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What you should know
Cervical cerclage, or cervical stitch, is a procedure to close your cervix during pregnancy. Cerclage may help prevent premature delivery of your baby. The stitches may be removed around week 37 of pregnancy. The procedure is usually done through the vagina but can be done through the abdomen.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
You may bleed more than expected or develop an infection. Your cervix may tear. Your bladder, intestines, or amniotic sac may be damaged. Your risk for a miscarriage may increase. You may have contractions or vaginal bleeding. Your cervix may not be able to open or shorten in preparation for delivery. You may develop a permanent narrowing of your cervix. Your water may break and you may go into labor.
The week before your procedure:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
- Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- You may need blood or urine tests before your procedure. You may also need an x-ray or ultrasound. Talk to your healthcare provider about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.
The night before your procedure:
- You may be given medicine to help you sleep.
- Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
- Your bowel may need to be emptied and cleaned out before the procedure. A healthcare provider will show you how to give yourself an enema.
The day of your procedure:
- Ask your caregiver before taking any medicine on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
What will happen:
A speculum will be inserted into your vagina to hold it open. You may have a small incision in your abdomen instead. Stitches or tape will be used to close your cervix tightly. If you have an abdominal incision, it will be closed with stitches. A sanitary pad will be placed.
After your procedure:
You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your procedure.
- You have a fever.
- You get a cold or the flu.
- You have questions or concerns about your procedure.
Seek Care Immediately if
- You feel something bulge out from your vagina.
- You have clear fluid coming from your vagina.
- You have lower abdominal or back pain.
- You have regular contractions.
- You have vaginal bleeding.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.