What are the guidelines on preoperative management for a cesarean delivery (C-section)?

Updated: Dec 14, 2018
  • Author: Hedwige Saint Louis, MD, MPH, FACOG; Chief Editor: Christine Isaacs, MD  more...
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Guidelines recommend a minimum preoperative fasting time of at least 2 hours from clear liquids, 6 hours from a light meal, and 8 hours from a regular meal. [11] However, patients are usually asked not to eat anything for 12 hours prior to the procedure. [12]

The following are also included in preoperative management:

  • Placement of an intravenous (IV) line

  • Infusion of IV fluids (eg, lactated Ringer solution or saline with 5% dextrose)

  • Placement of a Foley catheter (to drain the bladder and to monitor urine output)

  • Placement of an external fetal monitor and monitors for the patient’s blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen saturation

  • Preoperative antibiotic prophylaxis (decreases risk of endometritis after elective cesarean delivery by 76%, regardless of the type of cesarean delivery [emergent or elective]) [13]

  • Evaluation by the surgeon and the anesthesiologist

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