A randomized clinical trial of knotless barbed suture vs conventional suture for closure of the uterine incision at cesarean delivery

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Mar;218(3):343.e1-343.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2018.01.043. Epub 2018 Feb 5.


Background: Knotless barbed sutures are monofilament sutures with barbs cut into them. These sutures self-anchor, maintaining tissue approximation without the need for surgical knots.

Objective: The hypothesis of this study was that knotless barbed suture could be used on the myometrium to close the hysterotomy at cesarean delivery. The objective was to compare uterine closure time, need for additional sutures, and blood loss between this and a conventional suture.

Study design: This was a prospective, unblinded, randomized controlled trial conducted at the Ziv Medical Center, Zefat, Israel. The primary outcome was the length of time needed to close the uterine incision, which was measured from the start of the first suture on the uterus until obtaining uterine hemostasis. To minimize provider bias, women were randomized by sealed envelopes that were opened in the operating room just prior to uterine closure with either a bidirectional knotless barbed suture or conventional suture. Secondary outcomes included the number of additional hemostatic sutures needed and blood loss during incision closure.

Results: Patients were enrolled from August 2016 until March 2017. One hundred two women were randomized. Fifty-one had uterine closure with knotless barbed suture and 51 with conventional suture. The groups were similar for demographics as well as number of previous cesarean deliveries. Uterine closure time using the knotless barbed suture was significantly shorter than the conventional suture by a mean of 1 minute 43 seconds (P < .001, 95% confidence interval, 67.69-138.47 seconds). Knotless barbed sutures were associated with a lower need for hemostatic sutures (median 0 vs 1, P < .001), and blood loss measured during incision closure was significantly lower (mean 221 mL vs 268 mL, P < .005).

Conclusion: The use of a knotless barbed suture is a reasonable alternative to conventional sutures because it reduced the closure time of the uterine incision. There was also less need for additional hemostatic sutures and slightly reduced estimated blood loss.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02962011.

Keywords: blood loss; closure time; duration of surgery; hysterotomy incision; surgical technique; surgical time.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Loss, Surgical
  • Cesarean Section*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterotomy
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sutures*
  • Time Factors
  • Wound Closure Techniques / instrumentation*

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02962011