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Cheryl Lim, Singapore

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Cervical cerclage

I would like to share my experience undergoing a transvaginal cervical cerclage as there isn't a whole lot of info in here. I mainly read up online. Even though the dr told me this procedure is quite commonly used, no one I knew ever underwent such a procedure. I just went for a cervical cerclage in wk 18 of my 4th pregnancy. I lost my twins at 22 weeks 2 years ago and the entire experience was extremely painful. I had no prior history of cervical incompetence so the Dr said it could be due to the increased risks of having twins. This time round, the dr decided to take precautions and started to monitor cervical length early in the 2nd trimester. I was very fearful when the ultrasound showed some funneling, measuring at only 1.9cm. I was reviewed by the Dr and scheduled for a cervical cerclage in 3 days. On the operation day, I was really scared. I had never been in an operating room before. The surgical team was very experienced and kind to me. Everyone was professional and treated my situation with tact. Some nurses even wished me "jiayou". The anesthetist opted for a spinal anesthesia as she said baby would have minimal chemicals crossing through the placenta. However, if the pain relief was not satisfactory or if procedure if unsuccessful, I would be put under general anesthesia. The spinal anesthetic was quick and relatively pain free. They sat me up on the esge of the operating table and asked me to put my chin to chest with shoulders relaxed. After the initial injection of a local anesthetic, I felt pressure but no pain. I reminded myself to keep very still cause any movement could potentially injure my nerves. Once the needle was in place in my spinal space, they injected the medication. I felt a tingling sensation running down my legs and after 5 min, my legs felt super heavy. Then they tested the sensation with an ice pack - I had no feeling, only pressure to the area. Once confirmed the anesthetic had worked, the operation started. I felt no pain throughout. My surgeon, who was my Dr (Dr Dave from SGH) was extremely skillful. It was over in under 20min. After that, I was admitted for overnight observation pending the return of sensation to my legs. I was able to start wiggling my toes and then able to lift my legs after 3 hours. A urinary catheter had been inserted because I may not be able to pee after the op. I had a small amount of bleeding on the first night which subsided the next few days. On the next day, I had a transvaginal ultrasound to check the placement of the stitches before home. That was sorely uncomfortable. But do bear with the radiographer as they will need the details to determine if the stitch remains in place. I was able to be discharged after that. The removal of the urinary catheter was quick and they made sure you are able to pee before you leave the ward. I am now recuperating at home. 3 days post surgery and praying for the safety of my child. I hope for the best for all the ladies going through a similar situation. My heart goes out to all of you.

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