Cerclage Placement

Barbara Schroeder, MD provides minimally invasive obstetric procedures in Houston, including cerclage placement. Cerclage placement is necessary for pregnant women who have a cervical weakness. Cervical weakness during pregnancy can lead to a late miscarriage or premature birth due to the cervix shortening and opening too early before the baby is due.

pregnant woman holding her tummy

Also known as a “cervical stitch,” cerclage placement is an obstetric procedure in which a gynecological surgeon places sutures to close the cervix when it is opening prematurely during a pregnancy. Before pregnancy, a woman’s cervix is long, firm, and closed. During pregnancy, it gradually softens and dilates over time. This dilation can begin too early for women with short cervixes or cervical weakness and lead to pregnancy loss. The suture placed in cerclage placement is meant to prevent the cervix from opening too soon, allowing the pregnancy to go to term.

Dr. Schroeder often recommends cerclage placement for her patients in the following instances:

  • There is a history of second-trimester pregnancy loss

  • Prior cerclage placement in previous pregnancies

  • Cervical dilation during the second trimester

  • Short cervical length (less than 25 millimeters) before 24 weeks of pregnancy

Cerclage placement is not recommended for pregnant women who have active vaginal bleeding or those who are in active preterm labor.

Prior to a cerclage placement, Dr. Schroeder will perform an ultrasound to check the baby’s vital signs and assess any potential complications or congenital deformities or abnormalities. During a cerclage placement procedure, the patient receives general anesthesia, depending on their unique needs.

Dr. Schroeder can then perform the procedure transvaginally by inserting a speculum into the vagina and using ring forceps to clasp the cervix. Dr. Schroeder then uses sutures to reduce the dilation of the cervix. She and her team will then perform an additional ultrasound to assess the baby’s well-being. After that step is complete, the patient is discharged to return home. Cerclage placements are typically very simple outpatient procedures.

When cerclage placement is necessary, patients will be monitored closely after cerclage placement to ensure that the remainder of the pregnancy goes smoothly and progresses in an appropriate timeline. As a board-certified obstetrician and a top gynecological surgeon in Houston, Dr. Schroeder can provide all of the obstetric needs you will have during your pregnancy.

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