takes place at the right place.
Is a normal delivery possible?
The most common symptom of appendicitis is a pain in the lower right quadrant of your stomach. Fever is a common symptom too. However, in the cases of pregnant women, 70% of them will not have a high temperature.
If you are in pain, your health practitioner will recommend an ultrasound test. This test will yield the result if you are in your first or second trimester. If it is during the third trimester, then a CT scan will be recommended.
Your health practitioner will perform a laparoscopy if you are in your first or second trimester. Multiple holes are made in your abdomen for this surgery, which is also known as Band-Aid surgery.
In case you develop appendicitis during the third trimester, the doctor will make a larger incision. Laparoscopy will not be a feasible option due to the enlarged size of your uterus. If the surgery takes place after the 24th week, the health of your baby will be monitored during this time. Pre-term labor can be one of the complications with pre-term contractions being more common.