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Cervical Cerclage: Baltimore Legal Advice



If you've experienced complications due to a cervical cerclage procedure, such as cervical insufficiency or premature labor, you might be dealing with the consequences of medical malpractice.

Cervical cerclage is a surgical procedure meant to prevent preterm birth or miscarriage by stitching the cervix closed.

However, if the procedure was not performed correctly or if there was a failure to inform you of the risks, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Understanding your options can help you seek justice and compensation for any harm suffered.

What is Cervical Cerclage? 

Cervical cerclage is a medical technique used to support the cervix in women who are at risk of premature birth.

By placing a strong cervical stitch around the cervix, the procedure helps to keep it closed and secure, preventing it from opening too early during pregnancy.

This vaginal method is crucial for women with cervical insufficiency, where the cervix weakens and dilates prematurely, often leading to pregnancy loss or preterm delivery. Monitoring cervical length is also essential in managing and deciding the need for a cerclage.

Common Uses of Cervical Cerclage

Cervical cerclage is most commonly used for women with cervical insufficiency or a history of preterm births. Cervical insufficiency, sometimes known as an incompetent cervix, occurs when the cervix begins to open too early during pregnancy, leading to a risk of preterm birth or miscarriage.

This procedure is typically recommended for women who have experienced second-trimester miscarriages or have undergone surgeries on the cervix that weaken its structure. By reinforcing the cervix, cervical cerclage helps to prevent early dilation and supports a full-term pregnancy.

Types of Cervical Cerclage

There are several types of cervical cerclage, each tailored to different circumstances and timing in pregnancy:

  • History-Indicated Cerclage: Performed based on past pregnancy losses due to cervical insufficiency.
  • Ultrasound-Indicated Cerclage: Recommended when a short cervix is detected via ultrasound before 24 weeks in women with a history of preterm birth.
  • Emergency Cerclage: Conducted when significant cervical changes are observed during pregnancy without contractions or infection.

How to Know if You Have a Cervical Cerclage Case

If you believe you may have a case related to cervical cerclage malpractice, consider the following:

  • Unexpected Complications: Assess if you experienced complications such as infection, cervical tearing, or preterm labor that were not properly managed.
  • Informed Consent: Determine if you were fully informed about the risks and potential outcomes before the procedure.
  • Medical Errors: Identify any procedural errors or misdiagnoses related to your cervical cerclage.
  • Consult a Specialist: Seek advice from a medical malpractice attorney who specializes in obstetric cases.
  • Document Everything: Collect all medical records, document your symptoms, and note any additional treatments required.

Detailed Procedure Information for Cervical Cerclage

Before undergoing cervical cerclage, your healthcare provider will conduct several assessments. This includes reviewing your medical history and performing a transvaginal ultrasound to examine the cervix and plan the procedure.

During the Procedure: The procedure involves techniques like McDonald or Shirodkar, where a stitch is placed around the cervix to prevent it from opening prematurely. Various types of anesthesia, such as general or regional anesthesia, are administered to ensure comfort during the surgery.

Post-Procedure Care: After the procedure, you will be given specific recovery instructions, including activity restrictions and signs of potential complications to monitor. Follow-up care is essential to ensure the health and progress of your pregnancy, including regular check-ups with your healthcare provider.

Risks and Complications

Cervical cerclage, while beneficial, carries several potential risks:

  • Infection: The procedure may introduce bacteria into the cervix, leading to infection, especially if a speculum was used during placement. 
  • Cervical Tearing: The cervix may tear during the procedure or if labor begins with the stitches still in place.
  • Preterm Labor: The procedure itself can sometimes trigger premature contractions.
  • Anesthesia-Related Issues: Complications can arise from using anesthesia, such as allergic reactions or adverse effects.

It's essential to carefully consider these risks alongside the benefits to make an informed decision. Discuss these factors thoroughly with your healthcare provider to understand the potential outcomes and ensure the best care for your pregnancy.

Success Rates and Benefits of Cervical Cerclage

Cervical cerclage has proven to be an effective intervention for women at risk of preterm birth.

Success Rates:

Cervical cerclage has shown significant success in preventing preterm birth, with success rates ranging from 85% to 90%, particularly when placed between 12-14 weeks. These statistics highlight its effectiveness in maintaining pregnancies to full term, especially for women diagnosed with cervical insufficiency.


The primary benefit of cervical cerclage is its ability to improve pregnancy outcomes by providing additional support to a weakened cervix. This reinforcement helps prevent premature dilation, reducing the risk of miscarriage and preterm labor, and promoting a safer, full-term pregnancy for women with cervical insufficiency.

When is Cervical Cerclage Not Recommended?

Cervical cerclage is not always the best option for every pregnant woman. Here are some contraindications:

  • Active Infections: If there is an active infection in the uterus, a cervical cerclage should be avoided as it can exacerbate the condition.
  • Multiple Pregnancies: Women carrying multiples (twins, triplets, etc.) are typically not recommended for this procedure due to the higher risk of complications.
  • Significant Cervical Changes Detected Late in Pregnancy: If the cervix has already undergone substantial changes or dilation later in the pregnancy, a cerclage might not be effective or safe.

Removal of Cervical Cerclage

Timing and Process: Cervical cerclage is typically removed between 36 and 38 weeks of pregnancy. During the removal process, your healthcare provider will carefully cut the suture holding the cervix closed, which is often done in an outpatient setting and can be similar to a routine pelvic exam.

Circumstances Requiring Earlier Removal: There are situations where the cerclage may need to be removed earlier than planned. These include the onset of labor, water breaking (rupture of membranes), or signs of infection. In such cases, immediate removal is necessary to prevent complications and ensure the safety of both the mother and baby.

Legal Considerations and Lawsuits Related to Cervical Cerclage

Medical malpractice in cervical cerclage procedures occurs when a healthcare provider fails to meet the standard of care, causing harm to the patient.

This could include surgical errors during the cerclage, misdiagnosing cervical insufficiency, or not properly informing the patient about potential risks and complications of the procedure.

Grounds for a Lawsuit:

  • Scenarios that may lead to a lawsuit include:
  •  Misdiagnosis of cervical insufficiency
  •  Procedural errors during cerclage placement or removal
  • Failure to inform patients of risks and potential complications

Steps to Take:

If you believe you have a case:

  • Consult a specialized medical malpractice attorney. 
  • Gather all relevant medical records and documentation.
  • Document any complications, treatments, and additional expenses.

Potential Compensation:

Compensation might be available for:

  • Medical expenses incurred due to malpractice
  • Pain and suffering experienced as a result of the procedure
  • Lost wages if the malpractice affected your ability to work

Understanding these legal aspects can help you navigate the complexities of medical malpractice related to cervical cerclage procedures and seek appropriate redress.

Need Legal Assistance for Your Cervical Cerclage Case?

At Frank Spector Law, our lead attorney, Frank Spector, brings over three decades of legal expertise in medical malpractice and personal injury law.

Frank has successfully handled numerous cervical cerclage malpractice cases, securing significant settlements and verdicts for his clients.

His deep understanding of the medical and legal intricacies involved allows him to provide precise and effective representation.

We are committed to offering compassionate support and personalized attention, ensuring your family's needs are met and justice is served.



Contact Me Today

Frank Spector Law is committed to answering your questions about Medical Malpractice, Birth Injury - Cerebral Palsy, Birth Injury - Erb's Palsy, Birth Injury - Development Delay, Wrongful Death, Surgical Errors, Emergency Room Malpractice, Misdiagnosis, Medication Errors, and Nursing Home Neglect law issues in Maryland.

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