Many women end up being diagnosed with appendicitis during pregnancy . The problem has no association with pregnancy and can appear at any gestational age, from the first trimester to the third trimester and when diagnosed quickly there are no risks for the patient.
Even though it is not considered so serious, it is still a worrying situation because it is a future mom. When a case of appendicitis occurs during pregnancy, little care is required after all, the health of the pregnant woman and the baby is at stake.
Important Aspects About Appendicitis
Appendicitis occurs with inflammation of the appendix and is a lymphatic organ located in the first part of the large intestine (cecum), located on the right side of the abdomen, where fecal remains are retained.
When the appendix is ruptured, feces and other microorganisms spread through the abdominal cavity and can be considered as a serious infection . This situation occurring within a pregnancy, ends up becoming a little more worrying since it puts two lives at risk.
Medical evaluation is very important, especially at the first moment of complaint of the pregnant woman, in addition to the physical examination, several tests are also requested that helped in the diagnosis. The tests requested for diagnosis are: tomography, abdominal ultrasound, MRI and blood tests.
Causes of Appendicitis
It is not yet clear why this situation occurs, but some aspects must be taken into account regarding the inflammation of the appendix . Obstruction of fat or feces may occur in the abdomen wall or infection with viruses where we have gastrointestinal disease.
Both situations occur when a bacterium lodges within the appendix and multiplies, where inflammation and swelling of the appendix occurs, along with pus. It needs to be treated as soon as the appendix may rupture .
Symptoms and causes in the case of pregnant women may confuse the evaluation, with the growth of the uterus and the organs that are pushed up and sides, the symptoms of the inflamed appendix in pregnancy resemble the symptoms of non-pregnant women, but it can be difficult the diagnosis in this gestational period .
What Are the Risks of the Inflamed Appendix for the Baby and the Pregnant Woman?
The disease of the inflamed appendix is considered an emergency mainly in the case of pregnant women of surgical and non-obstetric order, putting the life of the mother and baby at risk if not diagnosed correctly.
In the most severe case, the pregnant woman is at risk of miscarriage or having a premature birth . There is still a risk that the appendix will rupture and cause inflammation of the peritoneum, causing
fecal debris to spread through the abdomen cavity, causing a serious infection that ends up putting the life of the pregnant woman and her baby at risk.
Appendix Symptoms in Pregnancy
The symptoms can be camouflaged and confused with the gestational process , being very dangerous because it delays the diagnosis and the delay in the treatment of the infection. It is very important to recognize these symptoms so that there is an early diagnosis avoiding further complications.
- Pain in the Abdomen – Be aware, it is a very strong pain and presents itself in the middle of the belly and extends close to the navel, going towards the right side of the abdomen.
- Nausea and Vomiting – These symptoms can be confused with the symptoms of pregnancy, it is important to see a doctor, even when accompanied by other symptoms or not.
- Lack of Appetite – It is quite accentuated in this case.
- Low fever – Low fever is one of the aspects presented during the process of inflammation of the appendix.
Pay attention to the symptoms, when the appendix breaks, the pain may disappear for a short period causing relief and improvement for some time. But from the moment that the abdominal cavity becomes inflamed, passing to a condition called peritonitis, the pain gets much worse and the symptoms become more severe, making it difficult to walk and cough.
In this situation, the symptoms present with diarrhea, chills, nausea and vomiting , loss of appetite, tremors and fever. It is important to be aware of the symptoms, if they persist for more than twelve hours seek medical help, after all, the sooner you know the diagnosis, the sooner you will receive treatment, protecting your life and that of your baby.
Pregnancy Appendicitis Surgery
The solution to the problem of appendicitis in pregnancy is surgical and there are two surgical procedures for retention of the appendix. The appendectomy is a conventional procedure or surgery by video laparoscopy , video is a smoother procedure, causing less pain and better recovery.
Appendix surgery is performed under general anesthesia and takes a period of thirty minutes to an hour depending on the procedure. In many cases there is a need for traditional surgery , with the cut in the belly, but the doctor will decide which method is most effective for your diagnosis.
Video-laparoscopy is usually indicated in the first and second trimester of the gestational period and appendectomy is more indicated at the end of pregnancy. The pregnant woman will remain hospitalized after the surgery for approximately one to three days, for observation and should return home as soon as she is able to eat solid food.
In order for recovery to be faster, you should strictly follow the medical recommendations regarding rest, do not lift weight, eat properly and go to the office to assess healing and avoid possible post-surgical infections .
See also: Colic in Pregnancy – When to Worry
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.