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Cervical Cerclage (Cervical Stitch Operation)

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Seema Sharma 94% (248ratings)
MBBS, DGO, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MRCOG
Gynaecologist, Delhi  •  28years experience
Cervical Cerclage (Cervical Stitch Operation)

Cervical Cerclage (Cervical Stitch Operation)

This is also called as cervical stitch operation. The cervix is the mouth or entry point of the uterus which extends into the vagina.

It is advised in cases where a woman may have a previous second-trimester pregnancy loss or some procedure done on the cervix earlier leading to weakness of the cervix. This weakness may lead to a lax birth passage through which a premature baby can slip out accidently, causing a miscarriage or premature birth.

What is it?

It is an operation done to surgically close the cervix so that the baby does not slip out through the open passage. A small suture is passed through the cervix and tied similar to the way one would tie a filled balloon. This stitch is expected to hold the pregnancy and the baby securely inside till we remove the stitch near delivery.

When should it be done?

An emergency stitch may have to be applied anytime during pregnancy when your doctor feels that the cervix is showing signs of opening. These signs may appear on ultrasound scan or while examining your cervix.

An elective procedure is usually done between 12-14 weeks of pregnancy.

What should I expect before the surgery?

You would be admitted to the hospital and put on some intravenous medication to quieten the uterus. Antibiotics may be started on the basis of your vaginal culture reports.

Surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia and takes around 30 minutes.

What happens after the surgery?

Slight bleeding and cramps in the stomach may happen after the surgery and you would be given medications to make you comfortable.

One usually needs to stay in the hospital for one or two days after the surgery to look for signs of miscarriage or any other complication.

Once you go home you should avoid exertion, vaginal intercourse and lift heavy weights( not more than 5-8 kgs) for the rest of the pregnancy.

Please inform your doctor immediately if you have any excessive discharge from the vagina/ fever/ pain in your belly or any other discomfort.

You must follow your doctor's advice on regular checkups and other investigations during the rest of the pregnancy.

When do we remove the stitch?

The stitch remains in place for the rest of the pregnancy till around 37 weeks. It may have to be removed earlier if you start your contractions or go into preterm labor.

The stitch is usually removed without any anesthesia but if there is any problem in its removal because of its position or extra tissue growing over it, then a short anesthesia may be required to cut it.

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