FRIDAY, Feb. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Women who undergo cholecystectomy during the third trimester of pregnancy experience worse outcomes than women who wait until after delivery, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Zhi Ven Fong, M.D., M.P.H., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues used the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development database (2005 to 2014) to identify women undergoing cholecystectomy. Outcomes were compared between women who had the procedure during the third trimester of pregnancy (403 patients) and those who had the procedure in the three months postpartum (17,490 patients).

The researchers found that cholecystectomy during pregnancy was more likely to require hospitalization (85 versus 63 percent) and more likely to be performed open (13 versus 2 percent). There was a significant increase in composite maternal outcomes (odds ratio [OR], 1.88), including preterm delivery (OR, 2.05), length of hospital stay (+0.83 days), and readmissions (OR, 2.05), when cholecystectomy was performed during pregnancy.

“In light of these findings, whenever possible, women with symptomatic gallstones in pregnancy should wait as long as possible to let the baby mature before having the cholecystectomy,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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