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Op erative

Obstet ri cs
Caesar D. T ongo M.D., FPOGS
Assoc iate Profe ssor
DL S Col lege of Me dicin e
An operative vaginal delivery
is defined as the application
of direct traction of the fetal
head with forceps or a
The incidence of operative
vaginal delivery is
approximately 10 to 15%.
An operative vaginal delivery
is performed to shorten the
second stage of labor with
certain maternal or fetal
 Nonreassuring fetal
- based on heart rate
pattern, auscultation, lack
of response to scalp
stimulation, or scalp pH.
 Prolonged second stage of
- secondary to
malposition, deflexion, or
asynclitism of the fetal head. A
prolonged second stage is
defined as follows:
a. Nulliparous patient
More than 3 hours with
a regional anesthetic or
more than 2 hours without
regional anesthesia
b. Multiparous patient
More than 2 hours
with a regional anesthetic
or more
than 1 hour without
regional anesthesia
 Certain maternal illness
which make avoidance of
voluntary maternal
expulsive efforts desirable.
 Poor voluntary
expulsion efforts
because of exhaustion,
analgesia, or
Prerequisites for
Instrumental Delivery

1. The cervix must be fully

2. The membranes must be
3. The position and station must
be known, and the head must
be engaged.
4. The maternal pelvis
must be judged
adequate in size for

5. The bladder should be

6. A skilled operator must
be present.

7. Adequate anesthesia is
needed before forceps
or vacuum
1. Nonvertex presentation,
except for Piper forceps in
the breech delivery.

2. Nonengagement of the
presenting part
3. Head that cannot be
advanced with
ordinary traction when
using forceps or the
vacuum extractor.

4. Prematurity, fetal
bleeding disorder, or
certain maternal
Classification of
forceps deliveries

 Outlet forceps
To be categorized as an
outlet forceps delivery, the
following criteria must
a. Scalp is visible at the
introitus without
separating the labia

b. Fetal skull has reached

the pelvic floor
c. Sagittal suture is in the
diameter or right or
left occiput anterior
or posterior position.
d. Fetal head is at or on
the perineum

e. Rotation does
not exceed 45
 Low forceps
In low forceps delivery, the
leading point of the fetal skull has
descended to at least +2 station but
has not reached the pelvic floor.

The fetal head has

reached the
perineal floor and is
at the vulva.
1. Choosing the 2. Applying the
left left blade blade
3. Applying the 4. Locking the
right blade
5. Gentle traction 6. The
with an episiotomy
at crowning application
 Midforceps
The station is above
+2 but the presenting part
is engaged.
has taken place
and the leading
part of the head
is below the level
of the ischial
1. Making a large 2. Applying
the left
episiotomy blade.
Hands before starting protects
from damage
insertions of blade
3. Applying the 4. Locking the
right blade
5. Traction, maintaining 6. As the head
downward pressure crowns the
to keep in the line of the forceps
of the birth canal and the
head is
lifted over the
Types of forceps
1. Classic
These forceps are used
primarily for traction when
there is to be little or no
a. Simpson
b. Elliot
c. Tucker- Mclean
2. Specialized
These forceps are
designed for rotation or
special indications.
a. Keilland
b. Barton
c. Piper
Delivery with Kielland’s

1. Holding forceps with the knobs

directed towards fetal occiput.
2. The anterior blade is selected to
be applied first (some
obstetricians prefer to apply the
posterior blade first).
3. The Direct Method
The anterior blade is guarded
by the finger and slipped into
the correct position on the side
of the head.
4. The Wandering Method
The guarded blade is applied laterally
(over the face) and then gently
eased round to lie on top of the
5. It now lies with the concavity of
the blade applied to left
(uppermost) side of the fetal
6. The posterior blade is applied
directly to the right (lower) side of
the head. The vagina is protected
by the guiding hand.
7. The forceps are locked. Note
how their position shows
8. Asynclitism is corrected and the
forceps blades are opposite each
9. The head is gently rotated to the
OA position. Varying asynclitism and
gentle traction help to rotate into the
pelvic axis. A large episiotomy is
10. To prevent over compression of
the baby’s head, a thumb is kept
between the handles.
11. As the head extends, the
direction of pull must be altered
Other Applications
of Forceps
 Delivery of the head in the occipito
- posterior position.

This may be the easiest

and best method of
delivering a fetus with
the head in the
direct OP position,
provided the head is
low in the pelvis.
In a breech presentation the
forceps can be applied to the
head once it has entered the
pelvis. Anderson’s blades are
because of their
In a face presentation
(mento – anterior)
the forceps may
be applied
(Mento – posterior
positions must be
Vacuum Extractors
There are two types of
vacuum extractors, based on
the type of cup used for
application to the fetal head.
Each type has three parts: a
cup, a rubber hose, and a
vacuum pump.
The vacuum extractor is a
traction instrument used as an
alternative to the obstetric
forceps. It adheres to the baby’s
scalp by suction and is used in
the conscious patient to assist
maternal expulsive efforts. The
suction cup obtains its grip by
raising an artificial caput.
The patient is
usually in the
lithotomy position
and the same
precautions are
observed as for
forceps operations.
Probably the most
convenient anesthetic
is a pudendal block,
but sometimes only
inhalational analgesia
or sufficient local
anesthetic for an
is required.
 Malmstrom vacuum
This device consists of
a metal cup that is applied
to the fetal scalp. The pump
is then used to create a
vacuum, not exceeding 0.7 to
0.8 kg/cm². Traction is then
applied to bring the infant’s
head through the introitus.
 Plastic cup extractor
This device is consists
of a flexible Silastic cup that
is applied to the fetal scalp
more easily and with less
trauma than the Malmstrom
extractor. The vacuum
pressures attained are about
the same, but they can be
reached more quickly and with
less trauma to the fetal scalp.
 Maternal complications
are usually of minor clinical
consequence and include
of the cervix, vagina, and
perineum; episiotomy
extensions; and
associated hemorrhage. More
serious complications include
bladder lacerations, pelvic
 Neonatal injury
a. Scalp abrasions or
lacerations are the
most common injury
associated with vacuum
b. Soft tissue injury
is the most common injury
associated with forceps
c. Cephalohematoma
(Separation of the fetal scalp
from underlying structures)
occurs in 0.5 to 2.5% of live
births, with an incidence of 14
to 16% in vacuum deliveries
and 2% in forceps deliveries.
d. Subgaleal
occurs in 26 in 1000
to 45 in 1000 of vacuum
e. Intracranial
is a rare complication,
occurring in 0.75% of
instrumental deliveries.
A suture placed in
the cervix to treat cervical
 A cervical incompetence is
characterized by gradual,
progressive , painless dilation
of the cervix, usually leading
to spontaneous pregnancy
loss early in the second
A minority of second-
trimester losses are
associated with cervical
 Cervical incompetence
may be acquired or

a. Acquired causes
are primarily result from
obstetric or
gynecologic trauma to
the cervix
b. Congenital causes
include anomalies
caused by
diethylstilbestrol (DES)
exposure in utero and
other reproductive tract.
 Cervical incompetence is
diagnosed by a
characteristic history of
spontaneous losses
associated with painless
cervical dilation. The
role of ultrasound as a
diagnostic modality is
Cervical cerclage involves
placing an encircling suture
around the cervical os using
a heavy, nonabsorbable suture
or Mersilene tape. The suturing
prevents protrusion of the
amniotic sac and consequent
rupture by correcting the
abnormal dilation of the cervix.
1. Shirodkar technique
In the more complicated of
the two procedures using a
vaginal approach, the
suture is almost completely
buried beneath the
vaginal mucosa at the
level of the internal os. It
can be left in place for
subsequent pregnancies if a
cesarean section is
2. McDonald technique
This procedure is a
simple purse-string
suture of the
cervix and is simpler,
incurring less trauma to
the cervix and less blood
loss than the Shirodkar
3. Abdominal placement
This uncommon,
permanent procedure is
used women with a
short or amputated
cervix or in those in whom a
vaginal procedure has
failed. Cesarean birth is
necessary for delivery.
Cerclage is usually
performed between twelfth and
sixteenth weeks of gestation
but can be performed as late
as the twenty-fourth week.
Fetal viability and the absence
of anomalies should be
documented before performing
the procedure.
There have been no
randomized trials to define the
efficacy and benefit of
cerclage; this benefit is probably
overstated. Except in women
with a strong history consistent
with cervical incompetence
the benefit of cerclage has not
been proven.
1. Cervical lacerations
in 1 to 13% of
deliveries after a
McDonald cerclage

2. Cervical dystocia with

failure to dilate,
requiring a cesarean
3. Displacement of the suture
occurs in 3 to 12%
of cases.
A second cerclage is then
attempted, which has
a lower success rate.

4. Premature rupture of the

complicates cerclage 1
to 9% of cases.
5. Chorioamnionitis
complicates 1 to
7% of cases.

6. Early, elective cerclage

have a low rate (1%) of
infection; cerclage
placement with dilation
of the cervix has a much
higher risk (30%) of
The termination of
pregnancy before viability,
usually designated as 20
week’s gestation is known as
A. Spontaneous abortion
Is expulsion of the
products of conception
without medical or
mechanical intervention.
1. Incidence
Spontaneous loss
in 15% of clinically
recognized pregnancies;
the risk increases directly
with maternal age,
paternal age, minority race,
increasing gravidity, and
history of previous
2. Etiology
abnormalities are the most
common reason for first-
trimester losses,
occurring at a 60%
frequency. Most
chromosomal abnormalities
are sporadic defects; in a
small percentage of cases, one
of the parent carries a balanced
3. Classification
abortion are classified
into five types.
 Threatened abortion
This term is traditional
used when bleeding occurs
in the first half of gestation
without cervical dilation or
passage of tissue.
Twenty-five percent of
pregnant women
experience spotting or
bleeding early in gestation; 50%
of these proceed to lose the
 Inevitable abortion
this type of pregnancy
loss is diagnosed when
bleeding or rupture of the
membranes occurs with
cramping and dilation of the
cervix. Suction curettage is
performed to evacuate the
 Incomplete abortion
This type of pregnancy
loss occurs when there has
been partial but
incomplete expulsion of
the products of
conception from the uterine
cavity. Therapy is evacuation
of remaining tissue by
suction curettage.
 Missed abortion
Death of the fetus or
embryo may occur
without the onset of labor or
the passage of tissue for a
prolonged period. Suction
curettage is used to
evacuate the firs-trimester
 Recurrent
In the past, this
condition has been called
habitual abortion and
is defined as three or more
consecutive first- trimester
losses. This affects 2% of
4. Workup for spontaneous
 Detailed history and physical

 Chromosomal evaluation of
the couple
 Endometrial biopsy to exclude
luteal phase defect

 Thyroid function test and

screening for diabetes

 Cervical cultures for

Ureaplasma urealyticum
 Hysterosalpingogram or
hysteroscopy to evaluate
uterine cavity

 Screening test for lupus

anticoagulant and
B. Induced (elective)
Abortion became legal in
1973 and can be induced up to
approximately 24 weeks’ gestation,
depending on state laws.
Therapeutic abortions are
terminations of pregnancy that are
performed when maternal risk is
associated with continuation of the
pregnancy or fetal abnormalities
associated with genetic or
 Techniques of
techniques used
effectively to empty the
uterus of the products of
conception fall under the
categories of surgical
evacuation or induction of
A. Surgical evacuation
1. Suction curettage
This method of dilation
of the cervix and vacuum
aspiration of the
uterine content is used
for termination of
pregnancy at 12 weeks’ or
less gestational age.
a. Hygroscopic dilators such
as laminaria can be used
when necessary to facilitate
gentle dilation of the cervix.

b. Prophylactic antibiotics
administered just before or after
the procedure significantly
reduce the risk of infection
associated with induced abortion.
2. Dilation and extraction
(D&E) This technique
is the preferred method of
termination at 13 or more
week’s of gestation.
a. As the length of gestation
increases, wider
cervical dilation is necessary to
accomplish the procedure
successfully. Preoperative
cervical laminaria may be used.
b. Vacuum aspiration of
uterine contents is usually an
adequate method of evacuation
between 13 and 16 week.

c. Prophylactic antibiotics
may be given.
3. Other mechanical
methods Theses
include sharp curettage,
hystecrotomy, and
B. Induction of Labor.
Medical means of inducing
abortion include extrauterine
and intrauterine
administration of
abortifacients, such as
prostaglandins, urea,
hypertonic saline, and
1. Prostaglandins are most
commonly administered as
vaginal tablets of prostaglandin
E²; 90% of abortions are
accomplished within 24 hours.
Common side effects include
fever, nausea and vomiting,
diarrhea, and uterine
2. Hypertonic solutions of
saline or urea are injected
directly into the amniotic
cavity. This procedure requires
amniocentesis and care to
avoid intravascular injection.
3. Complications rates are lowest
when the uterus is
successfully evacuated within
13 to 24 hours. Laminaria to
facilitate cervical dilation is
useful to shorten the length of
C. Progesterone antagonists
1. Mifepristone
(RU 486;Mifeprex), taken
orally, is highly effective
in pregnancies with up to
49 days amenorrhea. Its
effectiveness can be
increased with the
addition of prostaglandin E.
2. Side effects are minimal,
and complication rates,
including hemorrhage and
retained tissue, are low
 Anesthesia
Sedation with local
paracervical block is usually
used for induced abortion.
General anesthesia can be used
but is accompanied by a higher
incidence of hemorrhage,
cervical injury, and perforation
because it render the uterine
musculature more relaxed and,
thus, easier to penetrate.
 Complications.
The incidence of
complications is largely
determined by the
method of termination and
gestational age;
incidence varies directly with
increasing gestational age.
A. Immediate complications
These complications
develop during the
procedure or within 3 hours
after completion.

1. Hemorrhage
The incidence of
hemorrhage is most accurately
determined by the rate of
transfusion. The lowest rates
are seen with suction curettage,
and the highest with saline
2. Cervical Injury
The rates of cervical injury
associated with suction
curretage are within the range of
0.01 to 1.6%. Factors that
decrease the risk of this
complication include the use of
local anesthetics instead of
general anesthesia.; use of
laminaria; and an experienced
3. Uterine perforation
The incidence of this
potentially serious
complication of
suction curettage
abortions is
approximately 0.2%.
a. Risks
Factors that increase the
rate of uterine perforation
include multiparity, advanced
gestational age, and operator
inexperience. The use of
laminaria to facilitate cervical
dilation decreases the rate.
b. Complications
Serious consequences of
uterine perforation include
hemorrhage and damage to
intra- abdominal organs.
Because of the location of the
uterine vessels, lateral
perforation may be associated
with hemorrhage.
c. Treatment
Many cases of uterine
perforation require only
observation. Surgical exploration
is indicated when there is
evidence of hemorrhage, when
injury to abdominal organs is
suspected, or when
perforation occurs with a
suction curette.
4. Acute hematometra
This complication
occurs in 0.1 to 1% of suction
curretage procedures and is
evidenced by decreased
vaginal bleeding and an
enlarged, tender uterus.
Treatment is repeat curretage
and administration of an
oxytocic agent.
B. Delayed complications.
1. Postabortal infection
This condition is often
associated with retained
tissue. The incidence of
infection varies with the
method of termination.
a. Risks
Factors that increase the
risk of infection include the
presence of cervical gonococcal
or chlamydial infection,
advanced gestational age,
uterine instillation methods of
termination, and the use of
local anesthesia instead of
general anesthesia.
b. Treatment
Uterine infection is usually
polymicrobial, similar to other
gynecologic infections, and is
treated with broad-spectrum
antibiotics and prompt
evacuation of retained tissue.
2. Retained Tissue
This conditions
complicates less than 1% of
suction curettage abortions.
a. Associated conditions
Retained tissue may be
associated with infection,
hemorrhage, or both

b. Treatment
Therapy requires repeat
curettage and antibiotic
administration if infection
is present.
3. Rh sensitization
The risk of sensitization
increases with advanced
gestational age. The Rh status
every pregnant women should
be known, and Rh immune
globulin should be
administered to an Rh-
negative whenever maternal
fetal hemorrhage is a possibility.
a. The estimated risk of
sensitization associated with
suction curettage is 2.6% if
RhoGAM is not administered

b. The recommended dose for Rh

immnue globulin prophylaxis
is 50ug up to 12 weeks’
gestation, and 300ug
4. Future adverse pregnancy
The incidences of
infertility, spontaneous abortion,
and ectopic pregnancy do not
increase after uncomplicated
suction curettage procedures.
 Maternal mortality
The case mortality
rate for induced abortion is
less than 0.05 per
100,000 procedures. The
risk varies with gestational
age and method of termination.
a. The leading cause of death
associated with induced abortion
is anesthetic complications,
followed by hemorrhage,
embolism, and infections.
b. The risk of death is lowest for
suction curettage procedures
and highest for instillation
procedures. Risk increases
with advancing gestational age.
Ce sar ea n
Bir th
Cesarean section is delivery of
a viable fetus through an
abdominal incision and uterine
incision. The maternal mortality
rate was high up to the end of
the nineteenth century, most
often because of hemorrhage
and infection.
1. In the United States,
approximately 21% of infants
were delivered by cesarean
birth in 1997. Several factors
contribute to the dramatic
increase in cesarean births
during this period.
a. As procedure-related morbidity
and mortality rates decreased
with advances in anesthetic and
operative techniques, the rate
of primary cesarean sections
 The widespread use of
electronic fetal
has led to an increased rate
of cesarean section for fetal
 The growing trend
delaying childbirth in the
United States has affected
women in labor in two ways:
First, a higher proportion of
nulliparous women give birth.
Second, nulliparity is
associated with complications
that increase rate of cesarean
section, such as dystocia and
 Dystocia or abnormal
progress of labor is used
more freely as an indication
for cesarean section, with a
corresponding decline in
the rate of forceps deliveries.
 Vaginal breech deliveries are
not recommended in
singleton gestations.

 Multiple gestation, an
indication for cesarean section,
occurs more frequently.
b. As the number of primary
cesarean sections increased,
previous cesarean section as an
indication for a repeat
cesarean section increased.
Thirty-three percent of
cesarean sections performed in
the United States are repeat
cesarean sections.
2. Perinatal mortality
There is a little
documentation for an association
between the increase in rates
of cesarean delivery and a
decline in perinatal mortality
and morbidity. The major
causes of perinatal morbidity
and mortality continue to be low
birth weight and congenital
Compared with vaginal
delivery, a properly performed
cesarean section carries no increased
risk for the fetus; however, the risk of
maternal morbidity and mortality is
higher. Cesarean birth is preferred
when the benefits for the mother,
fetus, or both outweigh the risk of the
procedure for the mother.
1. Contraindications to labor
a. Placenta previa
b. Vasa previa
c. Previous classic cesarean
d. Previous myomectomy with
entrance into the uterine
e. Previous uterine
f. Malpresentation of the
g. Active genital herpes
h. Previous cesarean section
and patient declines
trial of labor
2. Dystocia and failed
induction of labor

a. Cephalopelvic
disproportion, failure to
descend, or arrest of
descent or dilation
b. Failure to progress in normal-
size infant, usually because of
fetal malposition or posture.
c. Failed forceps or vacuum
extractor delivery
d. Certain fetal malformations
that may obstruct labor.
3. Emergent conditions that
warrant immediate

a. Abruptio placentae with

antepartum hemorrhage
b. Umbilical cords prolapse
c. Nonreassuring antepartum
or intrapartum fetal testing
d. Intrapartum fetal acidemia,
with intrapartum scalp of pH
less than 7.20
e. Uterine rupture
f. Impending maternal death
Types of ceserean
Ceserean operations are
classified according to the
orientation (transverse or
vertical) and the site of
placement (lower segment or
upper segment) of the uterine
1. Low transverse (kerr)
The low transverse
uterine incision is the
preferred incision and the
one most frequently used
 The incision is made in the
portion of the uterus,
minimizing chances of
rupture or separation in
subsequent pregnancies.
 The incision requires
creation of the bladder
flap and lies behind
the peritoneal bladder
reflexion, allowing
 Uterine closure is
accomplished more easily
because of the thin
muscle wall of the lower
segment, and the potential
for blood loss is lowest
with this type
of incision.
 This incision may involve
potential extension
into the uterine vessels
laterally and into the
cervix and vagina
2. Low vertical
(Sellheim or Kronig)
The vertical incision begins
in the noncontractile lower
segment but usually extends into

the contractile upper

 This incision is used when a
transverse incision is
not feasible.
1. The lower uterine segment
may not be developed if
labor has not occurred; the
transverse incision may not
provide enough room for
delivery of the infant
Technique of Lower
Segment Section

The loose uterovesical Peritoneum is cut The

peritoneum is picked to expose lower
incision is
up segment, and a small widened
transverse incision with
is made.
The operator’s right hand is passed
into the uterus to lift the baby’s head,
while the assistant presses on the
fundus to push the baby out.
Sometimes it is The uterine
necessary to extract is closed with 2
the head with forceps. layers of catgut
and the
Ergometrine or synthetic oxytocin is
given and the placenta and
membranes removed.
2. Malpresentations of the
term or premature
infant may necessitate
a vertical incision to
allow more room for
delivery of the infant.
3. This incision is
sometimes used when
an anterior placenta
previa is noted to
facilitate delivery without
cutting through the body
of the placenta.
 This incision also requires
creation of the bladder
flap and allows

 The risk of uterine rupture in

subsequent pregnancies
is increased when the
upper segment of the
uterus is entered.
 Uterine closure is more
difficult, and blood loss
is greater if the
upper segment
is involved.
3. Classic incision (Sanger)
The classic incision is
a longitudinal incision in
the anterior fundus.
 This incision is currently
used frequently because
of the significant risk of
uterine rupture in
pregnancies, which can occur
before labor begins, and
higher complication rate.
 Indication for this incision
includes invasive
carcinoma of the cervix,
presence of lesions in the
lower segment of the
uterus (myomas) that prohibit
adequate uterine closure,
and transverse lie with the
back down. It is the
simplest and quickest
 This incision does not require
bladder dissection, and
reperitonealization is not
performed; the potential
for intraperitoneal
adhesion formation is
 Uterine closure is more
difficult because of the
thick muscular upper
segment, and the potential
for blood loss is greater.
1. Patient preparation
a. The patient should be well

b. The preoperative
hematocrit should be
known, and blood should be
readily available as
c. The bladder should be
empty. Placement of a Foley
Catheter is typical.

d. Prophylactic antibiotics are

usually given after
clamping the umbilical cord.
e. Antacids are also given to
reduce acidity of the
stomach contents in
the event that the patient
aspirates material into the

f. Informed consent should

always be obtained.
2. Anesthesia
Most often, anesthesia is
regional (spinal or epidural), but it
can be inhalational (general) as
dictated by the individual
situation. General anesthesia may
result depression of the infant
immediately after delivery, the
degree of which increases with the
length of time from incision to
3. Surgical techniques
 Abdominal incision.
1. The abdominal incision may
be midline, paramedian, or
 Midline- The infraumbilical
vertical midline incision is
less bloody and allows more
rapid entry into the
abdominal cavity.
 Paramedian- A vertical
incision lateral to the

Pfannenstiel – This allows

transverse incision near the
symphysis pubis provides the
most desired cosmetic effect
and is used most often.
2. The incision is made with the
patient on the operating table
in a left lateral tilt to prevent
maternal hypotension and
uteroplacental insufficiency,
which may results from
compression of the inferior
vena cava by the uterus when
the patient is supine.
3. The approach of the uterus
in reference to the peritoneal
cavity can be made in one of
two ways:

a. The transperitoneal
approach is used almost
exclusively today. The parietal
peritoneum is opened to
expose the abdominal
contents and uterus.
b. The extraperitoneal approach
is mentioned for historical
purposes; it has been virtually
abandoned since the advent of
effective antibiotics. This
approach was devised for cases
of amnionitis to avoid seeding
the abdominal cavity in attempts
to decrease the risk of peritonitis.
 Uterine Incision
The pregnant uterus is
palpated and inspected for
rotation. The type of uterine
incision is selected depending on
development of the lower uterine
segment , presentation of the
infant and placental location
(1) A Bladder Flap is
created to approach the
lower uterine segment. The
reflection of bladder
peritoneum is incised and
dissected free from the
anterior uterine wall, exposing
the myometrium.
(2) Incision of the
myometrium is
 Delivery of the Infant
(1) The infant is delivered with
the hand, forceps, vacuum
extraction, or breech

(2) The Placenta is delivered

spontaneously or can be
removed manually.
 Wound Closure
(1) The uterus is often
exteriorized to
massage the fundus, inspect
the adnexa, and facilitate
visualization of the wound
for repair.
(2) The uterine cavity is
cleaned . Oxytocics are
administered as indicated to
facilitate contraction of the
myometrium and
(3) A transverse uterine
incision is closed in one or
two layers. A vertical incision
usually is closed in three layers
because of the myometrial
thickness of the upper
(4) The peritoneum of the
bladder reflection can be
either reattached with the fine
absorbable sutures or,
typically, left open.

(5) The abdominal incision is

closed in the usual manner.
Common postoperative
complications include the
following conditions:

1. Endomyometritis
Postoperative infection is
the most common
complication after cesarean
a. The average incidence of
endomyometritis is 34 to
40 %, with a range of 5 to 85%.

b. Risk factors include lower

socioeconomic status, prolonged
labor, prolonged duration of
ruptured membranes and the
number of vaginal
c. Infection is polymicrobial and
includes the following
organisms: aerobic
streptoccoci, anaerobic gram-
positive cocci, and aerobic
and anaerobic gram-
negative bacilli.
d. Use of prophylactic antibiotics
at the time of the procedure
decreases incidence. With the
use of modern, broad-spectrum
antibiotics, the incidence of
serious complications,
including sepsis, pelvic abscess,
and septic thrombophlebitis,
is less than 2%.
2. Urinary Tract Infection

a. Urinary tract infections are

the second most common
infectious complications
following cesarean delivery
after endomyometritis.
Incidence varies from 2 to 16%.
b. Practices that decrease risk
include preparing the patient
properly and minimizing
duration of catheter.
3. Wound Infection
a. The incidence of
postcesarean wound infection
rates ranges from 2.5 to
b. Risk factors includes
prolonged labor,
ruptured membranes,
amnionitis, meconium
staining morbid obesity,
anemia, and diabetes
c. Common isolates includes
Staphylococcus aureus,
Escherichia coli, Proteus
mirabilis, Bacteroides sp., and
Group B streptococci
4. Thromboembolic
a. The incidence is 0.24% of
deliveries, and deep
vein thromboses are
three to five times more
common after cesarean
b. Diagnosis and
are the same as for
nonpregnant women. Prompt
diagnosis and treatment
decrease the risk of
complicating pulmonary
embolus to 4.5% and that of
death to 0.7%
5. Cesarean Hysterectomy
a. Hysterectomy after
cesarean delivery is an
procedure that occurs in less
than 1% of cesarean
b. Indications include uterine
atony (43%), placenta accreta
(30%), uterine rupture (13%),
extension of a low transverse
incision (10%), leiomyoma
preventing uterine closure, and
cervical cancer.
6. Uterine Rupture in Future
a. The risk of rupture of
previous cesarean scar
varies with the location of
the incision.
(1) Low transverse scar
(2) Low vertical scar
(3) Classical scar
b. Separation of the uterine scar
can be categorized as
dehiscence or rupture
(1) a dehiscence is a
frequently asymptomatic
separation and is found
incidentally at the time of
repeat cesarean or on
palpation after a vaginal
(2) Uterine Rupture is a
catastrophic event with sudden
separation of the uterine scar
and expulsion of the uterine
contents into the abdominal
Vaginal Birth after
cesarean section
Previous cesarean section
is no longer a contraindication to
subsequent labor and a vaginal
birth. All women who are
candidates should be counselled
adequately and encouraged to
attempt a vaginal birth.
1. Considerations
The risk of a vaginal birth
after cesarean section, when
performed in the proper setting,
are less than the risks of a
repeat cesarean section.
a. There are 60 to 80% rate
of successful vaginal
delivery after previous
cesarean section.
b. One third of all cesarean births
are repeat cesareans and an
effective strategy to
decrease the current
cesarean section rate is to
encourage vaginal births
after cesarean section, when
safely indicated.
2. Prerequisites
a. No maternal or fetal
contraindications to

b. Previous low transverse

cesarean section, with
documentation of the
uterine scar.
c. Informed consent
regarding risks and benefits
of repeat cesarean and
vaginal birth.

d. Personnel able to perform

emergency delivery and
appropriate facility.
3. Contraindications
a. previous classic uterine
b. Maternal or fetal
contraindications to
c. Trial to labor declined by
d. Previous low vertical
scar, unless absence of
upper segment
extension is well

e. History of more than two

prior cesarean sections.
An Episiotomy is an incision
of the perineum made to
enlarge the vaginal outlet to
facilitate delivery.
 It is made at the end of
the second stage of labor
just before delivery,
when indicated.
 It increases the area of the
outlet for the fetal head
during delivery,
particularly in assisted
deliveries with forceps
or the vacuum

1. An episiotomy is used
to prevent lacerations
2. Prophylactic episiotomy
has been advocated to
prevent pelvic relaxation,
although this has never been
Episiotomy incisions

Postero - J-shape Median


1. Median or Medial
This incision should be
one- half the length of the
distended perineum and is cut
vertically in the midline of the
perineal body.
a. Advantage
less blood loss, easier
to repair, more comfortable
during healing.
b. Disadvantage
Possible occurrence of
inadvertent cutting or
extension into the anal sphincter
and rectum. It is important to
recognize and repair this
complication during repair of the
episiotomy so that
rectovaginal fistula does not
2. Mediolateral Episiotomy
This incision of the
perineum, at a 45 angle to the
hymenal ring extends
to the anus onto the inner
thigh, allowing more room than
a median incision.
a. Advantage
More room with less
risk of injury to the rectum
and sphincter.
b. Disadvantage
More difficult to
repair, more blood loss,
more discomfort during
Fracture of Long Bones
The bone most commonly
broken are the clavicle, humerus and
femur as a result of too forcible
delivery. In the case of the clavicle
there may be no signs at all and
callus is felt 2 weeks later. In the case
of the long bones the Moro reflex will
be absent in that limb and X-ray will
be required.
Moro Reflex
In response to
a sudden noise or
vibration, the arms
and legs are extended
and then approach
each other with slight
shaking movements.
Moro Reflex
Damage to the Brachial
This is caused by
lateral flexion of the neck during
vertex or breech delivery.
 Erb’s Palsy
C5,6. This is the most
commonest. Abductors and
flexors of the upper arm are
affected, and
the arms are
hangs in the
“water’s tip”
 Klumpke’s Paralysis
C8. T1 is rare. The hand is
paralysed with wrist
drop and absence
of grasp reflex.

Most degrees of injury may be left

untreated but gentle physiotherapy is
essential to prevent stiffness and
delayed recovery. Severe injury
should be renewed by an orthopaedic
Depression Fracture of the
This may be occasionally be caused
by the tip of the forceps
blade in a difficult
delivery. Usually no
treatment is necessary
but if cerebral irritation
or paresis is observed,
surgical intervention
may be required.
Facial Palsy
Paralysis of the facial nerve caused
by pressure from the forceps made
on the nerve as it
emerges from the
foramen. Recovery
occurs in a matter of
days, and any delay is
an indication for
further investigation.
Sternomastoid Tumor
A painless lump in the sternomastoid
muscle, appearing in the first week of
life. It has traditionally
been attributed to
trauma, but its etiology
is unknown. Torticollis
is an occasional sequel,
and the mother should
be instructed to put the
muscle on the stretch for
3 or 4 periods a day.
Superficial Head Injuries
Minor abrasions may be sustained
during forceps
delivery or from
the use of the
vacuum extractor.
They need only
local treatment
as a rule but
dense connective tissue prevents
vessel retraction and scalp wounds
bleed freely.
Caput Succedaneum
(‘ Substitute Head’). This is a
occurrence cause
by the pressure
of the cervix
venous and
lymphatic scalp
drainage labor. A serous effusion
collects between aponeurosis and
periosteum disappearing a few hours
Is a collection of blood between
periosteum and skull bone which is
limited by the periosteal attachments
at the suture lines. It is due to trauma
and may not appear until
several hours after
birth. It should not be
aspirated or drained
and will normally be
absorbed within a few
Intracerebral Hemorrhage is
usually a sequence of hypoxic
damage with subsequent
hemorrhage from damaged blood
vessels. This will commonly
cause significant long-term
Subdural Hemorrhage
This is a rare condition in
modern obstetric practice. It is liable
to complicate any cranial injury,
leading to hemorrhage over the
cerebral convexity and to hematoma
formation. Some localising signs may
appear but the diagnosis is difficult,
and the condition must always be
borne in mind if cranial injury is
Tears of the Dura Mater
This injury is a
consequence of excessive
moulding and may occur in
prolonged, unsupervised labors.
The fetal brain is protected against
damage in labor by:
 Softness and moulding of
membranous bones
 Ability of fontanelles to ‘give’
slightly on pressure.
 Cushioning effect of cerebrospinal
 Anatomical arrangement of dural
septa with their free edges.
 Plasticity of brain tissue.
Tentorial Tear
This lesion is associated with difficult
deliveries such as high forceps or
breech, but can occur after
spontaneous vertex
delivery. The signs
and symptoms are
those of asphyxia and
definite diagnosis is
made only at post- mortem