What is Placenta Accreta?

When the placenta abnormally attaches to the uterine wall firmly, it is referred to as Placenta Accreta. 

This abnormally firm attachment prevents the placenta from separating normally after delivery.  The placenta then will interfere with the contraction of the uterus after delivery.  This contraction is necessary to control bleeding.  Severe bleeding is one of the major sources of maternal complications in cases of Placenta Accreta.

Placenta Accreta can also cause premature delivery.  This occurs in roughly two thirds of cases.

Placenta Accreta is most common in women with Placenta Previa.  Placenta Previa is a condition in which the placenta covers all or part of the cervix, making delivery difficult.  In most cases, Placenta Accreta does not have any symptoms, and cannot be diagnosed definitively prior to delivery.

If you have Placenta Previa and are considered to be at risk for Placenta Accreta, your doctor will most likely wish to perform a Cesarean section delivery.  You will likely discuss the risks of hemorrhage, transfusion, infection and even hysterectomy, as hysterectomy is the most common way to stop the bleeding in the case of placenta Accreta.

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