Pregnancy is one of the most common condition that is associated with development of gall stones. Almost 4-12% of patients are prone to develop gall stones during pregnancy. This is mainly attributed to hormonal changes, mainly increased levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy which leads to formation of gall stones.
If the gall stones are not causing any symptoms, they must be left untreated till the delivery of the baby. But you must definitely consult a specialist especially if you are experiencing steady pain in the right side of upper abdomen, nausea and vomiting, fever or chills, jaundice any abdominal pain lasting for than five hours. According to Dr. Kapil Agrawal, who is one of the best laparoscopic and robotic gall stone surgeon at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, India one must always take the opinion of a specialist surgeon to decide the best plan of treatment during pregnancy. Depending upon your symptoms, size of stones and risk factors, he may choose carefully to monitor you or go ahead and perform the surgery during pregnancy. According to Dr. Kapil Agrawal, who is one of the best gall bladder surgeon in Delhi, India complications associated with gall stones are the second most common non obstetrical cause requiring hospitalization in pregnant patients.
Some of the common ways by which you can prevent gall stones during pregnancy:
Gain a healthy amount of weight as obesity is associated with higher incidence in the development of gall stones.
Eat high fiber diet as it ensures healthy weight and is even good for the health of baby.
Choose the right type of fats as saturated fats are associated with higher incidence of gall stones. mono saturated fats and omega fatty acids decreases formation of gall stones.
Avoid sugar and refined flour as products made of refined or white flour such bread, pasta, chips are more prone to develop gall stones.
Proper management of diabetes as diabetes is associated with increased chances in the development of gall stone complications.
How to manage patients with gall stones during pregnancy?
About 70% of the patients can be managed conservatively. It means that majority of such patients can be treated with the help of medicines. however, in rest of the patients some sort of surgical intervention is required. It can be either laparoscopic removal of gall stones preferably during the second trimester or third trimester in a specialized set up. Some patients may develop complications and might require ERCP for removal of stones present in common bile duct. In such patients, ERCP is usually performed taking extreme care that fetus is not exposed to radiations.
In conclusion, gall stone is a common disease during pregnancy. The most common complication of gall stone disease is pancreatitis which is seen during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. most of these complications can be managed conservatively and cholecystectomy can be deferred to post delivery. However, in patients who have recurrent attacks of gall stone disease or who fail to respond to conservative management, surgery can be safely performed during the second or third trimester. Dr. kapil agrawal who is one of the best laparoscopic surgeon for gall stone management has a vast experience of handling complicated gall stones disease during pregnancy and he along with his team has delivered excellent results in the management of gall stones.