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Appendix Removal During Pregnancy (Fiona)

Im sending this to you, because when i went through it i had very little resources on the web to draw on, and at the time i found it quite emotionally taxing and hard, and felt quite alone… When i was 26 weeks pregnant i had some upper right quadrant abdominal pain, and i thought nothing of it! Round ligament pain perhaps? I didnt do anything, however about 24 hours later i was in agony, vomiting and writhing on my bathroom floor! My husband called the hospital and we went to A and E, where i was diagnosed with appendicitus, which occurs in roughly 0.1% of all pregnancies, and is the most common cause of surgery in pregnant women. The next morning i underwent an emergency surgery to remove the appendix, however due to the pregnancy i had to remain awake, during what is major stomach surgery – it involves an 8 inch incision, and then removing your large and small intestine in order to find the inflammed appendix, which could rupture at any time! I was awake the whole time, and baby was kicking all the way through! There is a high risk of preterm labour also, so after the operation i spent 10 days in ICU being monitored. During this time, i remained on an an epidural for pain relief (however in terms of pain medication i was given less than an average appendix removal op!) Also i had terrible pain because of excess air within my stomach after the operation… but was able to have my stitches removed about a week after the operation, and was back on my feet (although slowly!) by 2 weeks! The biggest ongoing problem is the stretching of the scar tissue as my pregnancy continued to progress. It was initially very neat and tidy (i was lucky enough to have no infection) but has become quite lumpy and raised as i’ve got bigger … however i hope it will return to normal after the birth! I just wanted to post my story as proof that everything can go ok in an appendix removal during pregnancy! Im currently 36 weeks and baby looks fine! Thanks!

Updated here.

in Belly, Complications in Pregnancy, First Pregnancy, Pregnant, Submissions, Surgical Scar (Non-Cesarean), Update

57 comments… add one

  • sam Thursday, April 17, 2014, 4:27 am

    Thanks for the post Belly. My wife has gone through the same problem and I am worried that is it safe to do Appendix operation during pregnancy time. But after reading your blog I feel good. Today my wife got operated but still she is in pain, I hope everything will be fine soon. Anyway thanks again for your blog. God Bless you.

  • niya Thursday, June 12, 2014, 7:31 pm

    I got mine removed at 26 weeks pregnant and it was awful. They had to leave my scar open and it had to heal from the inside out. That mean I had to get it packed with Gauze and I had my daughter the next day while in recovery. She weighed 2lb 12oz and had to stay in the hospital in nicu for 2 months and then moved to the newborn nursery for 3 weeks after that. Now she 3 and healthy. It took almost 4.months for my scar to heal.

  • Amy Monday, September 15, 2014, 3:52 pm

    So glad to see this resource online about this issue. My appendicitis started at about 20 weeks but was not diagnosed until I was 34w 6d and it had been ruptured for 4 days by then. My body had walled off the infection and I had a 14cm abscess. I want to put my story out there because after everything I’ve read online about appendicitis during pregnancy, my symptoms were not typical. My symptoms started out with extreme fatigue. Things escalated to where I had a pain in my right side and down my leg. I saw about a half a dozen professionals with my symptoms and was told it was round ligament pain, pinched nerve, sciatica. Basically exaggerated typical pregnancy issues. At about 30 weeks I was to the point where I was in constant pain. I couldn’t walk more than a few feet without stopping to catch my breath. Lying down flat on my bed was excruciating. I “slept” (maybe got 2hrs of sleep a night) in the recliner and would try to keep a hot pad on my side for relief (but got none). It felt like my heart was constantly racing. I had no appetite. If I did try to eat I would throw it up. In total I lost over 50lbs while I was pregnant. The only relief I could get was to get in our hot tub and soak (with the water heat turned down), but even then there was still pain and it came raging back as soon as I was out of the water. The night my appendix ruptured the pain was worse but the thing that caught my attention was that I was also having waves of pain – contractions. I went to my midwife first thing in the morning and she sent me to the hospital. They did every test imaginable. I really didn’t have a fever and my white blood count wasn’t extremely high. After all the tests they did a CT scan on my abdomen. That showed the abscess. They decided it would be too dangerous in my situation to do surgery, so that night they put a drain in my side (which I was alert and awake for) to drain the abscess. I was induced at 35 w 1 d because they feared I could become septic. This all has a happy ending because my baby was born perfectly healthy and never showed any distress from all of this. I kept the drain in my side for 2 months after birth (surgeon wanted to wait and let inflammation go down). Then I had surgery to remove the drain and what was left of my appendix. That was 3 years ago and I’m now 36 weeks pregnant with my second. The only issues that have carried over is some pain from stretching scar tissue/surgical adhesions in my left side. Even then it hasn’t been constant and not too terrible.

  • Anna Saturday, November 22, 2014, 8:45 pm

    I got appendix burst , when I was 30 weeks pregnancy . Operation successful. Had infection afterwards . Baby delivered still born with umbilucus chord around her neck .She was 9 1/2 pounds girl. My first child . Never forget that day forever . After that , I lost 4 more still births fully developed , normal delivery , Doctors suggested , not to try any more pregnancy, as I may not have an alive child again . Never , gave me the reason . I never gave up HOPE. I got an alive child at age of 30 yrs , a son, 6 1/2 pounds, normal delivery. But I bled , for seven months before delivery . Thanks to the doctor who looked after me , from Cambridge Medical School .My son is still alive , healthy , 38 yrs old . Then , I wished for a daughter , she born is 33 yrs old . After her delivery , I kept on bleeding . A tumour found in the uterus , also right ovary large cysts . Hysterectomy done , soon after daughters delivery . With one cysts ovary removed too . I am 68 years old now , remembering good thoughts each time I see my children , with their family . God Bless all who took care of me .Loss of other children , will always leave a scar in my life !

  • Rachel Thursday, January 22, 2015, 2:55 am

    Please can someone give me any advice, I am only 8 weeks pregnant and have agonising pain for days but the doctors kept saying it was just part of being pregnant and that I was constipation, they sent me away 3 times with paracetamol but by the 3rd day I was in agony rolling around on the bed crying so my mum called an ambulance but they wouldn’t get me because I have “passed out” I arrived at AnE , they took my bloods and said my white count was very high, suspected it was appendicitis but couldn’t X-ray to confirm as I was pregnant so I was left another day. They did a MRI the following day and it confirmed it but By this time it has ruptured, they did the operation and I’m still on hospital on absolute agony with the pain. Had a scan before my op and baby had a very strong heart beat. But haven’t had one since as I’m to tender for a scan. Suppose I’m looking for some reassurance from people in similar situations as m trying to relax and be positive but I’m so so scared.

  • Emma jackson Monday, March 30, 2015, 1:24 pm

    My appendix burst when I was 9 weeks pregnant. I was rushed to A&E by my GP after experiencing stomach pains for a couple of days. However I went on a bank holiday and there wasn’t any consultant in to see me. Because I was pregnant they couldn’t do the right scans to see if it was my appendix so decided to monitor me for the weekend. When the consaltant came in on the tuesday (been in since Thursday night) he said it was defiantly my appendix and that I need surgery first thing in the morning. That night the pain was unbearable, my heart rate was 159bpm, my infection levels in my blood where sky high. When they did surgery, my appendix had burst. I was in surgery for hours and had to have a drain coming from my stomach for 4 days to drain out the infection. I was looking at a 95% chance of miscarriaging because my infection levels. However through all this, my little miracle baby was born on New Years day and he is perfect. He’s 12 weeks old, and I’m still having problems from the surgery. But the most important thing was that he was ok. And he is.
    It was a very hard pregnancy but all worth it.

  • April Sunday, May 24, 2015, 9:19 pm

    My 16 year old is possibly going threw the same with the appendix an she’s 25 weeks an she is scared an I’m scared an worried this site has helped some but still worried

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