C-section is the most common surgery performed in American hospitals today.
According to the American College of Obstetricians Gynecologists, the national c-section rate currently for the United States is 33%. That means that currently 1 out of 3 pregnant women will have c-section at the end of her pregnancy. This is the highest rate it has ever been in the field of OB/GYN.
Due to a variety of factors, that rate is projected or estimated to rise up to 50% by the year 2020.
With these kinds of rates in mind, professional medical societies as well as patient advocacy groups are looking at potential complications of all types of cesarean sections. One adverse event from cesarean section that has, until recently, escaped much public notice or medical awareness has been the possibility of fetal lacerations.
What is the fetal laceration?
Fetal laceration is an adverse event that may occur during uterine entry whereby the surgeon inadvertently lacerates, or cuts, part of the baby using the scalpel. I assure you this is a completely accidental occurrence.
According to published literature this can occur in up to a maximum of 3% of all cesarean sections. However, due to vast under reporting of this adverse event in medical records, patient charts, and published literature, it is really hard to arrive at an accurate estimate of the true incidence of fetal lacerations.
Although I do not perform many cesarean sections today or practice much Obstetrics anymore, I can assure you – sadly to say – that I am not immune to this occurrence. I can recall several incidences where I have inadvertently lacerated either part of the baby's cheek, back or buttocks. Although traumatic for me, I can assure you it was probably much more dramatic for the baby, and the baby's parents.
Thankfully most of these lacerations are mild and don't require any severe therapy or follow-up. However case reports in the literature have been published where plastic surgery, future stitching, or in extreme cases- further surgery- is required to repair the injury.
Due to the reality of fetal lacerations I was very pleased, encouraged, and excited to recently learn about a new medical device which has been FDA approved in an attempt to reduce fetal lacerations from occurring. Brolex, LLC has manufactured a safer way to enter the uterus during C-section. This device, call C SAFE, is a revolution in cesarean section performance. It's unique design allows for uterine entry all the while preventing fetal injury, protecting the baby.
Introducing C SAFE: Making Cesarean Sections a Bit More Baby Friendly
This is what medical technology should be all about! Taking adverse events of the past, learning from them, and modified the technique and procedure to improve outcomes and prevent injuries. I'm proud to come on board with the C SAFE team, and help educate and promote this more "baby friendly" cesarean birth.
After all, the first gift the baby receives should not be from the surgeons hand in the form of a laceration!
as the medical director for the Women's Specialty Center in Oak Cliff and is involved in minimally invasive gynecological research. He is a graduate of UT Southwestern Medical School with training at Parkland Memorial hospital. He serves as a member of the academic faculty at Methodist Medical Center Dallas. Additionally, Dr Chapa serves as a peer reviewer for the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.He is a published author on gynecologic surgery and was part of the FDA post approval study for the Essure 305 system. Additionally, he is a consultant to Ethicon Gynecare as well as Conceptus,Inc. Dr Chapa has been an invited faculty member in South Africa, the European Union, The Netherlands, Norway and Canada. Lastly, Dr Chapa has served as a Texas Lobbyist for reimbursement of in office procedures. (This website reflects the sole posts and opinions of the author and not of any one organization or institution. This website is not corporately funded nor corporately affiliated).
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Dr Chapa is a nationally and internationally recognized speaker for advancement of women’s health care. He is a Board Certified OBGYN in private practice in Dallas, Texas. He currently serves