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How safe is surgery for appendicitis during pregnancy?

Q: My wife is 7th month of pregnancy (she is 25 of years old). She has been admitted to the hospital for lower abdominal pain and the doctors are suspecting appendicitis. They have stopped food and she has been put on a drip since the last 24 hours. They want to confirm for appendicitis as it was not detected so on the ultrasound. Please suggest what to do if she has appendicitis during pregnancy? Will there be any complications in operation or can it be cured with drugs?

A:Appendicitis during pregnancy can be difficult to diagnose since it presents with atypical signs. Ultrasound is not very accurate in diagnosing appendicitis, especially during pregnancy so it cannot be relied upon totally. Though the ultrasound does not show an appendicitis, you should try to exclude it by other methods. But I do not think you have to be so worried. Appendicitis at this stage is relatively easy to operate. Of course the doctors are taking their time making a diagnosis because it is important to be sure at this stage. All the time and precautions should be taken for making a proper diagnosis as a misdiagnosis can lead to complication. Over-diagnosis of appendicitis can lead to unnecessary surgery and missing a diagnosis can lead to life threatening complications. That is why your doctors are so careful. Please be patient and do not panic. If appendicitis is diagnosed, surgery at this stage of pregnancy is relatively safe for the mother and reasonably safe for the fetus too.

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