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Surgical Procedures for Preterm Labor and Delivery

In rare cases, preterm labor is because of inadequate connective tissue in the cervix, which allows the cervix to open too early. One option to treat this weak tissue is cervical cerclage. In this procedure, your doctor stitches a band of strong thread around your cervix to help hold it closed. You will be given anesthesia to numb the area or to put you asleep during this procedure. The band is removed at 36-38 weeks of pregnancy to allow for normal delivery. This can also be done with a ring called a pessary.

Revision Information

  • Cervical cerclage. Maternal and Infant Care Clinic. University of Washington Medical Center website. Available at: http://depts.washington.edu/dippweb/micc-cervcerc.pdf. Accessed March 2, 2016.

  • Drakeley AJ, Robetrts D, Alfirevic Z. Cervical stitch (cerclage) for preventing pregnancy loss in women. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(1):CD003253.

  • Premature birth. Mayo Clinic website. Available at:http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premature-birth/basics/definition/con-20020050. Updated November 27, 2014. Accessed March 2, 2016.

  • Preterm labor. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Preterm-Premature-Labor-and-Birth. Accessed March 4, 2016.

  • Prevention of preterm labor and preterm birth. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 3, 2015. Accessed March 2, 2016.