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.

69 thoughts on “Appendix Removal During Pregnancy (Fiona)

  • Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 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.

  • Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 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.

  • Monday, September 15, 2014 at 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.

  • Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 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 !

  • Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 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.

  • Monday, March 30, 2015 at 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.

  • Sunday, May 24, 2015 at 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

  • Friday, November 13, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Hi I was hoping to here from a mum that had a burst Appendix whilst pregnant just to ask how you are feeling now!
    I had my daughter 9 weeks ago, thank god she had no complications from my surgery. I was only 9 weeks when my appenidix burst, I had to be rushed into surgery and my appendix had burst and gone everywhere! I was ill for ages after my op and in hospital for 1 month after getting a infection post my op. I feel genuinely ok now but I do worry About having problems later on. I’ve read some things I should read on the net but it’s hard not to look!
    I suppose I just want to know it only gets better and I shouldn’t be worried about getting any problems suddenly in the future.
    I hope everyone on here is well and would be so grateful if anyone could reply. Thank you

  • Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Hi. I’m 6 weeks pregnant and had my appendix removed 3 days ago. I was complaining about very very sharp pain on my right side and I knew something was wrong so after we waited a while, I decided to go to the ER. They put me on an IV with fluids and pain medicine every 6 hours. I had to wait in the ER for the ultrasound technician to get there because it was about 4 am. After my ultra sound checked out, we knew something still wasn’t right because I was in pain and my white blood cell count was at 19,000. So they asked me if I would consent to a cat scan to check for appendicitis. Knowing the radiation would be bad for early pregnancy but also knowing something wasn’t right, I consented. Found my inflamed appendic and was sent to surgery later that morning. The surgeon put me under with general anesthesia and they procedure to remove my appendix took about an hour. I’m currently recovering but I can’t find anything online that will help my worry of whether or not the baby will be affected by the cat scan or anesthesia at 6 weeks.

  • Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    I was 361/2 weeks pregnant when I have my surgery. The doctors told me it is 1 out of 100 women that are pregnant have this surgery. My son was born one week and four later healthy. I went through the ultrasound and cat scans before they found that is was my appendix.

  • Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 2:21 am

    Hi, i know this is for women only but my wife is 7 month pregnant and just got her appendix removed through surgery. Now a week later doctors advised that she needs another surgey as she is unable to pass out waste when she goes to the bathroom but she is able to pass out urine only. They are giving me 2 options, 1 option – for her to be scanned on a big radiation scanner which would affect baby (not considering this) and 2 option – is to open her up again to remove waste from her stomach (having doubts if she is being correctly advised. I am really scared and have deep faith in god that everything is gonna be ok, too make things worse i am working in another country to put food on the table for my family & will be back home in 2 weeks time and it breaks my heart that i am not there with her. We are in constant contact over the phone and i can’t loose her not now. Just hoping if any of you ladies went through with this and everything turned out well.

  • Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Hi everyone, got my appendix removed (ruptures appendix) at 24 weeks…ended up in an abscess where my water broke with pus coming out at 26 weeks. I had really bad contractions and delivered my baby through c section and had another surgery to remove abscess. My baby was only 1 pound 4 ouces and lived 9 days where she deceased from necrotizing enterocolitis. According to the NICU team, my infection never affected the baby as she was doing so good for the first 9 days…i am still waiting on autopsy results. The gynecologist tells me that my pregnancy was a very good one if it would’ve been for the appendicitis. We are trying again next summer hoping that health will be in mu favor

  • Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 9:09 am

    I have just had my appendix removed on 23rd October 2016 I was just exactly 20 weeks pregnant day after surgery. It felt like extremely trapped gas pains that kept building but with pain specific to my right side. I was sick 2 times the day I started to get really ill and I was watching xfactor when suddenly the pain went from about a 3-8 and I was literally rigling around in pain as for me pain got really bad really suddenly and I knew it was an emergency suddenly and not just trapped gas. On the way to hospital I was violently sick and then sick in A&E waiting room so total of 4 times in one day also my appetite went completely for my dinner. First surgeon didn’t think I had appendicitis as t did hurt everywhere when he poked and said probably gas pains and I just kept saying well I don’t feel any better if I’m honest I feel like it’s still appendicitis as my brother had this too when he was younger. They decided to keep me in over night and by the following afternoon I had had an ultra sound and an MRI scan that both confirmed appendicitis. That evening I had my appendix removed and luckily did not burst. Doctors in hospital advised 2 weeks of but I since have been to t doctors and now have been given 3 weeks to rest and heal I’m very tierd and it’s painful walking and twisting body can’t pick stuff up of the floor and unable to pick up heavy items everything feels a lot more heavy than normal like cups and stuff. I have been sleeping a lot and lying down a lot as get really burnt out all day but my key hole surgery is healing well ATM. There are risks to the baby when consenting to this operation but the risks of not having appendix out outway the benefits of keeping it in as it will eventually burst!! Very scary but I think I have been quiet lucky considering they were firstly going to just send me home but changed their minds with regards to my blood tests and also with me saying if I’m honest I know I’m not ok and ok to go home.

  • Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Hi all again I thought i would come back with an update it’s now the 13th March 2017 my due date and still no baby but just to let others know I have gone full term. Baby Is doing absolutely fine and will be born any day now.

    My scars the one around my belly button has really stretched and still very red like it’s not been able to heal to a certain extent. My scars still feel tender and I have basically a ball of scar tissue on my belly button wish I could attach a photo.

    If anyone in the future ever wants to talk about this my email is

    If you need and advice or wanna know more on what happened.

    Overall it took me 4 weeks before I was fit enough to return to work. I suffered from other infections bladder infections and infections in my belly button scar and was very run down.

    When I did return to work I was on phase return for 4 weeks also. My body was very run down, weak and I was constantly tierd and emotional all very much related to both the pregnancy and appendectomy. EmotIonally I also felt incredibly vulnerable all the time and like something worse was going to happen.

    So full recovery for myself was 8 weeks.

    Many thanks


  • Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Was 26 weeks pregnant when I’ve been in agony and couldn’t sleep at all all night, vomited and had fever etc. Next day it was bank holiday so my other half took me to the nearest walk in centre, from there they referred us to the hospital! When got to the hospital my fever got higher and they admitted me so from 17th April was in hospital for two weeks with appendicitis that burst and after operation got infected in hospital with E. coli… they took stiches out and now being 29+4 days pregnant with an open wound although at home but not being able to do much… pregnancy was easy until now, but became high risk so got district nurses coming every day to change the dressing on the wound and pretty much weekly visits to the hospital to make sure I won’t go in to early labour… hope nobody will have to go through this….

  • Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Hello, I had appendicitis from the very beginning of my pregnancy in 1990. I was not believed by medical staff. I was told to take two paracetamol. I know they thought I was either of a low pain threshold or just exaggerating my pain. This went on for 7 months. I lost over 2 stone because of vomiting. My pain was not just at my right side but all over my bump, (this was due, I late found out, to my baby kicking and my burst appendix ended up just under my ribcage. At 29 weeks, they finally believed me and removed my appendix which by then were burst. Peritonitis was diagnosed. The surgery put me into labour but I was not allowed to give birth. I laid in a hospital bed in labour and contracted for 2 whole weeks with some pain relief and i was infected too. At 31 weeks, my baby was delivered by section. He was fine but very small 4lb 5oz. I left the hospital weighing 6 and half stone. I was amazed that the doctors would not believe me when I suggested many many times that I thought the source of my pain was my appendix. In fact I was laughed at.

  • Monday, October 16, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Thanks for the info I had mine took in out in I’m in pain still I’m 35 weeks in just got out the hospital just hurts so bad when I walk or get up how long does it take to get back the same

  • Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    I’m 18 weeks pregnant. One day I was crying with an awful pain in my belly it hurt so bad I didn’t know what to do with myself. So I went to the hospital near me and they sent me to Boston hospital. They did and MRI and determined that I have appendicitis. I went into surgery the next morning. They made holes on my upper abdomen so they wouldn’t touch the baby. When I woke up the baby was fine with a perfect heart beat but I could barley breath. I can’t laugh or cry or breath heavy. All the gas bubbles in my shoulders make everything difficult. I can barley shower sit up or go to the bathroom. I’m in a horrendous amount of pain and I hope it gets better. I can’t take any pain medication because of the baby.

  • Monday, July 9, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks your post was really helpful Ali am 16 weeks pregnant with suspected appendicitis I was just so scared I might loss my baby but after reading this am filled with hope thanks so much.

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