Laparoscopy Gallbladder Surgery While Pregnant

Updated on March 24, 2011
J.K. asks from Irving, TX
10 answers

Has anyone had their gallbladder removed while in their second trimester? Do you think the benefits outweigh the risks? I have a gallstone that is 3.6 cm big and my gallbladder is sludgy and full of smaller stones. I've been experiencing pain in my upper right abdomen and extreme pain in the same location on my back among other symptoms. However, I don't want to do anything to put the baby at risk. The doctor and research shows that it is safe but there are always risks. I would appreciate any opinions and/or stories from moms that have gone through this. Thanks.

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R.C.

answers from Dallas on

My friend had hers taken out like that while she is pregnant and everything went great. She was just a little swore

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R.F.

answers from Dallas on

I haven't gone through this personally, but one of my good friends just found out last week that she has to have her gallbladder removed on May 8th. She'll be in her 2nd trimester for surgery, too. Her OB will be in the operating room, as will a labor and delivery nurse just to monitor the baby during surgery. Both her OB and the surgeon have assured her that this has been done many times with pregnant women, and everything should be fine, but like you said, there are always risks. Her main concern is the anesthesia and it's affects on the baby, but the dr's have assured her that it shouldn't be an issue.

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R.I.

answers from Dallas on

I had this same surgery done when I was 12 weeks pregnant with my son. He is now 4 years old and it has had no effect on him at all. The surgery is completely safe and they even used special drugs to put me under make sure the baby was safe. It isn't healthy for the baby if you are unable to eat so it is the best that you do it soon rather then later.

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E.M.

answers from Dallas on

I had the surgery at 27 weeks. I was actually passing stones through the bile duct and they were afraid that one would go into the pancreas duct (which would be life threatening). Before the surgery it took four days of liquids only to get the attacks to stop. Then I ate no fat foods (I did allow myself 1 gm/day) for the two weeks until the surgery. At 27 weeks the baby was pretty big. Bigger even than the surgeon expected. If I had been any further along they would have had to do open abdominal surgery.

They kept telling me that eating no food or no fat food would not effect the baby, but I think it did. After the surgery, when I started eating real food again, he grew so fast in the first week that he popped my stitches. However, by the time he was born you would have never known he went hungry. He was 8lbs. 5oz. and his weight has been completely normal since. He is now 3. I don't know if the surgery has had any long term effects on him, but he is happy, healthy, and very smart. There are no problems that I could say are caused by the surgery.

Does the surgeon think you NEED the surgery NOW, or can it be managed until after the baby is born? That is your question. Be skeptical of your doctors, but be more skeptical of opinions you get from the internet.

I don't know about your insurance situation, but I know someone who only had health insurance while she was pregnant. The pregnancy brought up her gallbladder problems, but now that the baby has been born, she can't get the surgery that she needs because she no longer has health insurance.

A warm compress really helped me with the pain from the attacks. As far as my post surgery diet goes, if I eat something with too much fat or the level of fat in my system gets too high I have a few intestinal symptoms. So, I eat low fat for a while until things get better. But, mostly I can eat anything. During and after the surgery they can't give you quite as much painkillers as they would if you weren't pregnent, so I was pretty sore. Also, they kept me overnight at the hospital to watch the baby.

I can't say that I regret having my gallbladder removed. I was actually very glad to get rid of something that had caused me so much pain. But, it is not a decision to be taken lightly. If you have any more questions send me a message. I hope this helped.

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K.R.

answers from Dallas on

I waited. Although at times the pain was unbearable (the gallbladder pain was worse than labor). I would have the surgery during pregnancy if I could go back and change it. Having it after my delivery meant that I was only able to nurse for a short time (because of the surgery, pain meds etc). I do agree with Dr. Cindy though, make sure its really a necessary surgery before or after your delivery. At least get a second surgeon's opinion. Good luck!

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K.L.

answers from Clarksville on

Well unlike you i was not in my second trimester but i did have gallbladder surgery while i was pregnant. That was 2 years ago and my son is still doing fine. He has hit every developmental marker and time and has no problems. I chose to have that surgery because the pain was so unbareable i feared that the stress was to much for my unborn child

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C.H.

answers from Dallas on

REALLY research having your organ removed, even if you're not pregnant every organ in your body serves a purpose. It makes no sense that just because something isn't doing what we want it to, we remove it. Dietary changes, supplementation and cleanses can make a big difference here. I have a lot of patients who really regret having their gallbladders out and wish they would have known there were other options. And, because the gallbladder and liver work together, if you decide to have the surgery you will still need to address your nutritional status. Email me offlist at [email protected]____.com if you want more specific info. Congrats on the new baby, and best wishes w/ your health!

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J.B.

answers from Dallas on

I would not do it. (the surgery) The drugs will get in the baby's system. I would do a gallbladder flush instead, see if that works and deal with the surgery later. Go to any health food store and ask for help with a gallbladder flush or gall stone removal and they will help you.

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K.

answers from Dallas on

I had it done at my 12 weeks... they removed my gallbladder, also a double hernia, and my bowels were twisted ... they of course had to wait until my 2nd trimester but i suffered no complications afterwards

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A.G.

answers from Dallas on

Hi J.! Let me assure you that if you have the luxury of getting to think about this gall bladder surgery then you are very lucky. I had a stone become lodged in the tube leading away from my gall bladder just two months after my son was born through completely natural childbirth, and the pain of the gall bladder was worse. My mother had surgery performed on her abdomen 35 years ago when she was pregnant with me, and neither of us suffered ill effects from it. I would imagine that they are even better at it 35 years later, so in my opinion, I would go ahead with the surgery. Although i never had to have actual invasive surgery during my pregnancy, I was forced to accelerate my son's delivery by five weeks with steroids in order to prevent further damage to my own body. I hope that this helps!

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