Cervical Cerclage to Prevent Premature Birth

Cervical Cerclage Can Prevent Premature Birth

Risks of Preterm Birth

When a baby is born prematurely, he or she is at a heightened risk for birth injuries, including intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), periventricular leukomalaia (PVL), hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), seizures, sepsis, hydrocephalus, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and motor disorders.

It is your doctor’s responsibility to do everything possible to prevent preterm birth. This includes measuring your cervix between the 14th and 24th week of pregnancy. When the cervix begins to shorten or open too early, it can cause late-term miscarriage or premature birth. If it is determined that you have a short or incompetent cervix, a procedure called cervical cerclage should be performed to reduce the increased likelihood of preterm delivery and subsequent birth injury.

What is Cervical Cerclage?

Cerclage placement involves stitching the cervix closed with strong sutures to help the cervix remain closed under the weight of the baby. This procedure is highly recommended when it is determined that the cervix is too short or the cervical tissue is weak. Cervical insufficiency is suspected of causing 20-25% of the premature births that occur during the second trimester. Cerclage can be very effective in preventing these miscarriages.

Reinforcing the cervix is the main goal of cervical cerclage, but cervical lengthening is a secondary objective. Although the procedure is usually performed through the vagina, it can also be performed through an abdominal incision. The transabdominal cerclage is suitable for cases where the cervix is very short or totally distorted.

Additionally, if you have suffered a previous miscarriage or premature delivery, and your doctor suspects a cervical insufficiency, he or she may recommend cervical cerclage prior to the 14th week of pregnancy as a preventative measure. Although short cervical length is more likely to cause premature birth than cervical incompetence, experts agree that the procedure offers protection in both instances.

Risk Factors and Indications

Special attention should be given to any mother who has been previously diagnosed with cervical insufficiency or preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM), has received a cervical biopsy, has had multiple or late-term abortions, experienced D & C procedures, or suffered a torn cervix during a previous traumatic delivery.

Twins and multiples are also at an increased risk for early delivery. Consistent monitoring via weekly ultrasound is often recommended for all high-risk mothers, as is treatment for cervical insufficiency when necessary. Following cervical cerclage, regular monitoring remains still essential. Without complication, the stitches will be removed between 36 and 38 weeks of pregnancy, earlier if the membranes rupture or an infection occurs.

Responsibilities of the Medical Staff

Your doctors, and the other medical professionals attending to you, are responsible for your health and the well-being of your unborn child. It is your physician’s duty to perform all the tests and procedures necessary to accomplish these goals.

A short or incompetent cervix is a significant risk factor for preterm birth and can be effectively treated when properly diagnosed. Your doctor should determine your risk by taking your health history, doing a physical exam, and utilizing transvaginal ultrasound when appropriate. If cervical insufficiency is diagnosed, cervical cerclage may be recommended. Additionally, you should be informed of hormonal treatment options that have proven to be very effective in the prevention of preterm birth.

Birth Injury Lawyers in Michigan

When you are expecting a child, the last thing you want is any sort of complication, which is why you place your trust in a professional who has the knowledge and experience to recognize a problem early and the tools to resolve it. If you feel that your doctor has been negligent or incompetent, and your child was born prematurely because of such carelessness, reach out to the professionals at Thurswell Law.

For over 48 years, we have been helping Michigan families receive monetary compensation for the negligence of medical professionals. Call 248-354-2222 to schedule a free consultation. No fee unless you collect.

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Southfield, MI 48075

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