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.


All GlobeHealer Site content, including graphics, images, logos, and text, among other materials on the site are for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, and you should always contact your physician or qualified health provider for information regarding your health. Information on this site regarding the overview, diagnosis, and treatment of any kind should be looked at, in addition to the advice and information of your health care professional. Do not disregard medical advice or delay seeking treatment or medical advice due to information found on the GlobeHealer site.

If there is even the possibility that you may have a medical emergency, seek treatment, call your doctor, or call your local emergency telephone number immediately. GlobeHealer does not endorse being the first line of communication in case of emergency and does not endorse any specific test, physician, facility, product, procedure, opinion, or other information that is or may be mentioned on this site or affiliated entities. Reliance of any and all information provided by GlobeHealer, its employees, affiliations, others appearing on the Site under the invitation of GlobeHealer, or visitors of the site is solely at your own risk and is not the responsibility of GlobeHealer.

Image Source: