Before 2006, many obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) physicians routinely made a surgical cut, called an episiotomy, at the opening of the vagina. Many surgeons were taught that a precise surgical cut would heal better than a natural tear that might happen as the baby passes through the birth canal.
The standard of care has changed, though, and now discourages OB/GYN doctors from routinely performing episiotomies. Mounting evidence shows that the painful procedure often causes more trouble than benefits for women. Episiotomy-related injuries, which sometimes require additional surgical procedures to try and correct, include:
• Perineal tears
• Loss of bladder control
• Loss of bowel control
• Pelvic floor problems
According to The Leap Frog Group, a hospital safety group, this type of surgical cut should only be used in less than 5% of vaginal births. There’s no doubt that an episiotomy is sometimes medically indicated, such as when the baby’s well-being is in danger and needs immediate delivery. If that can happen with an episiotomy then it’s preferable over a more-invasive C-Section surgery.
Some OB/GYNs, though, ignore the modern guidelines and standard of care. They unnecessarily use episiotomies for their own convenience, to speed up deliveries.
If you’ve been seriously injured by an unnecessary episiotomy cut, then a top-rated experienced Houston, Texas medical malpractice attorney can help you evaluate your potential case.
Houston hospitals with episiotomy rates greater than 5%
If you’re planning to have a baby in Houston, Texas, you should know the episiotomy rates of area hospitals. According to recent statistics, these area hospitals exceed The Leap Frog Group’s less than 5% goal for episiotomy rates:
CHI St. Luke’s Health The Vintage Hospital: 8.5%
Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center: 16.3%
Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital: 13.5%
Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital: 29.1%
Houston Methodist Hospital: 8.9%
Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital: 16.7%
Houston Methodist West Hospital: 15.4%
Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital: 11.9%
Houston Northwest Medical Center (Northwest Houston Hospital HCA Houston Northwest): 18.2%
Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center: 7.5%
Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital: 6.9%
Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center: 8.8%
Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital: 10.2%
Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital: 12.9%
St. Joseph Medical Center: 15.5%
Texas Children’s Hospital Pavilion for Women: 5.4%
West Houston Medical Center: 17.9%
Woman’s Hospital of Texas: 13.6%