DAVID NUNUK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID NUNUK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Episiotomy. Doctor carrying out an episiotomy on a woman in labour. Episiotomy is a surgical procedure in which an incision is made in the perineum, the tissue between the vagina and the anus, to ease the delivery of a baby. The incision may be directed to the side of the anus or in a direct vertical line with the anus. The wound is repaired shortly after delivery, usually with absorbable sutures. Many obstetricians advocate almost routine use of episiotomy on the grounds that surgical cuts heal better than tears. Others avoid the procedure, arguing that the naturally elastic vagina should not have to be cut to allow a normal delivery.
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