The objective of this study is to compare scalpel vs. diathermy in abdominal wall incision in
pregnant patients undergoing repeat elective cesarean delivery.
It is hypothesized that wall incisions made by diathermy compared to scalpel during repeat
cesarean delivery will have less incision time, as well as less blood loss. A second
hypothesis is that the use of diathermy, compared with scalpel will not increase in
1. This is a randomized prospective study in women undergoing elective repeat cesarean
delivery at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa Texas.
2. Women undergoing cesarean delivery will be randomized into two groups: One group will
undergo diathermy to incise the entire abdominal wall ,which includes skin, subcutaneous
tissue, rectus muscle until the peritoneal cavity is visible. On the other group scalpel
will be used to achieve the same aim.
3. A standardized abdominal wall incision will be made with either diathermy in cut mode or
scalpel. Diathermy will be set in a cut mode with standard setting as per surgeons
preference. All patients in the study will get standard skin incision in terms of length
and depth which will be marked by a ruler.
4. Incision time ( measured in minutes and seconds with stop watch) and amount of bleeding
will be measured. Blood loss will be calculated by weighing (in grams) the "used" lap
sponges and comparing this to the weight (in grams0 of "fresh" lap sponges.
5. Post-operative pain will be measured by a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Measurements will
be taken at 6:00 to 7:00 AM from post -op day 1 until hospital discharge.
- Multiparous pregnant women 18 - 45 years.
- Gestational ages 37 weeks to 41 weeks,
- Undergoing repeat elective or repeat emergency cesarean deliveries.
- Informed consent can't be obtained in a manner that allows for no impression of undue
influence/pressure or sufficient time for patient to consider participation.
- Primary Cesarean deliveries - as these can bias the selection.
- Skin conditions such as infections, psoriasis, and eczema.