Necrotizing fasciitis after cesarean delivery

Alice R. Goepfert, Debra A. Guinn, William W. Andrews, John C. Hauth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Objective: To review our experience with the diagnosis and management of necrotizing fasciitis after cesarean delivery. Methods: We reviewed medical records of women with serious post-cesarean wound infections at the University of Alabama at Birmingham between 1987 and 1994 to identify women with necrotizing fasciitis. The diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis required intraoperative identification of necrotic fascia in febrile women undergoing post-cesarean wound debridement. Results: During the study period, 5048 women had cesarean deliveries, nine of which were complicated by necrotizing fasciitis. The mean (± standard deviation) maternal age was 27 ± 6 years, and the mean maternal weight was 199 ± 64 Ib. None of the patients had insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and none had known peripheral vascular disease. There were no intraoperative complications at cesarean delivery. The mean time from cesarean delivery to the diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis and reoperation was 10 ± 4 days (range 5-17). All patients had surgical debridement upon consideration of the diagnosis, and all received broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapy. Results of wound cultures were available in seven of the women, and all seven were found to have polymicrobial infections. There were two mortalities, one as a result of metastatic breast cancer and another with complications of sepsis. Conclusion: Necrotizing fasciitis is infrequent (1.8 per 1000 women) after cesarean delivery at our institution, but it does result in appreciable morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-412
Number of pages4
JournalObstetrical and Gynecological Survey
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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