What is it?
A cesarean section (C-section) or abdominal delivery is a surgical procedure performed in order to give birth when a vaginal delivery is not an option due to safety concerns for the mother or baby. Cesarean sections may be planned if certain medical conditions exist, or unplanned during labor if problems with the delivery arise.
How to Prepare
If a patient is having a scheduled C-section, blood tests on the mother and tests on the maturity of the baby are done before the procedure. The area where the C-section will be performed will be shaved in preparation for the surgery. In unplanned C-sections, additional preparations cannot be done due to the nature of the event, but mothers will sign a consent form and discuss anesthesia options with the anesthesiologist. A catheter will be inserted in order to empty the bladder, and blood pressure, pulse, and temperature will be monitored.
What happens during the procedure?
To perform a C-section, the surgeon must anesthetize the mother using an epidural that numbs the lower half of the body but allows the mother to stay awake. The abdomen is shaved of any hair, and surgical drapes are used to block the mother’s view so that she does not witness the incision. A single incision is made horizontally across the lower abdomen where the uterus is, and the baby is removed through this incision. Suturing after the birth is done in order to stitch the opening back together.
Risks and Complications
Risks include bleeding, infection, blood clots, reactions to the anesthesia, endometriosis, and damage to the surrounding organs and tissue.
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