A serious pregnancy condition which occurs when blood vessels and other parts of the placenta grow too deeply into the uterine wall is called placenta accreta. Normally the placenta will be removed from the uterine wall after childbirth but with this condition the placenta is still attached and may cause severe blood loss after delivery.
It is also possible that the placenta will grow through the uterine wall (placenta percreta) or will go to the muscles of the uterus (placenta increta). You will need a C-section delivery then a hysterectomy.
There are no signs and symptoms of placenta accreta but sometimes they can be vaginal bleeding within the third semester during pregnancy and it can be seen in an ultrasound. Consult your doctor right away if there is vaginal bleeding.
Your doctor will likely examine your baby’s placenta and will conduct some tests such as:
blood tests – to check for alpha-fetoprotein which is a protein that is produced by the baby,
imaging tests – MRI or ultrasound to check how the placenta is implanted in your uterine wall.
The most common course of treatment for Placenta Accreta is to have a C-section.
Your doctor will likely conduct a C-section to prevent blood loss if the placenta remains attached after delivery followed by the surgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) as early as the week 34 of pregnancy.
Your doctor might include an obstetrical surgeon, anesthesiologist and a pelvic surgeon, and also a neonatologist to treat your baby. C-section will be done by cutting your abdomen and a second incision in your uterus, then after delivering the baby your doctor will remove the uterus to prevent bleeding. You will not become pregnant again after the hysterectomy.
If you choose to allow the placenta and uterus to remain intact and wait for the placenta to dissolve, you may have serious complications such as:
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