Risks of c-section

A Cesarean or C-section is a surgical procedure performed by Best Gynecologist in Islamabad to deliver a baby through abdominal or uterine incisions. C-sections are considered only when vaginal delivery is not possible. Even though a c-section is a commonly performed surgery, it is not without risks. Read on to know what are the risk factors associated with c-section:

What are the risk factors of c-section to the mother?


Your healthcare provider will weigh the benefits and the risks of performing a c-section. In many instances, it is safer for the baby to be delivered through c-section. The possible risk factors to the mother include:

  • Reaction to anesthesia: anesthetic medication can cause immediate adverse effects.
  • Blood loss: there is risk of heavy bleeding during and even after the surgery. The average blood loss during vaginal delivery is around 500 cc but for c-section, it is twice that much. As the surgeon cuts the blood vessels to access the uterine wall, there is blood loss. Most healthy women can tolerate this blood loss without any complication.
  • Injury to organs: even though surgical injuries are rare, organs like the bowel, bladder and ureter are at risk of damage during the procedure. In case of injury, additional surgical procedures may be needed.
  • Lacerations: if the baby is big, or if the c-section incision is small, the passage of the baby can cause tears or lacerations, which can accidentally cause bleeding from the surrounding vasculature.
  • Uterine atony: following the delivery of the baby and the placenta, the uterus must contract to minimize blood loss. However, with prolonged labor, large baby or multiple births, the uterus may remain relaxed and atonic. This can increase chances of hemorrhage and blood loss.
  • Amniotic fluid embolism: this is a serious complication that occurs as the amniotic fluid enters the bloodstream of the mother.
  • Emergency hysterectomy: damage to the uterus during c-section, or excessive bleeding may necessitate removal of the uterus during the c-section to save the life of the mother. This is a rare complication.
  • Adhesions: these are scars that form inside the pelvic cavity causing blockage and pain. Adhesions rarely cause immediate symptoms, but may prove troublesome in future pregnancies and surgeries.
  • Reaction to medication: there can be reaction to the pain and other medication during the procedure.
  • Death of the mother: though rare, unprecedented complications can even result in death.

What are the risk factors of c-section to the baby?


Even though there is less risk to the baby in c-section, there are chances of some harm. These include:

  • Surgical injury: accidental injury to the baby—though rare—may occur as the uterus is opened to deliver the baby. In most cases, the babies recover without any problem.
  • Breathing troubles: for babies born before 39 weeks, breathing difficulties can occur if delivered through c-section. These breathing problems are relieved with time and treatment in a few days.

What are the complications post-surgery?


  • Wound infection: bacteria can enter the body through the site of incision and cause inflammation, abscess formation and infection. This usually occurs with poor wound care. Management may include intravenous and oral antibiotics and cleaning of the wound.
  • Deep vein thrombosis: this complication can occur in the post-surgical period due to slowing down of blood in the lower extremities. With the stasis of blood, clots are likely to form, and they can travel up to the lungs to arrest breathing. This is called pulmonary embolism.
  • Postpartum bleeding: blood loss following the delivery is called postpartum hemorrhage. This can happen after the c-section if the blood vessels are not stitched properly or there is a tear in the nearby tissue. In around 6 percent of deliveries, there is the complication of postpartum hemorrhage. Hemorrhages are emergencies, though most women recover completely after treatment. Recommended treatment options include: IV fluids, iron supplements, medication, vitamins and blood transfusion to replace the blood loss.


More information about the risks and complications of c-section are available at oladoc.com.

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