Abdominal binders have been shown to improve postoperative pain and distress after major abdominal surgery. The effect of abdominal binders on cesarean delivery recovery has never been studied. This study looks at the effects of abdominal binders on postcesarean delivery pain and distress.
All patients admitted to labor and delivery at two sites from July 5, 2013, to study to date were eligible. Consented patients who had a cesarean delivery were randomized using a number table to receive or not receive an abdominal binder. On postoperative days 1 and 2, patients were asked to complete a pain visual analog scale and the validated Symptom Distress Scale. Postoperative hemoglobin and hematocrit were also recorded.
One hundred two patients have been enrolled in the study. Analysis of the two groups showed no difference in patient age, gravity, parity, gestational age, body mass index, ethnicity, postoperative pain medication requirements, or indication for cesarean delivery. To date, there appears to be no difference in the Symptom Distress Scale scores or hemoglobin and hematocrit levels on postoperative days 1 and 2. A trend toward a lower visual analog scale score for patients in the binder group on postoperative day 1 (P=.08) was noted.
In the current sample, abdominal binders do not appear to have an effect on postoperative recovery in patients undergoing cesarean delivery. This study continues to enroll participants for further study. With an increased sample size, the current trend in reduced visual analog scale scores in the binder group may show significance.