How a Cesarean Section Is Done
Most cesarean sections are done with Reference epidural Opens New Window or Reference spinal anesthesia Opens New Window, used to numb sensation in the abdominal area. Only in an emergency situation or when an epidural or spinal anesthesia cannot be used or is a problem would fast-acting Reference general anesthesia Opens New Window be used to make you unconscious for a cesarean birth.
The hospital may send you instructions on how to get ready for your surgery, or a nurse may call you with instructions before your surgery.
In preparation for a cesarean section, your arms are secured to the table for your safety, and a curtain is hung across your chest. A tiny Reference intravenous (IV) Opens New Window tube is placed in your arm or hand; you may be given a Reference sedative Opens New Window through the IV to help you relax. A Reference catheter Opens New Window is inserted into your Reference bladder Opens New Window to allow you to pass urine during and after the surgery. Your upper pubic area may be shaved, and the abdomen and pubic area are washed with an antibacterial solution. The incision site may be covered with an adhesive plastic sheet, or drape, to protect the surgical area.
Before, during, and after a cesarean section, your blood pressure, heart rate, heart rhythm, and blood oxygen level are closely monitored. You will also be given a dose of antibiotics to prevent infection after delivery.
Cesarean procedure and delivery
After the anesthesia is working, a doctor makes the cesarean incision through your lower abdomen and Reference uterus Opens New Window. See a picture of Reference cesarean section incisions Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window. You may notice an intense feeling of pressure or pulling as the baby is delivered. After delivering your newborn through the incision, the doctor then removes the Reference placenta Opens New Window and then closes the uterus and the incision with layers of stitches.
Right after surgery, you will be taken to a recovery area where nurses will care for and observe you. You will stay in the recovery area for 1 to 4 hours, and then you will be moved to a hospital room. In addition to any special instructions from your doctor, your nurse will explain information to help you in your recovery.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference February 23, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Deborah A. Penava, BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology