Objective: The purpose of our study was to examine early repair of episiotomy dehiscences in a large urban hospital setting serving a predominantly indigent population.
Study design: Since September 1, 1989, we have proceeded with early repair in the immediate postpartum period. The medical records of 34 of 35 patients who underwent early repair were reviewed.
Results: Of the 34 patients, 21 (62%) had midline and 13 (38%) had mediolateral episiotomies. Dehiscence was associated with episiotomy infection in 27 (79%) of the 34 patients: 18 (86%) in the midline group and 9 (69%) in the mediolateral group. Repair was accomplished from 3 to 13 days (mean = 6.4) after dehiscence. Successful repairs were accomplished in 32 (94%) of 34 patients. Two (6%) patients with initial third-degree episiotomies had a subsequent breakdown of their repairs and were allowed to heal by secondary intention.
Conclusions: Although most dehiscences in our population were associated with infection, early repair in this population is associated with a satisfactory outcome in the vast majority.