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Non-invasive emergent cerclage using a plastic sling: case series

Abstract

Cervical incompetence represents a controversial problem for the modern obstetrician. Treatment modalities since its description have changed with time. Shirodkar and McDonald cerclage techniques have remained the mainstay in the treatment of women with incompetent cervices performed either electively or emergently. The most feared complication of an emergency cervical cerclage is the rupture of membranes during the procedure, especially when the cervix is wide open and the membranes are protruding. To decrease that complication, some methods to reduce the prolapsed membranes have been used: filling the bladder with 0.45% saline solution through a Foley catheter, performing an amniocentesis to decrease intra-amniotic pressure and subsequent reduction of the prolapsed membranes as well as the use of balloons to push the membranes back into the uterus before the placement of a suture. Nevertheless, the introduction of such a sharp instrument like a needle in order to place the suture is a very risky step. Lately, a silicone pessary has also been used to perform cerclages but with disparate results. We present the successful use of an innovative method in 3 patients with cervical incompetence who presented with pregnancies <24 weeks and cervical effacement with protruding membranes into the vagina.

  • cerclage
  • cervical incompetence
  • preterm birth
  • Plastic sling
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