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July 1978

Previous Appendectomy Does Not Predispose to Right-Sided Ectopic Pregnancies

Author Affiliations

USNR Portsmouth, Va

Arch Surg. 1978;113(7):905. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1978.01370190127029

A 20-year review of ectopic pregnancies at the Naval Regional Medical Center at Portsmouth, Va, yielded 556 cases between 1956 and 1976. One hundred nine patients (19.6%) had undergone a previous appendectomy. In this group, there were 48 (44%) right-sided ectopic pregnancies and 61 (56%) left-sided ectopic pregnancies.

Partial tubal occlusion retarding the passage of the fertilized ovum is one mechanism postulated for tubal pregnancies.1,2 It seems reasonable, therefore, that women with prior appendectomies might be at increased risk for right-sided tubal pregnancies secondary to penitubular adhesions. Almost 20% of the patients in this series had a previous appendectomy. These 109 patients demonstrated no predilection for right-sided ectopic gestations. In fact, 56% of these patients had left-sided ectopic pregnancies. We therefore conclude that a previous appendectomy does not predispose to right-sided ectopic pregnancies.

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