An Episiotomy is an incision performed between the vagina and the rectum that is used to increase the size of the opening of the vagina to assist in delivery of a baby. The usual cut (incision) for an Episiotomy goes straight down and typically does not involve the muscles around the rectum or the rectum itself. Anesthesia in the form of nerve blocks or local injections of anesthetic are given if the patient has not received regional anesthesia (such an epidural) for the delivery.

As well as having certain benefits a number of complications can arise from an Episiotomy. Episiotomy can be associated with extensions or tears into the muscle of the rectum or even the rectum itself. 

For more information on perineal tears click here

Complications can include:




 Defects in wound closure 

 Local pain

 Sexual dysfunction

 Rectal, perineal and vaginal tears


Studies have shown conflicting results regarding the question of whether performing an Episiotomy results in greater postpartum pain than not performing the procedure.

However, it is important to note that if the baby needs to be delivered more urgently, then waiting for the mother to push it out without the assistance of an Episiotomy may in certain cases cause harm to the fetus. Also, there are some tears that occur when no incision is made that are very difficult to repair and cause greater blood loss than might otherwise occur.

If you believe that you may have been injured as a result of an episiotomy or other birth injury you may be able to claim compensation.

The team of specialist medical negligence solicitors at Chadwick Lawrence is led by Tony May, a specialist birth injury and cerebral palsy solicitor with birth related injury compensation cases. He has an excellent record in high value and complex cases, many resulting in multi-million pound settlements. Tony has over 20 years experience in dealing with cases in which babies have been brain damaged or sustained other injuries as a result of negligent care and management before, during or following birth. He continues to represent many cerebral palsy children and young adults in medical negligence claims and after settlement he provides ongoing support as the Court of Protection Deputy for many of his cerebral palsy and brain damaged clients.

Tony can be contacted by email on anthonymay@chadlaw.co.uk or by telephone on 01484 519999. Alternatively, you could call our team on the freephone number below.Our dedicated team of specialist clinical negligence, birth injury and cerebral palsy solicitors deal with birth injury claims countrywide. We are based at our Huddersfield office but can visit you in your home or in hospital if you are unable to attend at one of our West Yorkshire offices. If you believe that your child or a member of your family may have sustained a birth injury from an episiotomy as a result of medical negligence and/or negligence by a midwife, please contact our specialist medical negligence Legal Aid and no-win-no-fee lawyers for free legal advice.

Contact Chadwick Lawrence for free legal advice on FREE PHONE 0800 028 2969 or email:anthonymay@chadlaw.co.uk

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