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A 29-year-old female asked:

Should i get my gallbladder removed? i am 14 weeks pregnant, and i just found out my gallbladder is full of stones. i have had 4 strong gallstone attacks and 4 mild ones in the past 7 wks. i've been in a low fat diet for 5 weeks and i lost 12 lbs so far.

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
I : I am so sorry to hear that you are having all of these health problems while you are pregnant. You are asking doctors who have not physically examined you, viewed your lab results, read you radiographic studies or obtained a comprehensive medical history if you should have abdominal surgery while pregnant. Any surgery during pregnancy is serious. It takes looking at your total medical situation to determine if the benefits of having the surgery outweigh the risks. If you don't get the surgery, the risk to you and your fetus also has to be weighed in. This is something that your medical team needs to discuss, so that they can provide you with options. You are also a member of your health team - as you get the final say so about whether or not to undergo surgery at this time. Your general surgeon and your obstetrician should be collaborating closely as this would have to be a team effort. I wish you best.
Dr. David Greuner
General Surgery 20 years experience
In : In general, any type of elective surgery should be avoided while pregnant. If you have debilitating disease such as continuous vomiting, or an emergency type situation, like overwhelming infection, there are two options, depending on your specific situation and your surgeon's comfort level. The first is percutaneous cholecystostomy, or a drainage catheter placed, usually with radiologic guidance. This is a fairly simple procedure that requires only local anesthesia, but the patient is left with a drainage catheter. The second is to go through with the gallbladder removal, or cholecystectomy after a discussion of risks. In early pregnancy, the most risks have to do with teratogenicity and miscarriage, in late pregnancy, the most omiinous risk is preterm labor or damage to the fetus by surgical instruments. The risk stratification changes with your personal situation and timing of your pregnancy and must be discussed with your surgeon and anesthesiologist at the time of proposed operation.
Dr. J Ricardo Loret De Mola
Fertility Medicine 34 years experience
I : I agree with everything said here. The only reason to remove it in pregnancy would be if your mfm or OB doctors think that it can be infected. Otherwise as previously mentioned, there are less invasive options that will allow you to deliver your baby and then have the problem permanently resolved with less risk for both of you. Hope this helps.

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Last updated Aug 3, 2017


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