Cerclage

ExitCare ImageCerclage of the cervix is a surgical procedure for an incompetent cervix. An incompetent cervix is a weak cervix that opens up before labor begins. Cerclage of the cervix sews the cervix closed during pregnancy.

LET YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER KNOW ABOUT:

  • Any allergies you have.

  • All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.

  • Previous problems you or members of your family have had with the use of anesthetics.

  • Any blood disorders you have.

  • Previous surgeries you have had.

  • Medical conditions you have.

  • Any recent colds or infections.

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

Generally, this is a safe procedure. However, as with any procedure, complications can occur. Possible complications include:

  • Infection.

  • Bleeding.

  • Rupturing the amniotic sac (membranes).

  • Going into early labor and delivery.

  • Problems with the anesthesia.

  • Infection of the amniotic sac.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

  • Ask your health care provider about changing or stopping your medicines.

  • Do not eat or drink anything for 6–8 hours before the procedure.

  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure.

PROCEDURE

  • An IV tube will be placed in your vein. You will be given a sedative to help you relax.
    You will be given a medicine that makes you sleep through the procedure (general anesthetic) or a medicine injected into your spine that numbs your body below the waist (spinal or epidural anesthetic). You will be asleep or be numbed through the entire procedure.

  • A speculum will be placed in vagina to visualize your cervix.

  • The cervix is then grasped and stitched closed tightly.

  • Ultrasound may be used to guide the procedure and monitor the baby.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

  • You will go to a recovery room where you and your unborn baby are monitored. Once you are awake, stable, and taking fluids well, you will be allowed to return to your room.

  • You will usually stay in the hospital overnight.

  • You may get an injection of progesterone to prevent uterine contractions.

  • You may be given pain-relieving medicines to take with you when you go home.

  • Have someone drive you home and stay with you for up to 2 days.