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All you need to know about LSCS

Medically reviewed by Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS · Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Sep 07, 2022

    All you need to know about LSCS

    The end of a pregnancy is often not determined by the mother, but rather her body, the baby, and what the doctors deem fit. While vaginal birth is known to be the preferred choice during childbirth, C-section is an option many women consider actively- sometimes by choice, sometimes due to circumstances. LSCS is short for Lower Segment Cesarean Section, which is a common type of C-section (cesarean section).

    What is LSCS?

    There are two kinds of incisions made while the baby is delivered during a C-section surgery. One is a horizontal incision and the other is a vertical incision. The former is also known as the Lower Segment Cesarean Section, wherein the incision is made on the bottom of the uterus.

    This is the most common kind of cut made in C-section surgeries. One major benefit of an LSCS is that it heals faster than a vertical incision. Other advantages include less bleeding and greater chances of a vaginal delivery in the future.

    Why is LSCS needed?

    Owing to its success rate in a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean), LSCS is the preferred incision in at least 95% of C-section surgeries.

    A side-to-side cut is made on the lower part of the abdomen, making it safer for VBAC. This means that while a vertical cut has more chances of breaking open during the next pregnancy, a LSCS lowers this risk by a huge percentage.

    Why is a C-section required in some pregnancies?

    There are times when a C-section delivery is recommended over a vaginal delivery.

    This can be due to the following reasons:

    Prolonged labor

    This means that the mother has had strong contractions for at least 24-36 hours, but her cervix is still not dilated.

    For a normal delivery, the cervix needs to be dilated to 10 cm. Prolonged or stalled labor is the most common reason for a C-section surgery.

    Fetal distress

    Just like labor puts the mother into immense stress, it also puts the baby in the same situation.

    As desperate as the mother is to get the baby out, the same rule applies for the baby as well.

    Because of this, sometimes due to labor, fetal heart rate either races up or slows down more than the usual. The only solution during times like these is a C-section surgery to deliver the baby as soon as possible.

    Fetal position

    The baby can be in a breech position, which puts him or her in danger. This means rather than head first, the baby’s butt or legs are emerging first. If manual positioning (with hands) does not work, then a C-section will be required.

    Chances of placenta previa

    This refers to the placenta covering the cervix. Because of this, the baby won’t be able to come out of the cervix, and hence a C-section will be performed.

    Umbilical cord issues

    There are two key problems that can arise. The umbilical cord is the baby’s lifeline, which can sometimes get wrapped around the baby’s neck. This is a dangerous situation and requires immediate attention.

    Another issue can be that the umbilical cord emerges before the baby in the birth canal. This is risky too as it can threaten the baby’s life.

    Baby is too big

    Also known as Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD), this means that the baby’s head is too large to pass through the mother’s pelvis in a vaginal delivery.

    History of C-section delivery

    Even though LSCS is often used in a C-section, there are times when other kinds of incision are made depending on the condition of the pregnancy. This can sometimes mean that the mother won’t be able to deliver vaginally.


    Fibroids are extremely common due to new lifestyle shifts. These can cause a mechanical obstruction, wherein their size can block the birth canal. Therefore, a C-section will be required in a scenario like this.

    Existing health condition

    If the mother has hypertension, a heart issue, or even developed gestational diabetes, C-sections are considered their only option. Also if the mother has a blood clotting issue, vaginal deliveries are not given as an option to them.

    Multiple pregnancies

    During multiple pregnancies, the chances of one or two babies being in an abnormal position are high. Because of this, C-section surgeries are done for childbirth.

    Risk factors of a C-section

    Even though modern science has depleted many complications and there are fewer chances of suffering through the following, it is good to key in risk factors of a C-section if the mother wishes to opt for it voluntarily:

    Risks to future pregnancy

    In comparison to a vaginal delivery, it is possible for the mother to be more prone to problems after a C-section surgery. These complications can include placenta accreta where the placenta remains attached to the uterine lining or there is a uterine rupture.

    If the mother wishes to opt for a VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) in her next pregnancy, she should ask her doctor if an LSCS is possible, to have a better chance at vaginal childbirth.


    Though enough precautions are taken by surgeons, sometimes a surgical injury to the bladder or the bowel can result in subsequent surgeries.

    Blood loss

    The percentage of blood loss is higher in a C-section surgery than in a vaginal delivery. Some women end up developing postpartum hemorrhage, which requires immediate care or the result can be fatal.

    Fetal wounds

    This is an extremely rare risk, but surgical nicks can cause a wound on the baby’s skin.

    Increased chances of a blood clot

    Pulmonary embolism is a condition wherein the blood clot in the pelvic region during C-section travels up to the mother’s lungs and blocks blood flow.


    Reactions to anesthesia include confusion, nausea, feeling extremely cold, etc.

    Breathing problems in babies

    Sometimes babies develop a breathing issue known as transient tachypnea, which makes them breathe abnormally fast.


    Endometritis is an infection of the lining of the uterus.

    Once the anesthesia wears off, the mother will feel pain in the incisions made during C-section surgery. It is important for the mother to rest as much as possible for her body to heal. The recovery time of a C-section surgery is more than a vaginal delivery, therefore care must be taken. If there is extensive bleeding, consult the doctor right away.

    Learn more about labor and delivery here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS

    Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

    Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Sep 07, 2022

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