Objective: To determine whether cesarean and operative vaginal deliveries are associated with an increased risk of maternal rehospitalization compared with spontaneous vaginal delivery.
Methods: A population-based cohort study was conducted by using the Canadian Institute for Health Information's Discharge Abstract Database between 1997/1998 and 2000/2001, which included 900,108 women aged 15-44 years with singleton live births (after excluding several selected obstetric conditions).
Results: A total of 16,404 women (1.8%) were rehospitalized within 60 days after initial discharge. Compared with spontaneous vaginal delivery (rate 1.5%), cesarean delivery was associated with a significantly increased risk of postpartum readmission (rate 2.7%, odds ratio [OR] 1.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.8-1.9); ie, there was 1 excess postpartum readmission per 75 cesarean deliveries. Diagnoses associated with significantly increased risks of readmission after cesarean delivery (compared with spontaneous vaginal delivery) included pelvic injury/wounds (rate 0.86% versus 0.06%, OR 13.4, 95% CI 12.0-15.0), obstetric complications (rate 0.23% versus 0.08%, OR 3.0, 95% CI 2.6-3.5), venous disorders and thromboembolism (rate 0.07% versus 0.03%, OR 2.7, 95% CI 2.1-3.4), and major puerperal infection (rate 0.45% versus 0.27%, OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.6-1.9). Women delivered by forceps or vacuum were also at an increased risk of readmission (rates 2.2% and 1.8% versus 1.5%; OR forceps: 1.4, 95% CI 1.3-1.5; OR vacuum: 1.2, 95% CI 1.2-1.3, respectively). Higher readmission rates after operative vaginal delivery were due to pelvic injury/wounds, genitourinary conditions, obstetric complications, postpartum hemorrhage, and major puerperal infection.
Conclusion: Compared with spontaneous vaginal delivery, cesarean delivery, and operative vaginal delivery increase the risk of maternal postpartum readmission.
Level of evidence: II-2.