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January 6, 2005

Other, Pregnancy

Question from Bozeman, Montana, USA:

I am seven weeks pregnant. I just went in for my first ultrasound and discovered that I have a large cyst in my abdomen. I might need to have surgery to remove it. What effects does surgery have on my unborn child? Because I am a type 1 diabetic, I am afraid of my blood sugars going out of control with the trauma of surgery. Have you or any one else had a problem like this?

Answer:

This early in pregnancy, abdominal surgery is a small risk to the fetus. The uterus is still in the pelvis and should not get in the way of the operation. The main concern is, if you develop any infection in your abdomen after the surgery. This might lead to a miscarriage. I have operated on women during pregnancy and they have done well. Anesthesia should not be a problem either. The anesthetic gas readily crosses the placenta so the fetus will be asleep during the surgery. However, it will wear off quickly when you wake up. The surgeon and anesthesiologist can monitor your blood glucose during surgery and give you extra glucose in your I.V., if needed.

OWJ