Joel-Cohen or Pfannenstiel incision at cesarean delivery: does it make a difference?

Authors: Franchi, Massimo1; Ghezzi, Fabio1; Raio, Luigi2; DiNaro, Edoardo3; Miglierina, Massimiliano1; Agosti, Massimo4; Bolis, Pierfrancesco1

Source: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, Volume 81, Number 11, November 2002 , pp. 1040-1046(7)

Publisher: Informa Healthcare

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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2002; 81: 1040–1046. © Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2002 Objective. 

To evaluate whether the technique to open the abdomen might influence the operative time and the maternal and neonatal outcome. Methods. 

All consecutive women who underwent a cesarean section at a gestational age greater than or equal to 32 weeks were randomly allocated to have either the Joel-Cohen or the Pfannenstiel incision.

Exclusion criteria were two or more previous cesarean sections and previous longitudinal abdominal incision. During the study period 366 patients underwent a cesarean delivery. Of these patients, 56 did not meet the inclusion criteria. The remaining patients were allocated to the Joel-Cohen (n= 152) group and to the Pfannenstiel (n= 158) group. Extraction time was defined as the time interval from skin incision to the clamping of the umbilical cord. Results. 

The total operative time was similar in both groups [Joel-Cohen 32 min (12–60) vs. Pfannenstiel 33 min (18–70)]. The extraction time was shorter in the Joel-Cohen group than in the Pfannenstiel group [190 s (60–600) vs. 240 s (50–600), p= 0.05]. This remained statistically significant after adjustment for confounding variables (Hazard = 1.26, p= 0.05). No difference was found between groups in terms of intraoperative and postoperative complications. No difference was found in the neonatal neurodevelopmental assessment at 6 months of age in relation to the abdominal incision performed. Conclusion. 

The Joel-Cohen method of opening the abdomen at cesarean delivery is faster then the Pfannenstiel technique at delivering the fetus. However, considering the absence of benefits to the mother and the fetus there is no clear indication for performing a Joel-Cohen incision.

Keywords: Joel-Cohen; Pfannenstiel; cesarean section; pregnancy outcome

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Insubria, Varese, Italy, 2: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Berne, Switzerland, 3: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Bari, 4: Department of Neonatology, Del Ponte Hospital, Varese, Italy

Publication date: November 1, 2002

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