Each year an estimated 700,000 individuals in the United States have their gallbladders removed. The surgery ranks among the most common and the most effective, with leaps in laparoscopic techniques ensuring accelerated recovery times. However, despite advances in technology used in gallbladder surgery, scars are still left behind once the process is completed – and many women wonder how pregnancy will affect these scars. It’s an understandable concern, and understanding a few factors can better prepare women for what to expect.
What is Gallbladder Surgery?
Gallbladder surgery (known also as a cholecystectomy) is the removal of the gallbladder, a digestive organ located near the pancreas and liver. This is achieved through a series of careful incisions, with doctors entering through the abdominal cavity and extracting the gallbladder’s fundus, body, and neck. It’s usually done to alleviate pain associated with pancreatitis, bile duct blockage, or pigment stones. This surgery is considered low-risk, and complications are rare. Patients typically return home within one or two days, and normal activity can often resume within a week.
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What Kind of Scarring Results From Gallbladder Surgery?
Most gallbladder surgeries these days are performed laparoscopically using a small camera and thin instruments inserted through small “keyhole” incisions which small scars.
What is Pregnancy’s Impact on Gallbladder Scars?
Pregnancy transforms every body – increasing hormone production, causing tissue swelling, and creating sudden skin discoloration. Women find themselves experiencing an endless array of changes. Changes in the appearance of abdominal scars, including those from gallbladder surgery, are expected, and may include:
During pregnancy skin (especially along the abdomen) will expand to accommodate the fetus and its needs. Gallbladder scars will do the same, stretching to keep pace with the stomach. Their appearance will, typically, become elongated and thinner.
Some women may experience a pinching sensation while pregnant. Gallbladder scars are often expanded to their limits, resulting in mild or intermediate skin tightness.
A common pregnancy symptom is itching. Due to a hormonal imbalance, crucial moisture can be lost in the skin. Gallbladder scars are no exception, and will often begin to itch as the trimesters progress. Redness and flaking can also occur.
Note that every case is unique and not all women will experience these changes.
How Long Do the Effects of Pregnancy Last?
After pregnancy, most women will see their gallbladder scars return to a normal state. Their size will decrease and their textures will soften. However, some women have reported cases of symptoms lingering past childbirth including tightening sensations and irritation. Should this occur, it’s recommend to consult with a doctor. He will be able to provide insights into moisturizing creams, vitamin regimens, and other helpful techniques.
Read More: How To Get Rid Of Scars
Pregnancy promises many changes. Gallbladder scars, however, rank among the most temporary and should cause no concerns.
Have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.
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