A Caesarean section is a surgical procedure where a surgeon cuts through the wall of the abdomen and the uterus in order to deliver a baby. It is generally used where a vaginal delivery would be dangerous to the health of the mother or the baby.
Although the procedure dates back to Roman times, until the development of anesthetic it was almost always fatal to the mother, although it often allowed the baby to survive. Even after anesthesia was developed, the mortality rate was very high, often in excess of 80%. Today, it is well below 1%, but in some countries is still riskier than a vaginal birth. The procedure can also result in complications in later pregnancies.
A caesarean section is depicted in the epidode Babies & Bathwater