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Episiotomy - series—Indication



An episiotomy may be needed if the baby's head is too big for the mother's vaginal opening, or the baby is in a breech position (feet or buttocks coming first) and there is a problem during delivery.

Just before the baby is born and while the woman is awake and pain-free (local anesthesia), an incision is made at the bottom of the vaginal opening to enlarge it for the delivery of the baby's head.

Review Date 9/12/2011

Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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