Anesthetic management of prophylactic cervical cerclage: a retrospective multicenter cohort study

Alexander Ioscovich*, Alla Popov, Yuri Gimelfarb, Yaacov Gozal, Sharon Orbach-Zinger, Joel Shapiro, Yehuda Ginosar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Cervical incompetence complicates approximately 1 in 500 pregnancies and is the most common cause of second-trimester spontaneous abortion and preterm labor. No prospective or large retrospective studies have compared regional and general anesthesia for cervical cerclage.

Study design: Following IRB approval, we performed a retrospective study in the two main medical centers over an 8-year period to assess the association of anesthesia choice with anesthetic and obstetric outcomes. Anesthetic and perioperative details were retrospectively collected from fails of all patients undergoing cervical cerclage from 01/01/2005 until 31/12/2012. Details included demographic data, anesthetic technique, PACU data and perioperative complications.

Conclusions: Both regional and general anesthesia were safely used for the performance of cerclage. Patients after general anesthesia had a shorter recovery time but a higher demand for opioids and non-opioids analgesia.

Results: We identified 487 cases of cervical cerclage in 327 women during the study period. The most commonly used anesthetic technique was general anesthesia (GA) (402/487; 82.5 %) compared with regional anesthesia (RA) (85/487; 17.5 %). When GA was performed, facemask was the most commonly used technique (275/402; 68.4 %), followed by intravenous deep sedation (61/402; 15.2 %); LMA (51/402; 12.7 %) and tracheal intubation (13/402; 3.2 %). There were no significant differences in demographic characteristics between women receiving general and regional anesthesia. Average duration of suturing the cervix among the GA group was 9.8 ± 1.6 and 10.6 ± 2.1 min in the RA group (p < 0.001). Average length of stay in the operating room in the GA group was 20.5 ± 3.9 and 23 ± 4.6 min in the RA group (p < 0.001). Patients receiving GA received in the PACU more opioids (6.2 versus 1.2 %; p < 0.05) and more non-opioids analgesics (36.8 versus 9.4 %; p < 0.001). Duration of PACU stay was shorter after GA (49.5 ± 18 min) than after RA (62.4 ± 28 min; p < 0.001). There were no other differences in anesthetic or perioperative outcome between groups. This study was not designed to provide evidence that RA reduces the risk of pulmonary aspiration, airway complications or adverse fetal neurological effects from maternal anesthetic exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-512
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2015


  • Anesthesia
  • Cerclage
  • Complication
  • Pregnancy
  • Spinal


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