What is external cephalic version and when is it done?

Turning your baby. An external cephalic version is a procedure done by your obgyn to turn your baby from breech to cephalic (head first) position in hopes of attempting vaginal delivery thereafter. Ideally, it is performed from 37-38 weeks but varies depending on your doctor. Some try a little earlier and some will even try beyond 38 weeks. The procedure has risks that you should discuss at length with your doctor.
For breech near term. External cephalic version is done for breech (buttocks, legs, or feet presenting) presentation when there are no contraindications for labor or vaginal birth and at patient request after appropriate counseling. It is an attempt to turn the baby from breech to vertex (head down). It is typically done after 36 weeks of pregnancy. Alternative is cesarean for breech without attempting version.

Related Questions

Is external cephalic version dangerous for baby or mom? Could it cause issues with unbiblical cord? I'm 36 weeks with a breech baby. Any advice?

By expert. If that is done by an experienced obstetrician under close monitoring of the fetal status - it should be okay and could be an option for you. Please discuss further with your OB with the detail procedure and possible complication.
Version aversion? Version (turning a baby from a breech presentation to vertex (head down)) is not without risk. And you are correct; umbilical cord compression or kinking can occur. This is why your baby is monitored throughout the procedure. Version is not always successful, i.e., babies can flip back. And it may be uncomfortable. It can, however, increase your chance of having a vaginal delivery. Talk with doc!
Has risks. External cephalic version of breech or transverse fetuses can be painful and risky, which is why I never attempt it without adequate epidural anesthesia; if it is successful, labor induction follows - if unsuccessful cesarean section follows on the same day. Terbutaline for uterine relaxation is also a good idea. Sounds scary, huh? You may opt for prelabor cesarean section by 39 weeks instead.

Why is external cephalic version contraindicated in transverse lie? Why do we offer caesarean section in pregnant woman with transverse lie? Thanks.

External version... External version during the third trimester close to delivery can be dangerous to mom and baby if there is not enough room for baby to move. Therefore, c-section may be performed. During earlier stages baby will most likely move many times before reaching the latter third trimester.
It's not. As long as specific criteria are met (nl fluid, nl NST, no placental problems, good vag del candidate, etc...) you're halfway there! An ECV in a good candidate with an experienced OB is a good option. Otherwise, you can't deliver vaginally with a transverse lie. You risk cord prolapse, malpresentation, or maternal & fetal injury. Listen to your OB, you might have a finding that prohibits it.

What if an ECV (external cephalic version) fails?

C/section. After a failed cephalic version the baby is typically delivered by c/section. An external cephalic version, where the doctor tries to turn a breech baby on its head is not without risk and is typically done in the OR with the entire c/section team present to be able to do an immediate c/section.