Health Information

Surgical Procedures for Preterm Labor and Delivery

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In rare cases, preterm labor is due to inadequate connective tissue in the cervix, which allows the cervix to open too early. One option to treat this weak tissue is cervical cerclage. In this procedure, your doctor stitches a band of strong thread around your cervix to help hold it closed. You will be given anesthesia to numb the area or to put you asleep during this procedure. The band is removed at 37-38 weeks of pregnancy to allow for normal delivery.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm
  • Review Date: 09/2012 -
  • Update Date: 03/18/2013 -
  • Cervical cerclage. Maternal and Infant Care Clinic. University of Washington Medical Center website. Available at: http://depts.washington.edu/dippweb/micc-cervcerc.pdf. Accessed September 26, 2005.

  • Drakeley AJ, Robetrts D, Alfirevic Z; Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group. Cervical stitch (cerclage) for preventing pregnancy loss in women. The Cochrane Database and Systematic Review. 2010;(2).

  • Preterm labor. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org. Accessed June 1, 2009.

  • Premature birth. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?objectid=DB81ABF4-378D-453B-AFD7BF32AD6F01E7&dsection=1. Accessed September 26, 2005.