A 3c tear is a type of perineal tear that is sustained during a vaginal delivery. A 3c tear has to be diagnosed and repaired shortly after the birth. A failure to achieve this care will amount to medical negligence. Contact us today for more information.
3c tear – a type of 3rd degree tear
A perineal tear will be sustained by most women who give birth by way of vaginal delivery.
Perineal tears vary greatly in severity, so medical practitioners have devised a way of categorising them according to the extent of the injury. 1st and 2nd degree tears are considered to be quite minor injuries which involve the vaginal epithelium, perineal skin and perineal muscles. 3rd and 4th degree tears are considered to be more serious injuries extending through the perineal muscles and into the anal sphincter complex.
3rd degree tears are the only type of perineal tear that medical practitioners have further subdivided. This enables a more precise description of the injury. 3rd degree tears will therefore be described as a 3a, 3b or 3c tear. This is a sliding scale, with a 3c tear being the most severe.
What does a 3c tear mean?
If you are told that you have a 3c tear, it means that you have a tear involving the vaginal epithelium, perineum and anal sphincter muscles – with tearing of both the external and internal sphincters.
This differs to a 3a tear in which there is a partial tear of the external sphincter involving less than 50% thickness, and to a 3b tear which involves a tear of the external sphincter involving more than 50% thickness.
In conclusion, a 3c tear means that both your internal and external sphincter has been injured. It is a severe injury although a complete recovery is possible, as long as a competent repair is conducted shortly after the birth.
What does it mean if my 3c tear has only just been diagnosed?
A 3c tear that is not properly repaired will almost always lead to problems such as faecal urgency and incontinence. This is because there is a defect in the anal sphincters which makes it hard to defer defecation. Such issues can prompt a patient to seek medical advice, and this can then lead to a diagnosis of a 3c tear being made.
However, it is unacceptable for a 3c tear to be missed at the time of the birth. If this has happened to you and you have only just found out that you sustained a 3c tear, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. You could be eligible to claim compensation.