Recognizing the importance of aesthetics in cesarean section closures

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In a poster featured at the 2023 Society for OB/GYN Hospitalists Annual Clinical Meeting, study investigators underline the importance of aesthetics in cesarean section closures as both providers and patients.

Recognizing the importance of aesthetics in cesarean section closures | Image Credit: © geargodz - © geargodz - stock.adobe.com.

Recognizing the importance of aesthetics in cesarean section closures | Image Credit: © geargodz - © geargodz - stock.adobe.com.

With cesarean section being the most commonly performed surgery in the world and accounting for one-third of all deliveries in the United States, study investigators sought to identify common practices of cesarean section delivery skin closures, according to authors of a poster featured at the 2023 Society for OB/GYN Hospitalists Annual Clinical Meeting.

In the study, investigators gave participants a 20-question, self-administered internet survey, which was distributed among the OB Mom Group (OMG) Charity Facebook page, which consists of obstetrician-gynecologists (ob/gyns), from May 8 to May 9, 2023. The survey consisted of various question types, including multiple-choice, ranking, and open-text responses. Study participants also received a $25 Amazon gift card for their participation. Following the study's conclusion, investigators analyzed 185 surveys using descriptive statistics.

Results of the study demonstrated that a majority of respondents felt that the aesthetics of cesarean section skin closures was significant, with 88% rating the importance of aesthetics as "important" to "very important."

Additional survey results include:

  • Twenty percent of study participants reported a change over time in their perception of the importance of aesthetics.
  • Of the 29% (n = 53) of respondents who reported having had cesarean section deliveries, 85% of incisions were closed with sutures, 13% with metal staples, and 1 respondent had their incision closed via absorbable staples.
  • Eighty-four percent of participants requested a certain type of closure modality, and 16% requested their cesarean section incision closure be performed by a plastic surgeon.

Additional data from qualitative responses indicate that for some ob-gyns, both aesthetics and the preference for particular cosmetic outcomes impacted closure type.

Thirty percent of survey participants who also had a cesarean section delivery reported their experience impacted how they closed their incisions for their patients. Also, according to personal experience, metal staple removal was uncomfortable, which caused them to avoid using metal staples for their patients' closures. Moreover, 1 respondent notes that they utilize a 3-layer closure now because of a previously poor experience with her cesarean section closure.

Ultimately, because of patient feedback, as well as their own experiences, ob-gyns who participated in this study reported changing their view of the importance of aesthetics.

The study authors concluded that with the rise of patient advocacy and more providers desiring positive cosmetic closures, aesthetics for cesarean section closure is becoming "increasingly important to both patients and providers alike."

Reference:

van Dis J, Hudson MD, Audette CR, Desai VB. Exploring the efficacy of ketamine as an anesthetic and antidepressant in postpartum depression: a case study analysis. 2023 Society of OB/GYN Hospitalists Annual Clinical Meeting. September 9-13. Chicago, Illinois.

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