Review of episiotomy and the effect of its risk factors on postepisiotomy complications at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.

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From: Nigerian Medical Journal(Vol. 61, Issue 2)
Publisher: Medknow Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 3,513 words
Lexile Measure: 1750L

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Byline: Chidiebere. Ononuju, Rosemary. Ogu, Tamunomie. Nyengidiki, Michael. Onwubuariri, Simeon. Amadi, Elizabeth. Ezeaku

Aim: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of episiotomy and postepisiotomy complications and to assess the relationship between the risk factors and postepisiotomy complications in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. Methodology: This was a descriptive longitudinal study, in which 403 consecutive women who had episiotomy in the labor ward were recruited for the study. They were followed up and reviewed at the postnatal clinic on the 1st and 6th weeks postdelivery. Data regarding age, marital status, occupation, educational status, address, parity, booking status, postepisiotomy complications, and the associated risk factors were entered adequately into a prestructured pro forma, and statistical analysis was done using statistical software (SPSS for Windows® version 19.0). t-test was used to explore the association of risk factors to postepisiotomy complications. Results: The episiotomy rate was 22.1%. The prevalence of postepisiotomy complications was 52.1%. The mean age of the women was 23.8 (standard deviation [+ or -] 3.2) years. Seventy-two (34.3%) patients had perineal pain, which lasted for 72 h or more; 61 (29.1%) had difficulty in walking, while 37 (17.6%) had perineal discomfort. Four (1.9%) had wound infection and only one (0.4%) had wound dehiscence. The development of postepisiotomy complications was not statistically significantly associated with risk factors such as gestational age (T = 1.4, P = 0.1), packed cell volume on admission (T = 1.0, P = 0.2), duration of first stage of labor (T = 0.5, P = 0.1), duration of second stage of labor (T = 0.7, P = 0.3), duration of rupture of fetal membranes (T = 0.8, P = 0.4), delivery repair interval (T = 0.6, P = 0.2), estimated blood loss (T = 0.9, P = 0.2), duration of Sitz bath (T = 1.0, P = 0.2), duration of analgesic (T = 1.2, P = 0.1), duration of antibiotics (T = 1.3, P = 0.1), or the operator who performed or repaired the episiotomy (P = 0.2). Conclusion: The prevalence of episiotomy and postepisiotomy complications in this study was high. Necessary attention should be given to ensure adequate pain relief for all parturients who had episiotomy, and the policy of restrictive use of episiotomy should be fully implemented in the department in line with the best practices and evidence-based recommendations. This will further reduce the incidence of episiotomy rate as well complications that may arise from it and ensure a positive pregnancy experience for pregnant women.


Episiotomy is a surgical incision made on the perineum to enlarge the vaginal orifice during the last part of the second stage of labor to aid vaginal delivery.[1],[2] As it was first described in the 10th century, it has become one of the most practiced obstetric procedures worldwide.[3],[4] It helps to facilitate delivery and prevent the complications of labor in the mother and her neonate.[4]

The WHO recommends an episiotomy rate of 10% for all normal deliveries.[5] A selective episiotomy policy has resulted in worldwide downward trend...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A623903201