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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2012 Sep;25(9):1544-8. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2011.653422. Epub 2012 Feb 13.

Risk factors for wound complications in morbidly obese women undergoing primary cesarean delivery.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.



To determine factors influencing separation and infectious type wound complications (WCs) in morbidly obese women undergoing primary cesarean delivery (CD).


Retrospective cohort study evaluating infectious and separation WC in morbidly obese (body mass index [BMI] > 35 kg/m(2)) women undergoing primary CD between January 1994 and December 2008. Chi-square, Fisher's exact and Student's t tests used to assess associated factors; backward logistic regression to determine unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios.


Of 623 women, low transverse skin incisions were performed in 588 (94.4%), vertical in 35 (7%). Overall WC rate was 13.5%, which varied by incision type (vertical 45.7% vs. 11.6% transverse; p < 0.01), but not BMI class. Incision type and unscheduled CD were associated with infection risk, while incision type, BMI, race and drain use were associated with wound separation.


In morbidly obese women both infectious and separation type WC are more common in vertical than low transverse incisions; therefore transverse should be preferred.

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