Thursday, May 19, 2005

No Benefits from Routine Episiotomy

This is a few days old now, but worth noting. The AHRQ (an agency that promotes quality, safe healthcare) released a report saying that routine use of episiotomy for uncomplicated births does not provide any benefits to women. The report says that women who had episiotomies had more pain than those who had tears, and that because it doesn't provide the benefits that people think, the use should be more limited. The full report is online (as a PDF), but is somewhat technical.

Episiotomy is apparently one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures, but these new reports suggest there isn't much evidence to suggest that it does what it's usually intended to do. Interestingly, I found articles suggesting this as far back as the 1970's...

Additional Links:
Episiotomy: A cut you may not need (from MayoClinic.com)
Study warns against unnecessary episiotomies (from Healthfinder.gov)
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