Vol 84, No 12 (2013)

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Appendicitis and gall bladder diseases as acute abdominal conditions in pregnancy

Arkadiusz Kopiejć, Mirosław Dudziak, Wiesław Janusz Kruszewski, Maciej Stukan, Krzysztof Preis
DOI: 10.17772/gp/1678
Ginekol Pol 2013;84(12).


Appendicitis (APP) and gall bladder diseases (GBD) are the most frequent non-obstetric indications for urgent surgery among pregnant women. The aim was to present the diagnosis, treatment and potential complications of APP and symptomatic GBD. We searched the literature for APP and GBD during pregnancy and presented the results in the form of a review article. APP symptoms among pregnant women are comparable to these in the general population. Typical clinical symptoms are present in 50-75% of cases. Laboratory tests are useful for a differential diagnosis. The imaging of choice is an ultrasonography scan, but magnetic resonance is of the highest accuracy. The final diagnosis is difficult. When the surgery is delayed, the risk of appendix perforation increases and thus complications are more frequent. GBD symptoms and signs are comparable to those in the general population. The best imaging is an ultrasonography scan, and laboratory tests are important in a jaundice differential diagnosis. In cases with symptomatic GBD, a delay in surgery is associated with an increased risk of complications (pancreatitis, abortion, intrauterine death). The treatment method of choice for APP and symptomatic GBD is surgery, both laparotomy and laparoscopy (preferred), which are considered relatively safe, though laparoscopy compared to laparotomy for APP can be associated with a higher risk of abortion. Untreated or delayed APP and symptomatic GBD treatment during pregnancy increases the risk of complications, both for the woman and the fetus. Diagnosis is difficult and should be based on a multidisciplinary approach to the patient. Surgery by laparotomy or laparoscopy is relatively safe.

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