Mike Leidig
Phone: +41 1 81140-319
Tue, 14.01.2003
pte20030114049 Health/Medicine
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New technique for Caesarean section developed
Women lose as half as much blood

Vienna, Austria (pte049/14.01.2003/12:34) - Doctors from the Vienna General Hospital (AKH) have developed a new technique for carrying out a Caesarean section that is less painful and faster than traditional methods. The 'Caesarean light' takes 20 minutes and has successfully been tested on 1,000 women at the Department of Gynaecology at the Vienna AKH over a period of two years.

Professor Elmar Armin Joura of the Gynaecology Department of the Vienna university medical teaching hospital said that women lose half as much blood under the new technique. "We realised that many of the steps involved in the old technique were unnecessary and that a simplification would be beneficial to women," Joura told journalists.

Under the new technique, the abdomen is opened using blunt dissection and not sharp dissection as under the traditional method. The skin is cut with a knife but gentle retraction is used for all other tissues. Dissection of the tissue takes place at the point of greatest weakness to avoid damaging blood vessels, and so contributes to the reduction of blood loss.

The new technique also omits the dissection of the urinary bladder, which is in front of the uterus. "If the cut is made at the right level, we found that we had wonderful exposure of the lower segment of the uterus," Joura said.

Furthermore, the new technique involves only three continuous layers of stitching, and so uses less material and is faster. Traditional methods, which involved seven layers of stitching, also compromised blood flow and so the natural healing process.

Fewer stitches lead to fewer adhesions in the abdomen allowing the tissue to heal naturally, Joura said. Women are also encouraged to drink immediately after the operation because this has been found to improve their bowel function. They also take solid foods within six hours and data has shown that this measure considerably reduces the need for subsequent painkillers. Moreover, they are allowed to get out of a bed within eight hours of the operation. Joura said that the follow-up data showed that fertility was not compromised and was even better than under the old technique.

Papers on the new technique have been published in the journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the AKH has had so many requests for information that it has now produced a video on the subject. Fifteen per cent of all births in Austria now involve a Caesarean section compared with ten per cent ten years ago.

Submitter: pressetext.austria
Contact: Mike Leidig
Phone: +41 1 81140-319