Objective: To review the evidence relating to obstetrical anal sphincter injuries (OASIS) with respect to diagnosis, repair techniques and outcomes. To formulate recommendations as to patient counselling regarding route of delivery for subsequent pregnancy after OASIS. Options: Obstetrical care providers caring for women with OASIS have the option of repairing the anal sphincter using end-to-end or overlapping techniques They may also be involved in counselling women with prior OASIS regarding the route of delivery for future pregnancies. Outcomes: The outcome measured is anal continence following primary OASIS repair and after subsequent childbirth. Evidence: Published literature was retrieved through searches of Medline, EMBASE, and The Cochrane Library in May 2011 using appropriate controlled vocabulary (e.g. , anal canal, obstetrics, obstetric labour complication, pregnancy complication, treatment outcome, surgery, quality of life) and key words (obstetrical anal sphincter injur*, anus sphincter, anus injury, delivery, obstetrical care, surgery, suturing method, overlap, end-to-end, feces incontinence). Results were restricted to systematic reviews, randomized control trials/ controlled clinical trials, and observational There were no date or language restrictions Searches were updated on a regular basis and incorporated in the guideline to September 2014. Grey (unpublished) literature was identified through searching the websites of health technology assessment and health technology-related agencies, clinical practice guideline collections, clinical trial registries, and national and international medical specialty societies. Values: The quality of evidence in this document was rated using the criteria described in the Report of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (Table 1). Benefits, harms, and costs: Benefits from implementation of these guidelines include: improved diagnosis of OASIS, optimal functional outcomes following repair, and evidence-based counselling of women for future childbirth.
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