With C-Section, Stitches May Be Best

THURSDAY Feb. 4, 2010 -- Women who've had a cesarean delivery are less likely to suffer complications if their wound is closed using sutures rather than staples, says a U.S. study.

It included more than 400 women who underwent cesarean delivery in labor or scheduled cesarean delivery and were interviewed two to four weeks after the procedure.

The researchers at the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pa., found that: wound separation rates were 16.8 percent for staples and 4.6 percent for sutures; composite wound complication rates were 21.8 percent for staples and 9.1 percent for sutures; and that 36 percent of women who received staples required post-surgery physicians visits, compared with 10.6 percent of women who received sutures.

Median surgery time for women who received staples was 49 minutes, compared with 57 minutes for those who received sutures.

The researchers concluded that the use of staples for cesarean delivery wound closure is associated with increased risk of wound complications and post-operative physician visits. They said their findings suggest that sutures may be the preferred method.

The study was to be presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Chicago.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about cesarean delivery.

Posted: February 2010


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