Once vanishingly rare, with only one in 30,000 pregnancies affected in the 1950s, placenta accreta now hits around one in 500 pregnancies. Up to 7 percent of placenta accreta patients die of the disease. Scientists have linked the increase in cases to rising caesarean rates, but the exact mechanism of the disease — a conversation gone awry between the placenta and the uterus — remains profoundly mysterious.
Placenta accreta is an abnormally firm and deep attachment of the placenta to the uterine wall. It's actually an umbrella term for three variants, depending on how deeply the placental cells invade: placenta accreta, placenta increta and placenta percreta