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Complete placenta previa

Last revised by Dr Jeremy Jones on 20 Sep 2021

A complete placenta previa, also known as a type IV placenta previa, is the most severe in terms of the placenta previa spectrum. It is also the least likely to resolve with advancing gestation if detected in early pregnancy 1,3.


In this situation, the placenta entirely covers the internal cervical os from one side to the other. 

Treatment and prognosis

A complete previa will require a cesarean section for delivery to avoid the risk of fetal and maternal hemorrhage. 

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: diagram - complete previa
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  • Case 1
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  • Case 2  
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  • Case 3
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