Ask Dr Arun
1 – Episiotomy is a part of a protocol in a Normal Delivery, especially when it’s a first delivery. It is occasionally required in multi delivery too.
2 - Episiotomy is a surgical cut in the perineum as the baby is born to increase the opening of the vagina.
Episiotomy is basically a preventive procedure. In 25 percent of the patients who are delivering for the first time, if episiotomy is not given as a preventive measure there is a distinct chance that the perineum gets torn haphazardly while the baby comes out. When it happens the tear may involve the anal sphincter as well as the rectal mucosa.
Episiotomy prevents this complicated tear. With episiotomy the doctors cut the perineum away from the anal opening and it’s a clean cut. It’s a controlled one. Episiotomy is given after the local anesthesia and hence it is not painful. It’s sutured in layers and gets healed fast without any residual permanent change.
I am aware that now there is emphasis in avoiding episiotomy. But after having conducted more than 5000 deliveries in a rural Indian set up, I am of opinion that as a preventive procedure its value stands forever and those who do away with it, they must have sufficient clinical acumen to know where to wave it. As a general rule no one should take episiotomy out of protocol of a normal delivery at least in those who are delivering their first baby.
The so called assumed side effects of episiotomy like pain, extension
of the healing period, increased bowel incontinence and pain during
intercourse in my opinion are exaggerated and I see all of them paradoxically
in those who have delivered in home in surrounding Indian villages!
(How they wish that they had delivered in a well-equipped hospital!)
In patients who deliver with epidural anesthesia there is invariably a vacuum pump or outlet forceps application. And when any such intervention is required, episiotomy has to be given.
One last point is worth mentioning. When I asked the pointed question
to my patients who were bearing down, tired and fatigued after nearly
twelve hours of labor pains in their first delivery, whether they
would like to deliver a few minutes earlier with episiotomy or would
they prefer few more pains, all urged me to go ahead with episiotomy!
Readers may send questions to our email address. This column is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional or medical advice.
This web page is best viewed in 1024 x 768 resolution.
Last updated April 2009. Over 1,194,000 page views.
This web site is maintained by Washington Publishers, Tallahassee Florida, USA, and uses Sun Domains and Software.
To have objectionable or potentially copyrighted material evaluated for removal on this site, click here.
Copyright © 2000 - 2009 All Rights Reserved Washington Publishers
Washington Publishers is not an affiliate of Inside Washington Publishers.
Learn more about our current privacy and information practices.