Maternal consequences of caesarean section. A retrospective study of intra-operative and postoperative maternal complications of caesarean section during a 10-year period

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1997 Jul;74(1):1-6. doi: 10.1016/s0301-2115(97)02725-5.


Objectives: This study was performed to assess the intra-operative surgical complications and postoperative maternal morbidity rate of caesarean section.

Study design: A total of 2647 women, delivered by caesarean section in our department between 1983 and 1992, were studied retrospectively. Three caesarean section groups were formed: (1) primary elective, (2) primary acute, without any effort to deliver vaginally, and (3) secondary acute, due to a failed vaginal delivery. The Student's-t-, Fisher-exact- and chi 2-test were used for statistical analysis.

Results: The overall maternal intra-operative complication rate was 14.8%. The most common complications were lacerations of the uterine corpus (10.1%) and bloodloss > or = 1000 ml (7.3%). The complication rate of the secondary group (23.4%) was significantly higher (p < 0.001) compared to both primary groups (7.4%). The overall maternal postoperative morbidity rate was 35.7%. Fever (24.6%), bloodloss between 1000 and 1500 ml (4%), haematoma (3.5%) and urinary tract infections (3.0%) were the most frequent complications. The primary elective group showed significantly (p < 0.001) lower major (2.6%) and minor (23.7%) complication rates compared to the emergency groups (major 5.2%, minor 34%).

Conclusion: Emergency caesarean sections carried the greatest risks regarding maternal complications compared to elective procedures.

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section / adverse effects*
  • Cesarean Section / mortality
  • Female
  • Fever
  • Hematoma / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Obstetric Labor Complications
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Uterus / injuries