Surgery during pregnancy ups risk of preterm delivery
Surgery during pregnancy appears to increase the likelihood of preterm deliveries and lower birthweight infants, a new study has shown.
Researchers conducted a retrospective review of the records of 171 patients who required a total of 189 nonobstetrical surgery during pregnancy. Pregnancy outcomes included week of gestation at delivery, vaginal or caesarean delivery, interval between surgery and delivery, and infant birthweight. A matched control group (n=684) was also included.
Preterm deliveries occurred significantly more commonly in the intervention vs control group (24.60 percent vs 16.70 percent; odds ratio [OR], 1.63, 95 percent CI, 1.09–2.44; p=0.018). Gestational age was similarly lower in mothers who required surgery during pregnancy (median, 38.59 vs 38.95 weeks; p=0.023).
While the prevalence of low birthweight (<2,500 g) was statistically comparable between groups (surgery vs controls: 18.10 percent vs 13.90 percent; OR, 1.36, 0.87–2.11; p=0.176), the median birthweight was significantly lower in the surgery group (3.16 vs 3.27 kg; p=0.044).
Both groups were comparable in terms of the need for caesarean section delivery (31.60 percent vs 29.70 percent; OR, 1.10, 0.76–1.58; p=0.624) and neuraxial analgesia for delivery (79.53 percent vs 79.24 percent; OR, 1.02, 0.67–1.55; p=0.932).
“The use of [general anaesthesia] was associated with a higher incidence of low birth weight babies,” said researchers. “It is unknown whether this should be attributed to the intervention, the anaesthesia or the underlying surgical condition. Interventions during the third trimester had the highest risk for preterm birth within 2 weeks of the operation.”