C-sections are the most commonly-performed surgical procedure in the United States. Millions of deliveries are performed via C-section every year, but that doesn’t mean that the procedure comes without complications. C-section complications could lead to a longer healing time, pain, an increased rate of infection, a chance of rehospitalization, and more expensive medical care for patients and healthcare providers. The risk of complications increases for high-risk mothers, including mothers who are obese at the time of their surgery.
Valley Perinatal Service’s (VPS) own Ravindu Gunatilake, MD, worked on a study of a potential therapy option that could help obese mothers-to-be recover more effectively from their C-sections. Here’s what the team found.
Closed-Incision Negative-Pressure Therapy
Closed-Incision Negative-Pressure Therapy offers an alternative surgical dressing option. The dressing—made of wicking fabric, reticulated foam, and an adhesive—is placed over a closed incision and attached via tubing to a portable negative-pressure therapy unit. The unit delivers continuous pressure to the dressing and allows anything excreted from the wound to be removed. This treatment is used for roughly five to seven days following the surgery with a visit afterward to have the unit removed and the incision assessed. For the study, doctors compared ciNPT with standard-of-care sterile dressings, which are applied to surgical incisions for at least one day but no more than two after the surgery.
The study was looking to compare the current standard of care with the ciNPT option to see if surgical site occurrences could be reduced for obese pregnant women undergoing C-sections. The study took place at Duke University Medical Center between 2012 and 2014. The 82 pregnant women who completed the study were 18 years of age or older had a BMI around 35 kg/m2 at the time of delivery and were sorted into two groups after their surgery was completed based on which method of care was being used. Standardized scoring was used to assess wounds as well as pain after the treatment period.
More work needs to be done, but ciNPT seems to have a promising future for maternal-fetal medicine (MFM). Women who received ciNPT had a relative reduction in surgical complications, pain at rest and with pressure, and even reduced narcotic use after their surgery. More effective pain relief and treatment options mean a more enjoyable motherhood, a reduced dependence on pain medication, and more cost-effective care. As the world of medicine evolves and more treatment options are needed for more mothers, VPS will be among the first to enhance their standard of care based on the needs of mom and baby.
Arizona MFM Specialists
VPS is very proud of Dr. Gunatilake’s work as well as that of everyone else on our team. We believe in innovation and exploring all of the options to make sure that you and your baby have the best possible outcome. Our staff is made up of experienced and specially trained experts who are trained in state-of-the-art techniques and technology and can tailor your healthcare experience to be as unique as your pregnancy. To contact any of our seven locations about pregnancy co-management, contact us online or by phone at 480.756.6000.