Perineal Laceration and Episiotomy
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Episiotomy is a planned incision of the perineum designed to facilitate delivery of the infant. Although routine episiotomy is not generally considered indicated, a variety of conditions may require episiotomy. Such conditions include shoulder dystocia, assisted delivery, or an anticipated macrosomic infant. Studies concerning the use of episiotomies to reduce the likelihood of laceration extension to third or fourth degree have shown conflicting results. The roles of episiotomies under the conditions just described, however, have generally been recognized to assist with delivery of the infant.