Please cite this paper as: Shi Z, Ma L, Yang Y, Wang H, Schreiber A, Li X, Tai S, Zhao X, Teng J, Zhang L, Lu W, An Y, Alla N, Cui T. Adhesion formation after previous caesarean section—a meta-analysis and systematic review. BJOG 2011;118:410–422.
Background The optimal technique for performing caesarean section with respect to minimising postoperative adhesions has not been determined.
Objectives To evaluate adhesion formation for three common caesarean section techniques in women undergoing repeat caesarean section surgeries.
Search strategy A database was constructed from Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, National Science Digital Library, China Biological Medicine Database and through contact with experts in this field from January 1990 to May 2010.
Selection criteria Studies were included if they examined adhesion formation in repeat caesarean sections as a primary objective, delineated a clear study design, specified an adhesion scoring system, and had sufficient patient exclusion criteria.
Data collection and analysis We abstracted data regarding adhesion formation. The Mantel–Haenszel random-effects model was employed for all analyses using odds ratio or inverse variance, along with 95% CI.
Main results Thirty-three qualified studies including 4423 women were analysed. There were 406 adhesions among 571 women and 238 adhesions among 596 women in the Stark’s caesarean section (also known as Misgav–Ladach method) group and modified Stark’s caesarean section group, respectively, with pooled OR 4.69 (95% CI 3.32–6.62; P < 0.01, 12 studies); 1173 adhesions among 1555 women and 1179 adhesions among 1625 women in Stark’s caesarean section group and classic lower-segment caesarean section group, respectively, with pooled odds ratio 1.28 (95% CI 0.97–1.68; P = 0.08, 21 studies); and 29 adhesions from 102 women and 115 adhesions from 193 women in modified Stark’s caesarean section group and classic lower-segment caesarean section group, respectively, with pooled odds ratio 0.28 (95% CI 0.10–0.82; P = 0.02, two studies).
Authors’ conclusions Closure of the peritoneum in modified Stark’s caesarean section resulted in less adhesion formation and should be recommended.