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HomeAnswersObstetrics and GynecologysurgeryCan gallbladder surgery be done on my pregnant wife?

My pregnant wife was recommended a gall bladder removal surgery. When can it be done?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At July 21, 2017
Reviewed AtJanuary 18, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

My wife is 13 weeks pregnant. Though she takes Doxinate tablet once a day, she still has vomiting. Also, she often gets a stomach pain which eases in five minutes. We have discussed with the gynecologist about these issues and he had suggested a full abdominal ultrasound. In the ultrasound, they found a small sludge in her gall bladder. So, the gynecologist had suggested we consult a surgeon. The surgeon recommended a surgery. If not done, he says the mother, as well as the baby, are at risk. My wife is very depressed after hearing this. He has prescribed Rablet-D and Ursodiol for 10 days. Another issue that she faced is that in the last three days, she felt a mild pain in the lower abdomen. This pain also eases by itself in 30 to 40 minutes. Though we missed discussing this with the gynecologist, the USG report shows that everything is normal. I have attached herewith the latest USG, and blood test reports. Please guide us.

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have gone through the reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity). It is good that you have consulted a surgeon and arrived at a diagnosis. It is nothing to panic about. If the sludge is left behind, it can cause an obstruction and not allow the baby to grow well. It will affect the mother's health as well. As the pregnancy advances, the metabolism will slow down and get sluggish. This, in turn, will present with more pain and vomiting. She may get weak and her liver function may get altered.

To prevent this, the doctor has advised surgery. I have done many such surgeries with a good outcome for the mother and the baby. I would suggest to go ahead with the surgery after an NT (nuchal translucency) scan and also get it done in the second trimester as it is safe for both mother and baby. The surgery is only going to help and will not harm them. So do not worry about it. Medicines are temporary and cannot prevent the anatomical damage it may cause. The lower abdominal pain is normal. It is common in pregnancy and nothing needs to be done about it.

If there are any further doubts you can always consult me.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thanks for your reply.

I read that this type of a sludge can form during pregnancy but, get resolved automatically after delivery. So, can we wait and watch? I feel that the removal of gall bladder may create a health issue, while if it gets cleared automatically, she will have a better life. Your suggestion is required.

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

It can clear up. However, it can get worse with pregnancy. If you are ready to take the risk, you can defer the surgery. She may develop more pain as the pregnancy advances. The decision is yours.

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor,

As I understand from your suggestion, surgery is the best possible solution. So, can you suggest the best time period for the surgery to avoid complications? I am considering getting the treatment done but, I also want to give it some time to see if the sludge is the real problem behind her health issues.

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The best time for a surgical procedure in pregnancy is second trimester, that is from 14 weeks to 28 weeks. We prefer it at eighteen weeks after an anomaly scan is done. However the decision of timing of the surgery is based on the severity of the condition. The gynecologist and the surgeon should discuss with each other and chose the timing based on the patient's profile and consent.

Do not worry. Get back to your doctor regarding the same.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Vidya Muralidhar
Dr. Vidya Muralidhar

Obstetrics and Gynecology

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