Episiotomies used to be routinely preformed for many hospital vagina deliveries in the 1970's and 80's. Obstetrics has been using this intervention much less often now, allowing a woman to tear if need be during the birth of baby. Tearing is better than cutting for many reasons as the doulas in the video below mention. If you are birthing in a hospital that still does episiotomies, make sure to have in your birth plan you would prefer to tear if more room is needed for the baby.
Picture of an episiotomy being performed.