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Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Feb;87(2):238-43.

T and J vertical extensions in low transverse cesarean births.

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Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, USA.



To determine the frequency of T and J extensions in low transverse cesarean births at a regional perinatal center, identify the indications for these incisions, and evaluate the associated complications.


We reviewed the medical records of 56 patients delivered between January 1988 and November 1994 by low transverse cesarean birth requiring vertical extension of the incision into-the upper uterine segment. Cases of extension were compared with controls matched for gestational age, presentation, and indication for cesarean delivery. Data collected included demographic information, indications for extension, extension type, estimated blood loss, intraoperative complications, and length of hospital stay. Paired Student t test and McNemar test were used for statistical analysis.


Vertical extensions were performed in 1.3% (95% confidence interval 0.42-2.26%) of low transverse incisions over a 7-year period. The most common indications were malpresentation (n = 31), poorly developed lower uterine segment (n = 12), and fetal head deeply arrested in the midpelvis (n = 6). Estimated blood loss was greater for patients requiring an extension (990 +/- 310 mL) compared with controls (790 +/- 150 mL), as were differences in preoperative versus postoperative hemoglobin and hematocrit (P < .05). Surgical complications were observed in 28 of 56 (50%) subjects with a uterine extension, including excessive blood loss (n = 20), broad ligament hematomas or extensions (n = 4), cervical lacerations (n = 4), and uterine artery lacerations (n = 4). Patients with vertical extensions also had longer hospital stays (4.6 +/- 1.6 versus 3.8 +/- 1.1 days) (P < .05).


Low transverse uterine incisions may be inadequate for the safe delivery of a fetus in cases of malpresentation, preterm birth, and poor development of the lower uterine segment. Used to complete these difficult deliveries, T and J extensions are often associated with intraoperative complications and prolonged hospital stays compared with controls.

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