Cost-effectiveness of single-layer versus double-layer uterine closure during caesarean section on postmenstrual spotting: economic evaluation alongside a randomised controlled trial

Sanne I. Stegwee*, Angela J. Ben, Mohamed El Alili, Lucet F. van der Voet, Christianne J. M. de Groot, Judith E. Bosmans, Judith A. F. Huirne*, W. M. van Baal, 2Close study group, H.C.J. Scheepers

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of double-layer compared with single-layer uterine closure after a first caesarean section (CS) from a societal and healthcare perspective. Design Economic evaluation alongside a multicentre, double-blind, randomised controlled trial. Setting 32 hospitals in the Netherlands, 2016-2018. Participants 2292 women >= 18 years undergoing a first CS were randomly assigned (1:1). Exclusion criteria were: inability for counselling, previous uterine surgery, known menstrual disorder, placenta increta or percreta, pregnant with three or more fetuses. 1144 women were assigned to single-layer and 1148 to double-layer closure. We included 1620 women with a menstrual cycle in the main analysis. Interventions Single-layer unlocked uterine closure and double-layer unlocked uterine closure with the second layer imbricating the first. Main outcome measures Spotting days, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and societal costs at 9 months of follow-up. Missing data were imputed using multiple imputation. Results No significant differences were found between single-layer versus double-layer closure in mean spotting days (1.44 and 1.39 days; mean difference (md) -0.056, 95% CI -0.374 to 0.263), QALYs (0.663 and 0.658; md -0.005, 95% CI -0.015 to 0.005), total healthcare costs (euro744 and euro727; md euro-17, 95% CI -273 to 143), and total societal costs (euro5689 and euro5927; md euro238, 95% CI -624 to 1108). The probability of the intervention being cost-effective at willingness-to-pay of euro0, euro10 000 and euro20 000/QALY gained was 0.30, 0.27 and 0.25, respectively, (societal perspective), and 0.55, 0.41 and 0.32, respectively, (healthcare perspective). Conclusion Double-layer uterine closure is not cost-effective compared with single-layer uterine closure from both perspectives. If this is confirmed by our long-term reproductive follow-up, we suggest to adjust uterine closure technique guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044340
Number of pages11
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • obstetrics
  • maternal medicine
  • ultrasonography
  • health economics

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