Greetings! Let me first preface my answer by declaring that I am not
a physician or opthamologist, nor am I a lawyer with experience in
physician malpractice cases. That said, I will proceed with the
information I located regarding your query.
From an article from the web site SmallFolk.com
(http://www.smallfolk.com/gosh/lab-medicalinterventhions.asp) there is
a sub-heading titled "Caesarean Section" about three-quarters down the
page. In that area, there is the statement "Sometimes it may be done
to protect the mother if she has a heart condition, very high blood
pressure, pre-eclampsia, diabetes or a detached retina."
I found an article about Preeclampsia (high blood pressure) at
and how the condition may develop or increase during pregnancy. The
article states "One in 200 pregnant women who have preeclampsia will
go on to have eclampsia. The seizures of eclampsia are marked by
general abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Usually the
seizures start before the baby is born. However, about 20% to 25% of
the time, seizures begin within the first 24 hours after the baby is
born. A few women develop seizures later, up to 3 weeks after the
Described in the article is that a woman with eclampsia may have one
or many seizures. One of the possibilities that may occur during a
seizure is listed as "experience a detached retina in the eye." This
may also be a reason that the doctor is suggesting Cesarean section,
just to be safe. I found similar concerns of detached retinas from
this condition mirrored on other medical sites such as
This, from Vision Web
states "Vision problems during pregnancy may signal other health
problems. Blurred vision or seeing spots may indicate gestational
diabetes or pregnancy-induced hypertension, an increase in blood
pressure that usually occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Eclampsia and pre-eclampsia, caused by extremely high blood pressure,
can cause eye hemorrhages and retinal detachment, although these are
Discovery Health (http://health.discovery.com/diseasesandcond/encyclopedia/2011.html)
also has a comprehensive article on the topic.
The online Merck Manual
(http://www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual_home/sec22/245.htm) also covers a
topic in pregnancy concerning morning sickness and detached retinas.
This is not directly related to your query but if the expectant mother
has had morning sickness, I believe this might be of interest to you.
About a third of the way down the above site page under the
sub-heading "Excessive Vomiting" is this: "If vomiting persists, the
liver may be damaged, sometimes rupturing and bleeding. Another
serious complication is bleeding in the retina of the eye (hemorrhagic
retinitis), caused by increased blood pressure during vomiting."
If the mother has had this, it may be the doctor is also taking into
consideration that it, coupled with a traditional delivery, could pose
a risk to the mother.
You did not mention if the mother is a diabetic so I have not included
those articles which referenced detached retinas in diabetic pregnancy
conditions. I am aware of the diabetic condition "gestational
diabetes" which can appear only during pregnancy and a good article on
that is available at http://www.ianblumer.com/pregnancy.htm
I will let you discern the risks, pros and cons after examining the
information I have provided. From my viewpoint, it seems risky to opt
for a traditional delivery considering the mother's retinal problems
have already surfaced and been treated surgically. If I were making
this choice for myself, I would choose a Cesarean delivery. However,
there are risks associated with that procedure (see
http://www.vbac.com/cesareanrisks.html) so, ultimately, you and your
wife must weigh the information to make your informed decision.
I hope my research is helpful to you in making a determination on how
to proceed. In searching, I drilled down the results of each search
to four or more pages of results to gather this information. If you
would like more article links to diabetes and pregnancy/delivery,
please request a clarification for such and I will be happy to conduct
further research before you rate my answer.
detached retina pregnancy delivery
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