Gallbladder Scars and Pregnancy

Gallbladder Scars and Pregnancy

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.

Read More: Gallbladder Surgery Scars

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:

Stretching

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.

Tightening

Some women may experience a pinching sensation while pregnant. Gallbladder scars are often expanded to their limits, resulting in mild or intermediate skin tightness.

Itching

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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The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
Do Scars Stretch During Pregnancy?

Do Scars Stretch During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a series of nourishment needs and hormonal changes. The body must accommodate the fetus and does so with the production of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), stronger blood stream circulations, and ever-expanding skin. It’s this point that often proves the most concerning, with tissue around the abdomen, thighs, hips, and waist consistently growing throughout each trimester. Women often wonder what the effect of this growth will be on their scars – and if it will last.

Read More: Skin Changes During Pregnancy

How Does Pregnancy Affect Scars?

Scars will stretch during pregnancy. Hormonal fluctuations and natural weight gain will cause skin to expand, and this will instantly alter the appearance of every abrasion, keloid, or contracture. Elongation is to be expected. It’s also often accompanied by:

Irritation

Redness, scaly textures, and mild irritation will often form around scars. This is due both to a lack of moisture in the skin and immune system deficiencies.

Hardening

Scars may harden during pregnancy, with the tissue not receiving the necessary levels of hydration needed to sustain softness.

Pain

The sudden expansion of scars can cause pain, with tightening sensations often felt along the stomach and hips. These sensations are not usually severe but can occur frequently.

New Scars

Pregnancy doesn’t merely elongate past scars. It can also create new ones. Stretch marks are among the most common symptoms associated with childbirth, with the elasticity of the skin pushed beyond its capacity and collagen production interrupted. This causes tiny tears, which then become scars.

As scars stretch to their maximum lengths during the final trimester these symptoms may become more obvious (and more frustrating). Women should consult with a physician if they experience consistent pain or find their everyday activities hindered.

Do Scars Remain Affected After Pregnancy?

Most scars will stretch during pregnancy. Those same scars should return to normal, though, after the child has been born. Resuming past levels of activity should tighten sagging skin, and a re-balance of hormone levels will deliver the necessary moisture (this will soften any rigid tissue and reduce swelling).

The healing process differs for every woman, however, and some may experience lingering effects – with scars remaining enlarged and tender for several weeks. If this proves problematic consult with a physician.

Read More: Scar Healing Time

Are Over-The-Counter Treatments Recommended for Scars After Pregnancy?

Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments should be used with caution. Many utilize ineffective or even unsafe ingredients – such as Hydroquinone, a bleaching agent that has been banned throughout the European Union for its mercury-based properties – and can instead exacerbate the appearance of scars. However, InviCible Scars is safe to use during and after pregnancy. Before purchasing any product it is recommended that women consult with their dermatologists.

Read More: Do Over The Counter Scar Treatments Really Work?

Do you have more questions about pregnancy’s affect on your scars? Leave us a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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