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Introduction The optimal surgical approach for caesarean section is uncertain in women with very severe obesity (body mass index (BMI) >40kg/m2). We aimed to assess maternal and surgical predictors of surgical site skin infection (SSSI) in very severely obese women and to undertake an exploratory evaluation of clinical outcomes in women with a supra-panniculus transverse compared to an infra-panniculus transverse skin incision. Material and methods Using a retrospective cohort design, case-records were reviewed of very severely obese women with a singleton pregnancy delivered by caesarean between August 2011 and December 2015 (n = 453) in two maternity hospitals in Scotland. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine predictors for SSSI. Outcomes were compared between women who had a supra-panniculus transverse compared to infra-panniculus transverse skin incision. Results Lower maternal age was predictive of SSSI, with current smoking status and longer wound open times being marginally significant. Maternal BMI, suture method and material demonstrated univariate associations with SSSI but were not independent predictors. Women with a supra-panniculus transverse skin incision were older (32.9 (4.4), vs. 30.6 (5.7), p = 0.002), had higher BMI (49.2 (7.1), vs. 43.3 (3.3), p<0.001), shorter gestation at delivery (days) (267.7 (14.9), vs. 274.8 (14.5), p<0.001) and higher prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (42.6% vs. 21.9%, p = 0.002). SSSI rates did not differ between supra-panniculus transverse (13/47; 27.7%) and infra-panniculus transverse (90/406; 22.2%; p = 0.395) skin incisions. Conclusion SSSI rates are high in very severely obese women following caesarean section, regardless of location of skin incision.
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12/09/16 → 11/09/22