The Pfannenstiel or so called "bikini cut": still effective more than 100 years after first description

Hernia. 2004 Aug;8(3):177-81. doi: 10.1007/s10029-004-0210-0. Epub 2004 Mar 2.


The original Pfannenstiel incision is discussed including the technique, history, current indications, advantages, and disadvantages. Excellent cosmetic results, principles of less traumatic surgery, and a rare incisional hernia complication rate of about 0-2%, as well as long-time use characterise this access path to the pelvic organs first described by the German gynaecologist in 1900. Complications of nerve damage, however, should be recognised, especially when extending the incision too far laterally.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Germany
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures / history
  • Hernia, Ventral / history*
  • Hernia, Ventral / surgery
  • History, 19th Century
  • Humans
  • Laparotomy / history
  • Laparotomy / methods
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / history*
  • Pubic Symphysis
  • Suture Techniques / history

Personal name as subject

  • Hermann Johannes Pfannenstiel