pregnant woman at doctor's appointment hands on stomach

Are Episiotomies Outdated?

As new technologies continually push the advancement of modern medicine, some long-trusted treatments are found to be lacking. In many scenarios, decades-old procedures are replaced with new techniques after thorough research is conducted.

 

In the same vein, hospitals have started to look at the benefits of episiotomies and have asked the question, are they still relevant?

Defining Episiotomy

An episiotomy is when a practitioner makes an incision in the perineum - the tissue between the opening of the vagina and the anus - to help deliver a child. Essentially, an episiotomy is meant to help a baby’s head or shoulders make it through the vaginal canal during delivery.

 

In the past, episiotomies were thought to prevent more extensive vaginal tears during the birthing process. Additionally, doctors used to believe that cuts from episiotomies healed better than natural tears.

 

However, research suggests that general episiotomies do not heal better than natural tears, and do not prevent more extensive vaginal tearing. Does this mean that episiotomies are no longer used?

Practiconer-Recommeneded Episiotomies

In some cases, practitioners may suggest that mothers get episiotomies when:

 
  • The baby’s shoulder is stuck behind the pelvic bone;

  • The baby has an abnormal heart rate;

  • The mother needs an operative vaginal delivery.

 

Regardless of the facts, the mother must agree to an episiotomy regardless of the scenario. Unfortunately, medical practitioner negligence may have caused the necessity of an episiotomy in the first place.

Talk to an Attorney After a Delivery

If you or your child suffers birth injuries during or after a delivery, it’s wise to talk to an experienced Portland birth injury firm about your case. Angel Law can examine the facts of your case to determine if practitioners’ caused undue harm or distress to you or your baby leading to personal injuries.

 

Believe a medical practitioner injured you or your child during your delivery? Call (503) 862-8666 for a free consultation with our birth injury attorneys.

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