Episiotomy

An episiotomy is an incision made in the tissue between the vagina and anus (perineum) during childbirth, just before the baby's head is delivered. An episiotomy may be done to help deliver the baby or to help prevent the muscles and skin from tearing.

After delivery, an episiotomy incision is stitched closed. Episiotomies can be different depths. For instance, a second-degree episiotomy is a relatively small incision, while a fourth-degree episiotomy extends from the vagina into the rectum. Smaller episiotomies heal faster and with less pain.

Last Updated: December 4, 2009

Author: Sandy Jocoy, RN

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.