Post-operative management in uncomplicated caesarean delivery: A randomised trial of short-stay versus traditional protocol at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

Niger Postgrad Med J. 2019 Jan-Mar;26(1):31-37. doi: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_166_18.


Context: Caesarean section (CS) is the most common major obstetric operation. There has, therefore, been an increasing interest in issues pertaining to the management and length of hospital stay following the procedure.

Aim: This study aimed to evaluate morbidity outcomes as well as incurred costs between traditional and short-stay protocols, following uncomplicated CS deliveries.

Settings and design: This was a randomised controlled trial conducted among booked antenatal patients who had elective CS at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

Materials and methods: Using a parallel study design, patients were randomised into short-stay and traditional protocols. Patients in the short-stay group were ambulated and graded oral intake initiated from 6 h post-operation. Their urethral catheters were discontinued at 12 h, and subsequent discharge was at 3rd day post-op. Those in the traditional group were ambulated from 12 h, graded oral intake initiated and urethral catheters removed at 24 h, then the patients were discharged on the 5th day post-operation. Pain scores of all the patients at 72 h, fever in the first 10 days (excluding the first 24 h), clinical signs of wound sepsis, urinary tract infection and puerperal sepsis in the first 14 days post-op were recorded.

Statistical analysis: Descriptive statistics were used to summarise the quantitative variables. The association between categorical variables was tested using Chi-square test, and differences in group means were assessed using t-test. The confidence level was 95%, and the level of significance was set at P < 0.05.

Results: There were no significant differences in febrile and infective morbidities between the two groups. However, women in the short-stay group had significantly lower pain scores (t = 4.75, P < 0.001) and hospital expenses (t = 5.53, P < 0.0001) than women in the traditional group.

Conclusions: The short-stay protocol following uncomplicated CS delivery was safe and more cost-effective than the traditional protocol.

Keywords: Caesarean section; post-op complications; post-op management.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data*
  • Nigeria
  • Postoperative Care / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Time Factors