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Can appendicitis be carried out during pregnancy?

Q: My 23 years old wife is 16 weeks pregnant and often experiences stomach pain. The pain is due to appendix. Can she be operated for appendix during pregnancy? Though she is better at present, I fear that the appendix may burst and harm the mother as well as the child. What should we do?

A:From your description I cannot say whether or not the pain was caused by appendicitis. Most of the diagnosis of appendicitis depends upon examination of the patient. Appendicitis can sometimes be treated successfully with antibiotics. However, there is the danger of the appendix bursting, therefore surgery is definitely the better treatment for acute appendicitis. Since your wife is better, either she did not have appendicitis, or she has recovered with antibiotics. Therefore, in any case, she does not require surgery at present.

After the pregnancy is over, if she gets abdominal pain, and if the doctors say this is appendicitis, she should undergo surgery.

If she gets pain during pregnancy, at any stage of the pregnancy, then also she should undergo surgery if the doctors say it is appendicitis. You must clearly understand that a burst appendix is always dangerous, and a burst appendix is more dangerous in the pregnant woman. Therefore if your doctors say "appendicitis" (in any patient, man or woman, pregnant or non-pregnant, adult or child, young or old) you should ask them "Why aren't you operating?", not "Why are you operating?"

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