Appendectomy during pregnancy: Follow-up of progeny

Jacqueline J. Choi, Rose Mustafa, Elizabeth T. Lynn, Celia M. Divino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: The incidence of appendicitis in pregnant patients is 0.04% to 0.20%, making it the most common nonobstetric surgical procedure in pregnancy. This study examines whether an appendectomy during any stage of pregnancy affects future development of motor, sensory, and social skills of the progeny. Study Design: A prospective survey was administered to women who underwent an appendectomy during pregnancy at Mount Sinai Hospital from 2000 to 2009. The survey, which ranged from 1 to 9 years postpartum, consisted of questions about motor, sensory, and social development of their progeny, based on established pediatric milestones. Data were collected from the medical records of mother and child. Additional follow-up was gathered from outpatient and emergency room records. Results: Fifty-two pregnant patients underwent an appendectomy during our study period. All pregnancies continued to full term with the exception of one fetal death due to extreme prematurity. Twenty-nine patients completed the follow-up survey, making the yield response rate 55.8%. There were 7 (26.9%), 14 (48.3%), and 8 (27.6%) appendectomies in the first, second, and third trimesters, respectively. Mean follow-up time was 47.2 months (range 13 to 117 months) after delivery. None of the children exhibited any developmental delay by their third year of life. Timing of the surgery (trimester) had no effect on child development. Conclusions: Appendectomy during pregnancy is not associated with developmental delays in children, regardless of which trimester the procedure was performed. All children in this study had normal motor, sensory, and social development by 3 years of age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-632
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2011


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