Non-operative Management of Symptomatic Cholelithiasis in Pregnancy is Associated with Frequent Hospitalizations

April M. Jorge, Rajesh N. Keswani, Anna Veerappan, Nathaniel J. Soper, Andrew J. Gawron*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Symptomatic cholelithiasis (SC) is common in pregnancy. Guidelines recommend laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) for SC in pregnancy. Our aim was to evaluate current practice patterns and outcomes for patients undergoing initial non-operative management for uncomplicated SC during pregnancy. We performed a retrospective analysis and telephone survey of all patients presenting in a 42-month period to a tertiary care center for uncomplicated SC during pregnancy. Women with complicated gallstone disease, including cholecystitis, pancreatitis, choledocholithiasis, and cholangitis were excluded. We identified 53 patients with uncomplicated SC during pregnancy. LC was performed in 4 (7.5 %) antepartum and in 28 (51.7 %) postpartum. The majority of LCs (21, 75 %) were performed within 3 months postpartum. Of those with postpartum LC, 22 (78.6 %) had recurrent postpartum symptoms prior to LC, and 14 (50 %) had repeat hospitalizations prior to undergoing surgery. Given the safety of antepartum LC and the frequency of recurrent symptoms and hospitalizations, early surgical intervention during pregnancy may be the optimal strategy to reduce antepartum and early postpartum admissions for uncomplicated SC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)598-603
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2015


  • Cholecystectomy
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Postpartum complications
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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