Can a Pregnant Woman Have Spine Surgery?

Category: Back Pain, Minimally Invasive Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: November 11, 2014

pregnant women surgeryPregnant women routinely experience back pain for a number of reasons (more information on that at our previous blog). In this article we are going to talk specifically about spine surgery and pregnant women. Can a pregnant women have spine surgery if necessary? If so, is it a good idea to have a minimally invasive procedure when you are with child? These are our topics for today’s blog.

Pregnancy & Surgery

Generally, surgery should be avoided during pregnancy, for several reasons:

  • There are two patients to consider – the mother and the unborn child, and any complications can impact both.
  • During pregnancy, a woman’s blood is more likely to clot (this is known as hypercoagulable). This helps avoid bleeding during birth but increases the risk of clotting during surgery.
  • Anesthesia is an issue because both the mother and the child receive the anesthetic. It is very difficult to manage appropriate anesthesia levels in an unborn child.

As you can see, there are a lot of negative risk factors for pregnant women undergoing back surgery. You might be asking why would a pregnant woman ever have back surgery? Why not just wait until after the birth?

Why would a Pregnant Woman Even Consider Surgery?

Usually, surgery is only considered when a pregnant mother’s life is at risk. For example, a case of appendicitis would necessitate immediate surgery. In most other cases, surgery is postponed until after the pregnancy.

Many pregnant mothers experience back pain during their pregnancy. In fact, pregnancy can even contribute to a bulging or herniated disc. When this happens, mothers want to know how to best reduce their pain. While a minimally invasive surgical procedure can certainly help in the long run, it is typically not advised during pregnancy. There are plenty of other non-surgical treatment options available to reduce back pain during pregnancy. After the birth, if the mother is still experiencing significant back pain, a spine surgery can be seriously considered.

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