Different ways of subcutaneous tissue and skin closure at cesarean section: a randomized clinical trial on the long-term cosmetic outcome.

Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica

PubMedID: 23530837

Huppelschoten AG, van Ginderen JC, van den Broek KC, Bouwma AE, Oosterbaan HP. Different ways of subcutaneous tissue and skin closure at cesarean section: a randomized clinical trial on the long-term cosmetic outcome. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2013;92(8):916-24.
OBJECTIVE
To study the effect of subcutaneous tissue closing and the effect of two different skin closure methods at cesarean section on long-term cosmetic results.

DESIGN
Randomized controlled trial.

SETTING
A large teaching hospital in the Netherlands.

POPULATION
Women undergoing a cesarean section.

METHODS
Women undergoing a cesarean section were assigned to subcutaneous tissue closure or not, and skin closure with staples or intracutaneous sutures. Operating time, postoperative pain and incidence of complications were recorded. Long-term cosmetic result was assessed 1 year postoperatively through the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS) and Numeric Rating Scale (NRS).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
The POSAS for subjective and objective scar rating and the NRS to provide an overall opinion on appearance of the scar 1 year after surgery.

RESULTS
Of the 218 women randomized, data from 145 women could be analysed after 1 year of follow-up. No significant differences were detected in long-term cosmetic outcome between the different closure methods. Except for operating time, no differences in other secondary outcome measures were found.

CONCLUSIONS
At cesarean section, closing the subcutaneous tissue or not and using staples or intracutaneous sutures results in an equivalent long-term cosmetic appearance of the scar.