What are the possible complications of 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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See the list below:

  • Approximately 2-fold increase in maternal mortality and morbidity with cesarean delivery relative to a vaginal delivery [18] : Partly related to the procedure itself, and partly related to conditions that may have led to needing to perform a cesarean delivery

  • Infection (eg, postpartum endomyometritis, fascial dehiscence, wound, urinary tract)

  • Thromboembolic disease (eg, deep venous thrombosis, septic pelvic thrombophlebitis)

  • Anesthetic complications

  • Surgical injury (eg, uterine lacerations; bladder, bowel, ureteral injuries)

  • Uterine atony

  • Delayed return of bowel function

The graph below depicts cesarean delivery rates in the US (1991-2007).

Cesarean delivery rates, United States. Cesarean delivery rates, United States.

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