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Acute appendicitis during pregnancy: case series of 20 pregnant women.

BACKGROUND: Acute appendicitis (AA) is the most common cause of acute abdomen during pregnancy. Most of the signs of appendicitis are also found during normal pregnancy period, however, and diagnosis of appendicitis during pregnancy remains challenging. The aim of the current study was to report our clinical experience of AA during pregnancy and investigate optimal management of this difficult situation.

METHODS: Records of 20 pregnant women with diagnosis of AA who underwent appendectomy between 2005 and 2015 were included in this study. Data were collected retrospectively. Patients were evaluated according to age, signs and symptoms, gestational age, physical findings, serum white blood cell count, ultrasound (US) findings, pathology reports, surgical technique, operation time, and complications.

RESULTS: Of 20 patients, 16 (80%) underwent open appendectomy and 4 (20%) underwent laparoscopic appendectomy. Mean age of patients was 29.6±5.6 years. Most common symptom was abdominal pain (95%). Six (30%) patients were in first trimester, 9 (45%) patients were in second trimester and 5 (25%) patients in were in third trimester. US findings consistent with AA were found in 12 (60%) patients. Negative appendectomy rate was 30%. Maternal complication was seen in only 1 (5%) patient. No fetal complication was observed.

CONCLUSION: Accurate diagnosis and prompt surgical treatment of AA in pregnant women should be performed due to high rates of maternal and fetal complications.

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