Women are more likely to suffer from blood clots in the veins, usually in legs after a C-section delivery compared to a vaginal delivery (VD), according to a new study.
The study said that there is a link between C-section and an increased absolute risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE)– obstruction of a blood vessel by a blood clot that has become dislodged from another site in the circulation — including pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.
They found that C-section was associated with a higher rate of overall VTE risk.
The research published in the journal CHEST, reviewed 60 authoritative studies related to postpartum VTE outcomes and found that C-section carries a fourfold greater VTE risk than vaginal delivery.
“We found that C-section is an important independent risk factor for the development of VTE in the postpartum period and that approximately three VTE will occur for every 1,000 C-section performed,” said Marc Blondon, Managing Director of Division of Angiology and Hemostasis, Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland.
In fact, there were greater risks involved in case of nonscheduled emergency C-section delivery.
Pregnant women become more susceptible to VTE due to a variety of factors, including venous stasis and trauma associated to delivery.
Also, hemostatic changes drive increases in some coagulation factors, while decreasing bleeding inhibitors, but for some reason these changes seem to be worse for women who deliver via C-section.
“In the postpartum period specifically, women following C-section exhibit greater activation of coagulation than women following VD, as reflected by greater D-dimer levels,” Blondon added.
D-dimer levels — the protein fragment present in the blood — indicate that blood clots may be forming or breaking down in the body.
Furthermore, physical activity is reduced following C-section as compared to vaginal delivery with delayed recovery of mobility occurring in the first two days post delivery.
Investigators also recommended against compression ultrasound when C-section patients without symptoms of VTE are discharged from the hospital because their research indicated that it was not useful in catching postpartum DVT.