Is it safe to have surgery while pregnant?

Q: "Help! I'm pregnant and my doctor says I need surgery. Will this harm my baby?"

A: It's very unlikely, says Portland, Ore., OB-GYN Desiree Bley, M.D. To avoid risking miscarriage, we delay nonemergency surgeries until the second trimester. Although preterm labor is a risk then and later, it's a treatable one. We prefer regional or local anesthesia to general, but even the latter won't harm the fetus.