Induction of labor using double balloon cervical device in women with previous cesarean section: Experience and review


Induction of labour remains one of the most challenging interventions in current obstetrics. Different pharmaceuticals have been used for cervical ripening such as prostaglandins; however they can lead to a number of potential inconvenient risks namely uterine tachysystole and pathological fetal cardiotocography (CTG). In cases of women with previous caesarean births, using prostaglandins would pose even higher risks such as uterine rupture and perinatal mortality. A mechanical method of cervical ripening could represent an alternative for these women. We report the use of the extra-amniotic double balloon cervical device (Cook’s device) for ripening of unfavourable cervix in seventeen women attempting vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC). Using Bishop scoring system to assess cervical dilatetion, position, consistency, fetal station and effacement, the unfavourable cervix is the cervix that scores less than 6. We review the relevant literature discussing this method of induction focusing on its effectiveness, simplicity, safety and efficacy, low cost and any associated serious side effects. Conclusion: Success was estimated to be over 50% with no serious life threatening maternal or fetal complications. We considered the process satisfactory and practical. We recommend larger studies to assess safety and efficacy of Cook’s device in vaginal birth after caesarean section before embarking on routine elective caesarean delivery. Objectives: To estimate success rate for vaginal delivery after previous caesarean section using cervical double balloon device (Cook’s device). Design: Three-year observational study. Setting: Maternity unit in district general hospital, UK. Population: Women who had one previous lower segment caesarean section and unfavourable cervix identified as having Bishop Score less than 6. Methods: Data were obtained from the birth registry over 3 years from January 2008 until December 2010. Main outcome: Measure successful vaginal delivery. Results: Out of 25 cases that had induction of labour with history of one previous lower segment caesarean section, 17 patients did fit in the inclusion criteria and were studied. 53% had a successful vaginal delivery while 47% had to have cesarean section either due to failure to progress or pathological cardiotocography. 82% required to have syntocinon infusion for augmentation as per local unit protocol. All newborn babies were in good condition and did not require admission to neonatal intensive care unit.

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Ebeid, E. and Nassif, N. (2013) Induction of labor using double balloon cervical device in women with previous cesarean section: Experience and review. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 3, 301-305. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2013.32056.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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