Cervical Cerclage or Cervical Stitch
September 23, 2011
What is Cervical Cerclage?
Cervical Cerclage, also known as cervical stitch, is a surgical procedure for the treatment of incompetent cervix, which places stitches in the cervix to hold it closed. It is used in an attempt to prevent preterm labor.
Cervical Cerclage is performed under anesthesia. It is most often performed between weeks 12 and 14. Sutures are inserted into and around the cervix and then removed near the end of pregnancy.
Cerclage may also be done later in pregnancy, but is most successful when performed before Week 20 of pregnancy.
Why Perform a Cervical Cerclage?
Cerclage is performed when a woman has an incompetent cervix. It is also done if a woman has an abnormally shaped or damaged cervix. A damaged or abnormally shaped cervix might allow the cervix to open during pregnancy.
Cerclage is also sometimes used when a woman has had a previous miscarriage during the second trimester of pregnancy that came on with little or no contractions.
How Long Will the Cerclage Remain in Place?
Generally, the Cerclage will be left to hold the uterus closed until Week 37 or 38 of pregnancy.
Why Don’t All Women with Preterm Labor Receive Cerclage?
There are many different causes and treatments for preterm labor. Cerclage is only helpful in cases where there is an abnormal, damaged, or incompetent cervix.
Your health care provider will be able to help evaluate your condition and decide if Cerclage is recommended.
How Successful is Cerclage?
Cerclage aids many women with high-risk pregnancies carry their babies for a longer term. It is not as successful in cases of twin pregnancies, and may cause them to deliver early.
There is no way to predict whether or not Cerclage will be successful.
What are the Risks of Cerclage?
Risks of Cerclage include infection, excessive blood loss, preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, damage to the cervix, permanent closure of the cervix, and tearing of the cervix or uterus
When Cerclage is performed you must stay in the hospital for several hours or overnight. You will be monitored for preterm labor. Your doctor may give you medication to help prevent preterm labor and infections.
Following surgery you will need to rest at home for 2-3 days.
Cervical Cerclage must be removed before labor begins.