Single-layer vs double-layer uterine closure during cesarean delivery: 3-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial (2Close study)

Carry Verberkt, Sanne I. Stegwee, Lucet F. van der Voet, W. Marchien van Baal, 2Close study group

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Background: The rising rate of cesarean deliveries has led to an increased incidence of long long-term complications, including niche formation in the uterine scar. Niche development is associated with various gynecologic complaints and complications in subsequent pregnancies, such as uterine rupture and placenta accreta spectrum disorders. Although uterine closure technique is considered a potential risk factor for niche development, consensus on the optimal technique remains elusive. Objective: We aimed to evaluate the effect of single-layer vs double-layer closure of the uterine incision on live birth rate at a 3-year follow-up with secondary objectives focusing on gynecologic, fertility, and obstetrical outcomes at the same follow-up. Study Design: A multicenter, double-blind, randomized controlled trial was performed at 32 hospitals in the Netherlands. Women ≥18 years old undergoing a first cesarean delivery were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either single-layer or double-layer closure of the uterine incision. The primary outcome of the long-term follow-up was the live birth rate; with secondary outcomes, including pregnancy rate, the need for fertility treatment, mode of delivery, and obstetrical and gynecologic complications. This trial is registered on the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (NTR5480; trial finished). Results: Between 2016 and 2018, the 2Close study randomly assigned 2292 women, with 830 of 1144 and 818 of 1148 responding to the 3-year questionnaire in the single-layer and double-layer closure. No differences were observed in live birth rates; also there were no differences in pregnancy rate, need for fertility treatments, mode of delivery, or uterine ruptures in subsequent pregnancies. High rates of gynecologic symptoms, including spotting (30%–32%), dysmenorrhea (47%–49%), and sexual dysfunction (Female Sexual Function Index score, 23) are reported in both groups. Conclusion: The study did not demonstrate the superiority of double-layer closure over single-layer closure in terms of reproductive outcomes after a first cesarean delivery. This challenges the current recommendation favoring double-layer closure, and we propose that surgeons can choose their preferred technique. Furthermore, the high risk of gynecologic symptoms after a cesarean delivery should be discussed with patients.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Early online date2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2024


  • cesarean delivery
  • cesarean scar
  • follow-up
  • long-term outcomes
  • niche
  • reproductive health
  • uterine closure technique

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