Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Cesarean delivery, also known as c-section, is a major abdominal surgery involving
two incisions (cuts): One is an incision through the abdominal wall, and the second is an incision involving the uterus to deliver the baby. While at times absolutely necessary, especially in emergencies or for the safety of the mother or the baby, cesarean childbirth is not a procedure to be undertaken lightly by the doctor or the expectant mother. During the surgical delivery, if not an emergency, the woman may be awake but numb from the chest to the legs.
History of the C-section: Legend has it that the Roman leader Julius Caesar was delivered by this operation, and the procedure was named after him. However, Caesar's mother lived many years after his birth, and at that time, the operation most likely caused death in the mother. In addition, no mention is made of this procedure prior to the Middle Ages; therefore, Caesar's contribution to the naming of this operation is practically impossible. The most likely origin for the term is in reference to a Roman law created in the 8th century BC that ordered the procedure in the last few weeks of a pregnancy in dying women to save the child's life.
Frequency of C-section: The rate for cesarean delivery increased steadily from 4.5% in 1965, 21% in 1998,
to 32% in 2007. Overall, with improvements in anesthesia, pain control, and antibacterial techniques, serious complications from birth through cesarean section have fallen dramatically in the last 30 years.