Credit: CraHan (Flickr)

Women suffering increasingly common caesarean birth complications will no longer require blood transfusions due to breakthrough surgical treatment.

The treatment involves using balloon catheters to treat women suffering from life-threatening condition, called placenta percreta, based on the groundbreaking work of Professor Warwick Giles and his colleagues at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital.

Placenta percreta is a condition that occurs in women who have had multiple caesarean sections, where the placenta implants itself in the lower part of the woman's uterus over a previous caesarean scar, which can invade wall of the uterus in severe cases.

The increased number of caesarean births had led to a spike in the number of patients suffering this complication - as high as one in 2,500, says Prof Giles.

Since 2003 we've had 26 cases alone through this unit, informs Prof Giles.

The quoted rate of maternal death with this condition is about seven per cent.

Prof Giles said, so far of 11 women who have undergone the procedure at the Royal North Shore Hospital, eight has been successful.

The techniques used has been standardized for treating women at up to 37 weeks of pregnancy, as compared to other centres that have only treated one patient at an earlier stage of pregnancy.

The definitive treatment is delivery and hysterectomy, but the problem in the past has been very significant blood loss, he said.

Often in the vicinity of four to five litres or more.

The surgical technique is said to reduce blood loss during the hysterectomy, by threading thin tubes into the arteries and blocking blood supply to the placenta after delivery - a process known as embolisation.

Those women who had the procedure had on average 500ml of blood loss, he explained.

They do not require a blood transfusion post delivery, they don't require admission to adult intensive care and they are on the whole out of hospital quicker.

The procedure has resulted in positive outcomes for the mothers and babies compared with the 14 women who did not have the embolisation procedure.

The groundbreaking results of Sydney's hospital research of the procedure have been published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.