What Is Episiotomy? Why Is It Performed? Advantages & Complications

Surely you have heard about the episiotomy during childbirth, or you yourself already had a baby by this route and they performed it, perhaps you were left in doubt of what it is or why this procedure was performed.

What is an episiotomy?

The episiotomy is an incision in the genital area of ​​women, more properly in the perineum, which is performed to improve the vaginal opening during the expulsion of the baby during delivery.

Why is it done?

The precise indication to perform it is to prevent perineal tears that can cause the baby to leave, as well as helping to shorten the period of expulsion and help it to be carried out more easily to avoid maternal exhaustion, as well as preventing it from occurring. fetal distress at that time, among other risks.

This procedure is not performed on all women and it will be the doctor who according to an adequate assessment of the pelvis and perineal floor, as well as in the expulsion period, who will decide whether or not to do it since it should not be used routinely.

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It all depends on the texture, the conformation of the pregnant woman’s perineum, the characteristics and position of the baby, and the presence or absence of precipitated or prolonged deliveries.

It is carried out by trained Medical personnel during delivery care and always under the knowledge of the woman, as well as prior informed consent, which she must have signed upon admission, explaining the risks and benefits of this procedure.

After the baby’s delivery, the placenta, and all tissues, a review of the entire area is performed and repair of the area is performed by placing stitches under local anesthesia.

Advantages of episiotomy

  • Increase the light of the birth canal.
  • Decrease the expulsion period.
  • void fetal distress.
  • It can minimize and facilitate the repair time that could be delayed and complicated, which can occur when it is not performed and in which there are multiple tears in the vaginal or perineal canal caused by the different parts of the baby’s body that cross the canal in labor, mainly the head and shoulders.

What can be complications?

As with any procedure, there are always immediate, mediate and late complications, so postoperative care is important.

Among these complications, which are usually characterized by the formation of a hematoma, dehiscence, and/or infection of the episiorrhaphy, and which must be resolved by physicians once they are identified.

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Some of them depend on the physical or immunological characteristics of each woman, as well as on the care of the surgical wound, and it is important to assess this when the patient is discharged.

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