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Obstet Gynecol. 2002 May;99(5 Pt 1):745-50.

Pfannenstiel versus Maylard incision for cesarean delivery: A randomized controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hôpital Arnaud de Villeneuve, Montpellier, France. pl-giacalone@chu-montpellier.fr



To compare the Pfannenstiel incision with transverse muscle-cutting Maylard incision in women who had cesarean delivery.


Patients were assigned randomly to a Pfannenstiel or Maylard incision. Postoperative treatment was similar for each group. Surgical characteristics, complications, postoperative pain (visual analog scale, analgesic use), and related quality of life (1- and 3-month self-administered questionnaires) were analyzed. Abdominal wall muscle recovery was compared objectively by dynamometer.


Fifty-four women had a Pfannenstiel incision and 43 had the Maylard incision. There were no differences in intraoperative characteristics, postoperative morbidity, or pain. Women's responses to the Nottingham Health Profile questionnaire at 1 and 3 months postoperatively and clinical and isokinetic testing for abdominal wall strength were similar between the two groups.


Transecting the rectus muscle was no more deleterious than the Pfannenstiel incision. There was no difference in objectively measured abdominal wall strength.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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