Are multiple cesarean sections safe?

Daniel S. Seidman*, Ido Paz, Andrei Nadu, Shaul Dollberg, David K. Stevenson, Rena Gale, Shlomo Mashiach, Gad Barkai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


To assess the maternal and neonatal risk associated with high-order cesarean sections, a case-control study was carried out in two university affiliated maternity wards. The outcome of 154 pregnancies of women undergoing cesarean section for the 4th time or more was compared with 148 women sectioned for the 2nd or 3rd time and 132 women of similar age and parity after spontaneous birth. The main outcome measures were maternal operative and postoperative morbidity and neonatal prematurity and its complications, Apgar scores, and the need for intensive care. Women undergoing multiple (≥4) cesarean sections had significantly more intra-abdominal adhesions (P < 0.0001) than women sectioned for the 2nd or 3rd time. However, the time interval from incision to delivery and the total duration of operation were similar. The postoperative course was not adversely affected by multiple cesarean sections. A high incidence (16.2%) of preterm cesarean deliveries was noted in the study group. This was due to non-elective repeat cesarean delivery rather than to poor timing of scheduled cesarean sections. The significantly increased (P < 0.05) need for neonatal intensive care was explained by the higher occurrence of prematurity. Low Apgar scores (≤ 7) at 1 and 5 min were significantly (P < 0.01) related to multiple cesarean sections, even after controlling for the effect of gestational age. We conclude that multiple cesarean sections pose little risk for the mother, but may be associated with increased neonatal risk, attributed mainly to preterm non-elective cesarean sections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Cesarean section
  • Postoperative morbidity
  • Prematurity


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