A randomized controlled trial comparing cosmetic outcome after skin closure with 'staples' or 'subcuticular sutures' in emergency cesarean section

Chanderdeep Sharma, Ashok Verma, Anjali Soni, Meghna Thusoo, V K Mahajan, Suresh Verma
Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics 2014, 290 (4): 655-9

OBJECTIVE: To compare staples with subcuticular sutures for skin closure in emergency Cesarean sections (CS).

METHODS: One hundred and thirty women (undergoing emergency CS without previous abdominal delivery) were randomly assigned to either staples or subcuticular skin closure (monocryl 3-0). Primary outcome of the study was cosmetic outcome [as assessed by patient and independent observer: Patient Scar Assessment Scale (PSAS) and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (OSAS), respectively], 6 weeks post-operative. Secondary outcomes were wound complications, operating time, post-operative pain (visual analogue scale day 3 post-operative and patient assessment of pain in scar 6 weeks post-operative), and duration of hospital stay.

RESULTS: 112 women were available for evaluation of scar 6 weeks post-operative. Cosmetic result of staples was significantly better than subcuticular sutures (PSAS and OSAS: p value 0.022 and 0.000, respectively), with significantly lesser duration of surgery (24 vs. 32 min: p value 0.000) and comparable post-operative pain (pain on day 3 and 6 weeks post-operatively: p value 0.474 and 0.179, respectively) and wound complications (p value 0.737). However, duration of stay in hospital was increased (6 vs. 3 days: p value 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Staples are the method of choice for skin closure in emergency CS as they are significantly better than subcuticular sutures with respect to cosmesis and duration of surgery. Post-operative pain and wound complications are comparable in two groups. However, staples are associated with significantly increased duration of hospital stay. Trial registered in clinical trial registry CTRI: REF/2013/05/005087.

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