URL of this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/presentations/100191.htm

C-section - series—Procedure, part 3

Procedure, part 3

Overview

Next, the surgeon opens the uterus with either a horizontal or vertical incision, regardless the direction of the skin/abdominal incision. A vertical incision on the uterus causes less bleeding and better access to the fetus, but renders the mother unable to attempt a vaginal delivery (must have another repeat C-section) in the future.

If you end up with a horizontal incision, you will have the option of either going through a trial of labor (TOL) or electing a repeat c-section.

The reason for the differences between the two is that patients with vertical uterine incisions have a much higher chance of rupturing the uterus (8-10%) in the future pregnancies, compared to only 1% in those with horizontal incisions.

Review Date 10/4/2016

Updated by: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

Related MedlinePlus Health Topics