Determinants of cesarean-related complications: high number of repeat cesarean, operation type or placental pathologies?

Simsek D., Urun C., Altekin Y.

JOURNAL OF MATERNAL-FETAL & NEONATAL MEDICINE, vol.34, no.22, pp.3768-3774, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 22
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14767058.2020.1765332
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.3768-3774
  • Keywords: Cesarean delivery, complication, emergency cesarean, placenta previa totalis, repeat cesarean
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Cesarean delivery (CD) is one of the most common operations worldwide. Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) could be a solution to decrease increased CD rates. On the other hand, risks of VBAC on maternal and neonatal outcomes drifts physicians and patients to a scheduled CD. Successive CDs, especially after the 3rd operation, increase complications for the fetus and the mother. Operation type (emergency or elective CD) could be a risk factor of increased morbidities, like placental implantation anomalies. Evaluation of these conditions related to complications and morbidities were investigated. Material and methods: Women who underwent the fourth and more repeat CD in Bursa Yuksek Ihtisas Training Research Hospital between March 2016 and December 2019 were retrospectively reviewed. Pre-operative characteristics, per-operative and post-operative complications were reviewed. Patients were separated into groups as operational type, repeat cesarean number, and major morbidities. A comparison between groups was evaluated. Results: A total of 46.048 women gave birth, of which 17,721 underwent CDs with a rate of 38%. The rate of primary CD was 18%. The number of the fourth or more CD performed was 854. The number of patients who underwent fourth and fifth or more CD and of these operational data could be accessed was 599 and 145, respectively. The overall complications were detected as severe adhesions (n: 220), preterm delivery (n: 91), stillbirth (n: 9), admission to NICU (n: 98), bladder injury (n: 10), uterine scar dehiscence (n: 6), uterine rupture (n: 6), uterine atony (n: 26), blood transfusion requirement (n: 68), preterm delivery (n: 91), placenta previa totalis (n: 24), morbidly adherent placenta (n: 14), hysterectomy (n: 12), partial uterine resection (n: 2), uterus-conserving interventions (n: 26). The number of patients with major morbidity was 105. Emergency cesarean performed in 339 of 744 patients. A comparison of the emergency cesarean group with elective repeat cesarean group revealed no significant difference in operative adverse outcomes. Comparing patients between 4th repeat CD with 5th and more CD revealed a significant difference in severe adhesion, morbidly adherent placenta and hysterectomy. Previa totalis were detected in 24 patients. All of them experienced major morbidity with 12 of them underwent hysterectomy. The rest of them performed Uterus-conserving treatments (B-Lynch Suture, Bacri Balloon, Hypogastric artery ligation ) and a total of 51 units of packed red blood cells and 32 units of Fresh Frozen Plasma were transfused to 9 (37%) of 24 patients. Conclusion: The major risk factor of the morbidity is placenta previa whose incidence has dramatically increased after 3rd cesarean. Emergency cesarean did not increase the complication rate in the present study. Fourth and more repeat CDs ought to be performed by experienced obstetricians in high-equipped tertiary hospitals.