The Bikini Cut

The bikini cut is a type of incision that is used in abdominal surgery. For a long time, it was common for doctors to choose the classical incision for abdominal surgery, but the bikini cut has edged out the classical incision in recent years. Patients in the know tend to request the bikini cut for a variety of cosmetic and practical reasons.

Cosmetic Concern

The bikini incision is sometimes called the Pfannenstiel incision, named after Hermann Johann Pfannenstiel, who invented the bikini cut during the early 1900's. The classic or classical abdominal cut is a lengthwise incision that spans the navel to just above the bikini line. The major disadvantage of the classical incision is a cosmetic concern: the scar generated by the incision can be seen when the patient later wears a bikini bottom. The bikini cut, on the other hand, is a horizontal cut that begins on one side of the abdomen and ends on the other, just above the line of the patient's pubic hair. The resultant scar cannot be seen when the recovered patients dons her bikini bottom; hence the adopted nickname, which is also a bit easier to say than, "Pfannenstiel."

The bikini cut is talked about by pregnant women concerned about cesarean delivery, but the bikini cut isn't just used for cesareans, it's also utilized during tubal ligations, hysterectomies, appendectomies, tubal ligation reversal, and the removal of fibroids or ovarian cysts. Not only does the bikini cut leave a smaller scar that isn't very noticeable, but there is much less pain with this incision than with the classical cut used for abdominal surgery. Recovery time is faster and there is a lower rate for the formation of hernias.

The bikini cut also allows the baby to be delivered faster during a cesarean section. If the mother had a cesarean by bikini cut, she is still considered a candidate for having a vaginal birth, next time around (VBAC). The classic incision rules out forever the possibility of a vaginal birth since there is a much greater concern about uterine rupture during a subsequent delivery. Mothers who undergo cesarean sections using the classical incision will always require cesarean delivery for future deliveries.

Greater Maneuverability

What are the disadvantages of the bikini cut? The location of the bikini cut makes it hard for the surgeon to keep watch on the upper portion of the abdomen during the surgery. Some surgeons find the classical cut easier to perform than the bikini cut since the vantage point during the surgery gives the surgeon greater room in which to maneuver.

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