It's estimated that over 30 percent of women who give by cesarean section experience long-term complications from the procedure, like blood loss, fertility problems, or abdominal pain, which are caused by abnormal scarring at the surgical site. Now this disorder is a recognized ailment, called cesarean scar disorder (CSDi). This designation can bring more attention to the problem, improve the comparison of studies that analyze the issue, and improve treatment options for patients. The findings have been reported in JAMA Network Open.
This study was performed by researchers at the University of Amsterdam and other institutions. In the Netherlands, every year over 30,000 women have a cesarean section. Nearly 60 percent of these women, about 18,000 people, developed a defect in their uterine wall, called a niche, that happens because healing doesn't happen correctly. In that group, about 10,000 have additional symptoms including fertility issues. This study is the first time that a condition encompassing these symptoms has been defined.
An international team of researchers participated in this work, and many of them treat 50 women or more every year who present with symptoms that can be diagnosed as CSDi. These experts agreed on the problems that may arise after a cesarean scar, the characteristics of the condition, and the influences that could cause CSDi. Now there is a clear picture of the disorder, which was built by an international consensus.
Patients will be able to get a diagnosis as well, and many could have easier access to treatment now that the condition has been recognized. Pregnant women and anyone who is planning to have the procedure can also be educated about the potential risks that a cesarean can present. A cesarean section might sometimes be described as a convenient option, and the downsides could be minimized for some.
"A cesarean section is a very important and often lifesaving procedure. But it is important that we do not underestimate the effect this operation can have on the long-term quality of life," added researcher Saskia Klein Meuleman.
The study authors also asked patients about the condition they had defined, and the individuals found that it accurately reflected their experiences, and nothing more was needed, said Klein Meuleman.
Sources: University of Amsterdam, JAMA Network Open