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An episiotomy is an incision made in the tissue between the vagina and anus (perineum) during childbirth, just before the baby's head is delivered. An episiotomy may be done to help deliver the baby or to help prevent the muscles and skin from tearing.
After delivery, an episiotomy incision is stitched closed. Episiotomies can be different depths. Smaller episiotomies heal faster and with less pain.
Last Revised: November 2, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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