C Section



A cesarean birth (C-section) is the delivery of a baby through an incision in the mother's abdomen.

Cesarean Delivery
Cesarean Delivery
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Possible Complications

Cesarean birth is a surgery. There are some risks involved. Your doctor will review potential problems like:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Decreased bowel function
  • Damage to other organs in the abdomen
  • Longer hospital stay and recovery time
  • Allergic reactions to anesthesia
  • Risk of additional surgeries, including hysterectomy , bladder repair, or repeat C-sections with future pregnancies

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Prior cesarean birth
  • Prior surgery of the uterus
  • Abnormal placenta
  • Obesity
  • Smoking



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

a (C-Section)

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American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org 

American Pregnancy Association http://www.americanpregnancy.org 


Canadian Women's Health Network http://www.cwhn.ca 

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org 


Cesarean birth. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq006.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130719T1543190286. Published May 2015. Accessed March 9, 2018.

Cesarean procedure. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/cesarean-procedure. Updated July 20, 2017. Accessed March 9, 2018.

Cesarean section. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:  http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116315/Cesarean-section  . Updated January 16, 2018. Accessed March 9, 2018.

Quinlan J. Cesarian Delivery: counseling issues and complication management; Am Fam Physician. 2015 Feb1;91 (3):178-184

7/21/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance. Available at:  http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116315/Cesarean-section  : De Luca R, Boulvain M, et al. Incidence of early neonatal mortality and morbidity after late-preterm and term cesarean delivery. Pediatrics. 2009;123:e1064-1071.

10/23/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance. Available at:  http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116315/Cesarean-section  : Abd-El-Maeboud KH, Ibrahim MI, et al. Gum chewing stimulates early return of bowel motility after caesarean section. BJOG. 2009;116:1334-1339.

12/4/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance. Available at:  http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116315/Cesarean-section  : Marín Gabriel M, Llana Martín I, et al. Randomized controlled trial of early skin-to-skin contact: Effects on the mother and the newborn. Acta Paediatr. 2010;99(11):1630-1634.

6/2/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance. Available at:  http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116315/Cesarean-section  : Mills E, Eyawo O, et al. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.

3/11/2015 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance. Available at:  http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116315/Cesarean-section  : Girsen AI, Osmundson SS, et al. Body mass index and operative times at cesarean delivery. Obstet Gynecol. 2014;124(4):684-689.