Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Study suggests: sutures safer than staples for cesarean

The article below appeared on the CBC News website on January 4th, and it is certainly a topic worth discussing with your OBGYN prior to your cesarean surgery.

Personally, I was given staples for both of my surgeries and was fortunate not to experience problems on either occasion; had I read about this study though, I'm sure I would have liked to discuss the risks and benefits of each beforehand.

CBC online article:
Women who had caesarean sections were less likely to suffer complications if their incisions were closed with sutures instead of staples, a U.S. study suggests.

When researchers randomly assigned more than 400 women who were having C-sections into either a staple or a suture group, they found staples were linked with a four-fold increase in risk of the wound separating compared with sutures.

Dr. Suzanne Basha, an obstetrician/gynecologist at the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pa., said she set out to test the difference after she noticed she was seeing more patients return with complications after staples but could not find any published research on the topic.

Wound data was available for 219 women who had sutures and 197 who received staples. They were interviewed by phone two to four weeks after delivery.

Use of staples resulted in:

•A higher rate of wound separation (16.8 per cent versus 4.6 per cent for sutures).
•Increased visits to doctors after the operation (36.0 per cent versus 10.6 per cent).
The average operating time was 49 minutes in the staple group compared with 57 minutes for those who had sutures.

The researchers concluded that sutures may be the preferred method for closing the skin for caesarean deliveries.

The findings were presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Chicago.

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