A cesarean section refers to the surgical procedure that is an alternative for vaginal delivery. The procedure involves an incision in the mother's abdomen and uterus. The procedure is indicated only in certain cases when there is a health risk to the mother or the baby. However, it is becoming more and more popular among pregnant mothers who opt for C-sections when there is no medical necessity.
It is true that the health care delivery has to be based on the patient's needs. But is it a healthy trend when it comes to patient choice Cesarean section is a question that has to be answered.
The number of pregnant women choosing to have a Cesarean section rose by 36.6 percent from 2001 to 2003 in America according to a health care survey. The study also finds wide variation from state to state in the rate of these types of C-sections, for which there is, no medical necessity.
The controversy over 'patient-choice' C-sections continues in the medical community, with some doctors believing that patients should have the ability to choose a C-section if they prefer. Other doctors believe that patients can never fully understand the risks involved, and should never choose major surgery when it is not necessary.
The rise of 36.6 percent in America's "patient-choice" C-section rate represents an increase from 1.9 percent to 2.6 percent of deliveries in the years 2001, 2002 and 2003 for women with no history of C-sections. The study covers deliveries in the 17 states that release this data. When extrapolated to the nation, the study shows that 267,340 "patient-choice" C-sections were performed over those three years. These 17 states represent approximately 58 percent of the nation's total population.
Arizona had the smallest increase, with 15.7 percent, while Nevada had the largest increase of 56.7 percent. Florida, New York and New Jersey had the highest rates of "patient-choice" C-sections in the latest year studied, 2003.
The alarming rate of increase could be accounted for by the generalized awareness about the surgical option, increased support and advocacy, and women waiting until they are older to have their first child.
Ethical clearance has also been made by the committee, which feels that the procedure is acceptable as long as the patient aware of the associated risks and benefits over vaginal delivery.