Background: Biliopancreatic gallstone disorders (BPD) manifesting during pregnancy are relatively rare. The management of these conditions remains controversial. Although perioperative problems and fetal loss have been reported, recent publications have advocated an early surgical approach. Patients and methods: Thirty-two pregnant women underwent operation for BPD between January 1993 and December 1997. The mean age was 29 years and ranged from 18 to 41 years. Results: Twelve patients underwent a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC), and 20 open cholecystectomies (OC), including two conversions from laparoscopic. Seven of the OC patients required additional open CBD exploration and intraoperative choledochoscopy for CBD stones. No maternal mortality was observed. A single fetal demise (3%) occurred for a patient with gallstone pancreatitis who underwent open cholecystectomy during her 14th week of gestation. Conclusions: Early involvement of the obstetric team, with preoperative and postoperative fetal monitoring, and adequate management of anesthetic and tocolytic agents make cholecystectomy a safe procedure at any stage of pregnancy. Copyright (C) 1999 Excerpta Medica Inc.
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