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Cesarean Childbirth (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Watch for complications and contact a health care professional or go to the hospital if severe problems develop.

  • If damage to the bladder occurred during surgery, an abnormal discharge from a catheter placed in the bladder may be noticed. This catheter will be removed at a later visit when the bladder has healed and urination is occurring. Pain or difficulty with urination may suggest a bladder infection.
  • If infection of the fetal tissues or the uterine lining is present, care must be taken in noting the type of discharge from the vagina (abnormal or bad smelling) and whether a fever is present.
  • Worsening abdominal pain, especially when infection of the uterus or tissues of conception is present, may mean a worsening or new infection. Vomiting and an inability to keep down fluids associated with abdominal pain may suggest an unrecognized intestinal injury from surgery.
  • Vaginal bleeding after cesarean delivery, as with a vaginal delivery, should gradually decrease in the days following delivery. A sudden increase in vaginal bleeding should be checked by a doctor.
  • Call a doctor if urinating is difficult or painful.
  • Use home care with a surgical incision, and call a doctor if redness spreads around the wound or an abnormal discharge is coming from it; this may signal an infection.
Seek medical care at a hospital's emergency department for the following concerns:
  • Fever with abdominal pain
  • Separation of the wound edges, blood and fluid loss, or both
  • Severe increase in vaginal bleeding
  • Inability to keep down fluids
  • Abnormal, foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Inability to urinate
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Cesarean Delivery »

Cesarean delivery is defined as the delivery of a fetus through a surgical incision through the abdominal wall (laparotomy) and uterine wall (hysterotomy).

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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