Postoperative morbidity in the morbidly obese parturient woman: supraumbilical and low transverse abdominal approaches

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2000 May;182(5):1033-5. doi: 10.1067/mob.2000.105400.


Objective: Our purpose was to determine the differences in postoperative morbidity in obese women who had a supraumbilical or a Pfannenstiel incision at cesarean delivery.

Study design: A case-control retrospective review was conducted of all patients who were at >150% ideal body weight when undergoing cesarean delivery between 1989 and 1995 by means of either a supraumbilical or a Pfannenstiel incision. Patients were excluded if medical records were unavailable. A total of 15 women who had a supraumbilical incision and 54 who had a low transverse incision were included in the analysis. Antenatal complications were examined, as were age, weight, and training level of the surgeon. Postoperative complications were then compared.

Results: The groups were similar in age and antepartum complications. However, mean weight and percentage of ideal body weight in the supraumbilical group were both higher (P <.00001 and P <.0001, respectively), with the supraumbilical group 83 lb heavier on average. No significant differences were seen in any postoperative complication.

Conclusion: Postoperative morbidity in morbidly obese women undergoing cesarean delivery does not differ between a supraumbilical approach and the low transverse abdominal incision.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight
  • Cesarean Section / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Morbidity
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Umbilicus