Am J Perinatol 2015; 32(14): 1336-1341
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1564883
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Extreme Obesity and Postcesarean Wound Complications in the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Unit Cesarean Registry

Marcela C. Smid
1   Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Morgan S. Kearney
2   Center for Women's Health Research, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
David M. Stamilio
1   Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

19 August 2015

20 August 2015

Publication Date:
21 October 2015 (online)


Objective The objective of this study was to estimate the association between obesity and wound complications after cesarean delivery.

Methods A secondary cohort analysis of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Unit Cesarean Registry. We stratified the exposure, maternal body mass index (BMI) at delivery, as not obese (BMI < 30), obese (BMI 30–45), and extremely obese (BMI > 45). Our primary outcome was wound complication composite of wound infection, endometritis, wound opening, seroma/hematoma, and hospital readmission. Our secondary outcomes included infection composite (wound infection and endometritis) and each individual outcome included in the primary composite. We performed unadjusted and multivariable logistic regression analyses.

Results We included 38,229 women who underwent cesarean; 39% were not obese, 55% were obese, and 6% were extremely obese. In our cohort, 40% of women underwent repeat cesarean and 57% underwent cesarean after labor. Extremely obese women had increased risk for any wound complication (14%, adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.44–1.89), endometritis (8.3%, AOR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.07–1.49), wound infection (2.0%, AOR, 3.77; 95% CI, 2.60–5.46), wound opening (0.8%, AOR, 5.47; 95% CI, 2.79–10.71), and wound infection-related hospital readmission (3.6%, AOR, 2.97; 95% CI, 2.26–3.91) compared with nonobese women. Obese women had increased risk for any wound complication (9.6%, AOR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.06–1.23) and postcesarean infection (7.7%, AOR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.03–1.22) but not other outcomes.

Conclusion In a large multicenter cohort study, we found that extreme obesity was associated with substantial increase in maternal postcesarean complications, and the association between obesity and postcesarean complications appears dose related. These findings validate associations found in single-center studies.


This study was presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine 34th Annual Meeting, February 6, 2015, San Diego, CA. SMFM ID# 427.

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