BACKGROUND: Acute appendicitis is the most common non-obstetric reason for laparotomy during pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to analyze the characteristics of the clinical presentations and postoperative outcomes of these patients and their fetuses. METHODS: Patients who underwent appendectomies during pregnancy from July 1991 to June 1997 were retrospectively identified. Their ages, clinical presentations, the severity of the inflammatory change in the appendices, and the postoperative complications of these patients and fetuses were recorded and analyzed. Long-term outcomes were confirmed by telephone contact, when possible. RESULTS: Forty-five pregnant women who underwent appendectomies for suspected acute appendicitis were retrospectively reviewed. The histopathological inflammatory change in the appendix was proven in 35 patients (78%). Sixty-three percent of the patients were multiparous, and 86% were in the first 2 trimesters. In the clinical settings, pain and tenderness in the right lower abdominal quadrant were the most common symptoms and signs in presentation. Perioperative administration of ritodrine had no obvious advantage in the prevention of fetal loss. Appendectomy was performed beyond 36 hours of onset of symptoms in 28% of the patients, among whom one-half had gangrenous or perforated appendices. Only one fetus was spontaneously lost in 32 patients with diseased appendices (3%), excluding 3 patients choosing artificial abortion. There was no maternal death in our series. CONCLUSION: The rate of fetal loss due to surgery for acute appendicitis during pregnancy was low. Delay of operation was pertinent to the more-inflammatory changes of the appendix and to the higher maternal complication rate. Early surgical intervention is essential.
|Title of host publication||Chang Gung medical journal|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas