Menu Close

Timing of Elective Repeat Cesarean Delivery at Term and Maternal Perioperative Outcomes


Tita, Alan T. N.; Lai, Yinglei; Landon, Mark B.; Spong, Catherine Y.; Leveno, Kenneth J.; Varner, Michael W.; Caritis, Steve N.; Meis, Paul J.; Wapner, Ronald J.; & Sorokin, Yoram, et al. (2011). Timing of Elective Repeat Cesarean Delivery at Term and Maternal Perioperative Outcomes. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 117(2, Part 1), 280-286. PMCID: PMC3127233


OBJECTIVE: Elective repeat cesarean delivery at 37 or 38 weeks compared with 39 completed weeks of gestation is associated with adverse neonatal outcomes. We assessed whether delivery before 39 weeks is justifiable on the basis of decreased adverse maternal outcomes.
METHODS: We conducted a cohort study of women with live singleton pregnancies delivered by prelabor elective repeat cesarean delivery from 1999 through 2002 at 19 U.S. academic centers. Gestational age was examined by completed weeks (eg, 37 completed weeks=37 0/7-37 6/7 weeks). Maternal outcomes included a primary composite of death, hysterectomy, uterine rupture or dehiscence, blood transfusion, uterine atony, thromboembolic complications, anesthetic complications, surgical injury or need for arterial ligation, intensive care unit admission, wound complications, or endometritis.
RESULTS: Of 13,258 elective repeat cesareans performed at 37 weeks of gestation or later, 11,255 (84.9%) were between 37 0/7 and 39 6/7 weeks (6.3% at 37, 29.5% at 38, and 49.1% at 39 completed weeks), and 15.1% were at 40 0/7 weeks or more. The primary outcome occurred in 7.43% at 37 weeks, 7.47% at 38 weeks and 6.56% at 39 weeks (P for trend test=.09). Delivery before 39 weeks was not associated with a decrease in the primary outcome when compared with delivery at 39 weeks (adjusted odds ratio 1.16; 95% confidence interval 1.00-1.34). Early delivery was associated with increased maternal hospitalization of 5 days or more [1.96 (1.54, 2.49)] but not with a composite of death or hysterectomy or with individual maternal morbidities.
CONCLUSION: Elective repeat cesarean delivery at 37 or 38 weeks is not associated with decreased maternal morbidity.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Obstetrics & Gynecology


Tita, Alan T. N.
Lai, Yinglei
Landon, Mark B.
Spong, Catherine Y.
Leveno, Kenneth J.
Varner, Michael W.
Caritis, Steve N.
Meis, Paul J.
Wapner, Ronald J.
Sorokin, Yoram
Peaceman, Alan M.
O'Sullivan, Mary Jo
Sibai, Baha M.
Thorp, John M., Jr.
Ramin, Susan M.
Mercer, Brian M., for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units (MFMU) Network