Small bowel obstruction: a recurrence of melanoma during the second trimester of pregnancy

Lindsay Goad, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa
Yousef Zakharia, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Department of Internal Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa
Heather Anaya,, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Iowa City, Iowa


Background: The incidence of melanoma is on the rise in the United States and is particularly prevalent among women of childbearing age. Obtaining a complete history and understanding the unpredictable behavior of melanoma is essential to make the diagnosis of recurrent disease during pregnancy.

Case: A 35-year-old G2P1 at 23 weeks and 1 days’ gestation with a remote history of (treated) cutaneous melanoma underwent an exploratory laparotomy for small bowel obstruction. Pathology was consistent with recurrent metastatic melanoma.

Conclusion: Metastatic melanoma diagnosed during pregnancy is rare. There are no guidelines on how or when to proceed with treatment of metastatic disease or delivery of the fetus. Immunotherapy is changing the management of melanoma and is extending life expectancy. The significant survival benefits for mother with immunotherapy may outweigh the risks of preterm delivery for the baby.