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General anesthetic while pregnant - is it harmful?

(12 Posts)
frankie3 Mon 18-Aug-08 11:09:45

When I was pregnant with my DS1 I was in a lot of pain and was rushed into hospital with a suspected ectopic. I had a laparoscopy under a general anesthetic, and it was found that I had severe endometriosis, not an ectopic, and thankfully gave birth to a healthy baby. But I was never told of any potential side effects of the anesthetic (I think they also had to pump carbon dioxide around my uterus) and I wondered if anyone knew of any. My DS was not really happy for his first couple of years - he cried all the time and was extremely anxious and clingy.

frankie3 Mon 18-Aug-08 14:17:05


TheMadHouse Mon 18-Aug-08 14:22:25

I do know that it carries a risk to the unborn child and that they only do it under special curcumstances.

I had a general when I was 20 weeks pregnant with DS1 and thankfully we were both OK, but he and I were at risk without the operation.

He does not seem to have any side effects from the operation. As far as I was informed the risk is during the operation like it is with the person being operated on.

Evenstar Mon 18-Aug-08 22:58:06

I had the exact same thing with my DS1, but he was quite happy just very very active and demanding. He is 18 today and still quite a handful though much improved from toddlerhood and early school days. I don't actually believe there was a connection as my DH was apparently similar as a child. I did not really ask about the risk at the time as an ectopic is obviously life threatening, but afterwards was told that they also insert a rod into the womb which gives you a 50% chance of miscarrying a healthy pregnancy and also sometimes they cannot spot the ectopic and there could still be one. I had to have two more scans before I was given the all clear. I wouldn't think there would be a problem afterwards as TheMadHouse said mainly during the operation.

Piffle Mon 18-Aug-08 23:06:06

I had emergency appendectomy at 20 weeks
They used a lighter anaesthetic mixture
Ds2 was an easy baby and now 16mths very active and talkative.
So I think not!

Piffle Mon 18-Aug-08 23:06:08

I had emergency appendectomy at 20 weeks
They used a lighter anaesthetic mixture
Ds2 was an easy baby and now 16mths very active and talkative.
So I think not!

aliasdictus Mon 18-Aug-08 23:38:54

Hi there, whilst General Anaesthetics are avoided if possible when pregnant, sometimes thay are necessary in accidents or to avoid death from concurrent disease. If it is necessary then at least it is a very well known and researched area of anaesthesia and many steps are taken to ensure there is no problem. Blood pressure is very labile in pregnancy and position is important, the actual drugs used will be the well-proven standard ones rather than the latest fancy ones, this is most important in the first three months when the baby is forming as opposed to the last six months when it is just enlarging. Most drugs will be eliminated from the body in a few days and incidentally, the Carbon dioxide is used in any keyhole surgey whether pregnant or not, it will be expired by the lungs in minutes. By and large the foetus is incredibly well protected by a whole series of very clever physiological changes to itself and the mother when in utero so I would not be too worried!

fledtoscotland Tue 19-Aug-08 09:27:21

i had a general anaesthetic when i was 9+2 wks pregnant with DS (had ovary, 9cm cyst and necrotic fallopian tube removed). The anaesthetist reassured me that he would use the minimum drugs needed.

DS is now 11months old and absolutely fine. The only thing was that i was monitored every 2 weeks throughout the pregnancy (scanned every 4) to check that his growth was ok as they thought he was going to be small at term. they estimated 4lbs but he appeared weighing a healthy 7lbs 6ozs.

I know of other mums who has their appendix removed during pregnancy and all their lo's are fine.

Piffle Tue 19-Aug-08 09:32:43

for me what was worse was that post surgery the drug choice was v limited.
I was in so much pain...

fledtoscotland Tue 19-Aug-08 10:09:21

thats bad piffle - i had a morphine pump for the 1st day and then they reduced it to tramadol and diclofenac, before going onto cocodamol 30/500. i was reluctant to use the morphine as i puke within about 5 mins of morphine being given and prefer to be in pain rather than puking.

zazen Tue 19-Aug-08 10:15:52

My mum had an GA when I was in Utero at 12 weeks - she had torn her retina and had to have her eyeball taken out and stitched and put back in again.
They thought they would lose me, but didn't - this was 40 years ago, and don't know what kind of GA they used then or now -

I'd ring the hospital to get your records and have a chat if it's keeping you up at night.

The Co2 they pump into your abdominal cavity is totally harmless - you have gases in your blood after all, and is taken out when they finish the op - it's pumped in so that your organs can be physically apart and isolated for the surgery !

frankie3 Wed 20-Aug-08 08:29:33

Thanks for all your responses - it is great to hear from women who have been through similar and sets my mind at rest.

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