Postoperative cesarean section morbidity: a prospective study

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1983 Aug 15;146(8):911-6. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(83)90963-8.


During a 3-year period, 1,319 women delivered of their infants by cesarean section were prospectively studied to determine the type and rate of postcesarean complications and to identify risk factors which predispose to postoperative morbidity. The overall complication rate was 14.5% and the most common complication was infection (13.3%), in particular, endometritis (6.6%), urinary tract infection (3.1%), and wound infection (1.6%). A lower complication rate was seen in elective operations (4.7%) compared with emergency operations (24.2%). Four significant factors that predispose to postoperative morbidity were identified: duration of ruptured membranes prior to operation (p less than 0.001), duration of labor prior to operation (p less than 0.001), anemia (p less than 0.01), and obesity (p less than 0.01). Patients with a combination of risk factors had an increased complication rate, in some cases as high as 91%. The clinical relevance of these findings in trying to decide possible ways to reduce the complication rate by changing the delivery routines is discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anemia / complications
  • Cesarean Section / adverse effects*
  • Emergencies
  • Endometritis / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Labor, Obstetric
  • Obesity / complications
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Puerperal Infection / etiology
  • Risk
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology
  • Time Factors
  • Urinary Tract Infections / etiology