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Importance of this review
Perineal trauma (either perineal tear or episiotomy) is reported to occur in over 60% of women following spontaneous vaginal delivery.1 Complications of perineal trauma following childbirth include haemorrhage, haematoma and abscess formation, perineal pain and discomfort, fistula formation, dyspareunia and anal incontinence. In addition, there has been an increase in litigation related to the complications of perineal trauma following childbirth.2 In this context, the Cochrane review by Kettle and colleagues provides the current best evidence with regards to the use of different suture material for the repair of episiotomy and second-degree perineal tears.
Summary of findings
The authors carried out a comprehensive literature review, searching both electronic databases and hand-searching 30 journals and proceedings of major conferences. Methodological quality of the trials with regards to random allocation …