Monday, May 9, 2011

Ask Us Anything: What is the Recovery Time for a Cesarean Section?

"What is the average recovery time for a C-section? What can someone with autoimmune issues, such as lupus, expect? How will lupus affect my pregnancy, both before and during delivery?"

Dr. Ali Ghomi Responds:

The average hospital stay after a cesarean section is 3 to 4 days. Full recovery may take 4 to 6 weeks.

Having said that, mothers are usually able to care for themselves and their newborn with minimal discomfort after a few days. It is recommended to have support at home at least during the first week after delivery.

For the most part, chronic autoimmune conditions should not prolong one's recovery after delivery.

Lupus, a disease in which your immune system attacks healthy cells and tissue, occurs frequently in women of childbearing age.

Generally speaking, pregnancy outcomes are more likely to be complicated in patients with Lupus. The prognosis for mother and the baby is best when the condition has been under control for at least 6 months prior to conception.

The Lupus patient should have pre-conception counseling with her obstetrician to review medications and perform a history and physical examination.

Lupus flare or exacerbation can occur during pregnancy. Pregnant patients with Lupus are at an increased risk of certain conditions such as:
  • toxemia of pregnancy or preeclampsia – a pregnancy-related blood circulation problem that causes high blood pressure and affects the kidneys, liver, brain, and placenta
  • hypertension – high blood pressure
  • fetal loss
  • growth restriction of the fetus – a condition in which a fetus is unable to achieve its potential size
  • pre-term delivery – birth of a baby of less than 37 weeks gestational age
It is very important that pregnant patients with the diagnosis of Lupus be closely monitored by their obstetrician. In addition, co-management with high-risk-pregnancy specialists and/or rheumatologist/nephrologists may be warranted in certain cases.

The delivery should occur in a controlled environment. Mode of delivery may be vaginal or via cesarean section, which is determined by many factors such as the gestational age at the time of delivery and the condition of the mother and the fetus.

— Dr. Ali Ghomi

Dr. Ghomi is the Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery and Chair of The Robotic Surgical Committee at Sisters of Charity Hospital. He is the only physician in Western New York who performs Sacrocolpopexy Prolapse surgery using the da Vinci® robot. Sacrocolpopexy is a proven “gold standard” procedure worldwide to repair severe pelvic prolapse. Click here to learn more about Catholic Health's OBGYN services.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

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