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Complications of Cesarean Delivery

Complications of Cesarean Delivery

by: Dr. Ruchi Ahuja
Consultant Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Vaginal delivery is always safer & better than a cesarean delivery, not only for present but for future pregnancies also. In present time although Cesarean delivery is considered very safe and sometimes required for saving the life of the mother & baby, it is associated with some complications because this is a major surgical procedure. Cesarean section is a method of delivery the baby by giving incision in mother abdomen & uterus under anesthesia. These complications are either due to surgical procedure or anesthesia may occur during or after surgery and can affect the health of mother & baby in long term.Complications are more in emergency cesarean section than in elective.

  • Anesthesia complications –  like aspiration of gastric contents especially in unplanned Cesarean , hypotension, drug reaction & spinal headache.
  • Blood loss issues – There may be excessive blood loss due to extension of uterine incision, atonic uterus and extensive uterine injury leading to cesarean hysterectomy and blood transfusion.
  • Intraoperatively injury– To other organs like bowel, bladder & ureter.
  • Infections– There is increase risk of infections i.e. sites are uterus (endometritis), urinary tract, abdominal wound, peritoneal cavity & lungs which need prolong antibiotic therapy.

painless delivery

  • Longer hospital stay – Prolong recovery time (4-6wks) as compared to vaginal delivery (1-2wks) lead to complications like deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) & pulmonary embolism.
  • Other issues– In some women long term complications can occur like chronic pelvic pain, backache, incisional hernia, bowel obstruction due to band or adhesions, chronic anemia, breaking open of uterine incision scar and more risk of repeat cesarean section in subsequent pregnancy.
  • Increase risk of abnormal placentation– Placenta previa, placenta accreta, increta & percreta (a placental abnormality where placenta grow deeper into uterine wall & not separated after delivery) can cause severe bleeding and require hysterectomy.
  • Other complications – Respiratory complications, prematurity, early neonatal death, development of asthma in childhood, type 1 diabetes, late breast feeding & delayed bonding between mother & baby have been observed more in babies’  delivered by cesarean section.

So Cesarean section should be done only for medically indicated reasons.

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