Evid Based Nurs doi:10.1136/ebn1110
  • Therapeutics
  • Cochrane systematic review

Episiotomy or perineal tears: compared with catgut, synthetic sutures reduce risk of short-term pain and need for resuturing; rapidly absorbing sutures comparable to synthetic but reduce the need for suture removal

  1. Ruwan Fernando
  1. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, St Mary's Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Ruwan Fernando
    Department of Urogynaecology, Ground Floor, Cambridge Wing, St Mary's Hospital, Praed Street, London W2 1NY, UK; ruwan.fernando{at}
  • Published Online First 24 September 2010

Commentary on:

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 …

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