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C-section Closure Choices

December 21st, 2010 | By: Nancy Ripton
How to decide whether staples or sutures are the best option for you.

In This Article

C-section Closure Choices

C-section scars should be flat and only mildly pink six weeks after surgery. By six months, all that should be left is a flat, barely visible, pale line. But for some women, the way their C-section is closed can change the way their scar heals.

“Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing ahead of time how your skin will respond,” says Dr. Gareth Seaward, head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, ON.

There are studies that seem to favor one C-section closure method over the other, but they are inconclusive. According to a recent study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology the overall scar rating at two months and six months is the same for sutures and staples. Other studies, such as a review published in the British Medical Journal, have found that absorbable sutures yield a superior cosmetic result.

Everybody heals differently,” says Dr. Seaward. In most cases the only way to know which closure method your skin will respond most favorably to is through trial and error. There are, however, a few exceptions so it’s best to discuss both options with your doctor beforehand and come to a decision you both agree on before entering the operating room. 

C-section Closure: Staples

Staples tend to be the preferred closure method for many doctors because they are easier to execute, faster, and reduce the overall operating time.  “Also, if you have a focal hematoma or an infection, you can open a specific section of the staples,” says Dr. Seaward. With sutures you need to open and re-close the entire wound. Of course the downside to staples is that they can be uncomfortable to remove.