Stitches or staples fare equal after c-section
Women who deliver by cesarean section (c-section) seem to have similar cosmetic results whether the wound is closed with stitches or staples.
There are a number of ways that surgeons can close a c-section wound - using staples or different types of stitches, including ones that need to be removed and those made of materials that are absorbed into the body. But little has been known about whether the cosmetic results vary with the different methods. To compare scar quality associated with different types of wound closure methods after c- section, Italian researchers followed 123 women undergoing a c-section to have one of four methods of wound closure - staples or one of three types of sutures, including absorbable stitches and stitches that had to be removed.
The women were examined first after two months of the c-section and then after six months. It was found that there were no overall differences among the groups' cosmetic results - based on both an independent plastic surgeon's ratings and the women's own perceptions of their scar healing.
In follow up, the majority of women in all four groups had developed mature C-section scars by the sixth month after delivery. That meant that the scar was light-coloured and flat to the skin. A similar percentage of women in each group had a more visible scar, with a line of red, raised skin that was confined to the site of the surgical incision. That included 39 percent of women who received staples, and between 34 percent and 44 percent of women who received the different types of suture.
Staples are often favoured because the method is faster than stitching, which may be better for patients, and protects the doctor from needle-stick accidents.
The findings suggest that women who have a c-section can expect to get similar aesthetic results regardless of the type of wound closure. The results do vary from patient to patient, and they also depend on factors other than the use of staples versus stitches.