Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Objective: To review our practice of diagnosing and managing third and fourth degree perineal tears.
Method: Retrospective case series conducted by reviewing medical records of all women having singleton, full term vaginal delivery at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi from November 1990 to October 2005.
Results: The frequency of obstetric anal sphincter injury (OASI) in our department was 0.5% (135) out of a total of 26,844 vaginal deliveries. Seventy five percent were nulliparous (102). Forceps delivery was performed in 86 patients out of 135 (63.7%). In only 28 patients (20.7%), the diagnostic criterion for classification of third degree tears was used. For the repair of third degree tear end-to-end method was performed on 97 (71.9%) patients. Twenty nine women had subsequent uncomplicated vaginal deliveries. None of these patients were subjected to endo-anal ultrasonography and/or anal manometry. The documented evidence regarding planning of future delivery was found in only 4 cases.
Conclusion: The frequency of distribution of third and fourth degree perineal tear in our study was 0.5% which is significantly lower than clinically suspected or recognized. Our study shows that 75.5% patients were nulliparous and the use of forceps for delivery was 63.7% among more than 50% of these patients. This indicates that forceps delivery if possible should be avoided or substituted with vacuum delivery which has a lower incidence of OASI. Most of the management was according to international accepted standards except that 72.3% were stitched under local analgesia.
Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association
(2008). Practices regarding diagnosis and management of third and fourth degree perineal tears. Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, 58(5), 244-7.
Available at: http://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_women_childhealth_obstet_gynaecol/19