HealthDay News — The rate of surgical site wound complications is similar for obese women undergoing midline vertical incision with skin closure via staples or subcuticular suture, according to a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Lindsay M. Kuroki, MD, from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial involving women with a BMI of 30 kg/m² or more undergoing surgery by a gynecologic oncologist through midline vertical incision. Participants were randomly allocated to skin closure with staples or subcuticular 4-0 monofilament suture.

A total of 163 women were analyzed between 2013 and 2016, including 84 who received staples and 79 who received suture. The researchers observed no between-group differences in wound complication rates (33% for staple and 32% for suture skin closure; relative risk [RR]: 1.05; 95% CI,  0.68-1.04). Compared to women with suture closure, women with staples reported worse median cosmetic scores (4 of 5 vs 5 of 5), darker scar color (49% vs 18%), and more skin marks (40% vs 4%). Significant correlates of wound complication included BMI, maximum postoperative glucose, and cigarette smoking.

“Closure of midline vertical skin incisions with subcuticular suture does not reduce surgical site wound complications compared with staples in obese gynecology patients,” the authors write.

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Kuroki LM, Mullen MM, Massad LS, et al. Wound complication rates after staples or suture for midline vertical skin closure in obese women: a randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol. 2017;130(1):91-99. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000002061