Pregnancy: what is placenta accreta?

The placenta accreta is a rare pathology where the placenta is inserted incorrectly into the uterus. With the increase of caesarean section, it is more and more frequent and can have serious consequences.

The number of births by caesarean section has almost doubled in fifteen years in the world. In France, the rate of caesareans has been stable since 2010, standing at 20.4% (in 2016), with a disparity across departments. It is not a trivial medical act, because the cesarean section can be accompanied by consequences quite serious for the mother and for the child: uterine rupture, premature birth even mortality. Among these consequences too, the placenta accreta, a rare pathology, but which is favored after a caesarean section.

The placenta accreta, what is it?

Placental placenta is when the placenta remains attached to the superficial part of the uterine wall, instead of coming off after delivery. In other words, the placenta is improperly inserted into the uterus. It is difficult to diagnose a placenta accreta because its causes are still unknown.

On the other hand, the figures show that the pathology most often occurs in women who have had previous cesarean section, or in women who have had multiple abortions. Before birth, gynecologists make observations during ultrasounds. In case of doubt, the patient is asked to have an MRI. When the diagnosis is not made, the pathology can be discovered on the day of delivery.

Risks for the health of the mother and the baby

It is during childbirth that the risks are higher for the mother and the child. During pregnancy, expectant mothers are at risk of uterine rupture or invasion of the placenta on nearby organs.

During delivery, placenta accreta can lead to hemorrhage of the delivery - a major complication - which can be accompanied by infection, anemia or risk of embolism. Some doctors, to avoid recidivism, propose to trigger delivery by caesarean section. And this, to minimize the risk of hemorrhage and ensure, after birth, that the placenta is completely evacuated.

Video: Introduction to Placenta Accreta Video - Brigham and Women's Hospital (December 2019).