The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 8, 1723 - 1730

Total Hip Arthroplasty Through the Direct Anterior Approach Using a Bikini Incision Can Be Safely Performed in Obese Patients

Manrique, Jorge et al.


Direct anterior approach (DAA) total hip arthroplasty can be performed through a traditional vertical incision or a horizontal (bikini) incision. The purpose of this study is to compare the 2 approaches, performed by a single surgeon past the learning curve, in terms of (1) overall wound complications and (2) patient-reported esthetics at the 6-month follow-up.


A case-control retrospective study was conducted. Eighty-six bikini DAA patients were matched 3:1 to 230 conventional DAA patients for gender, age, body mass index (BMI), and American Society of Anesthesiologists score. Outcomes evaluated included wound complications, acute periprosthetic joint infection, transfusion, length of surgery, and dysesthesia. A subgroup analysis was also performed on obese patients, BMI greater than 30 kg/m 2. Furthermore, the patients rated cosmesis of the incision at 6 months using a Patient Scar Assessment Scale and the Vancouver Scar Assessment Scale.


Bikini patients had lower rates of delayed wound healing compared to conventional incision (2.3% vs 6.1%, P = .087). This difference was statistically significant (0% vs 16.6%, P < .05) in obese patients. There was no difference in terms of incision cosmesis between the 2 incision types.


Our study demonstrates that the DAA total hip arthroplasty can be performed safely through an alternative horizontal bikini incision with complication rates equivalent to conventional incision DAA and to those in other approaches when performed by surgeons in a high volume, efficient hip replacement institution. In patients whose BMI is >30, a potential benefit of the horizontal incision may be lower wound complications. This study design should be performed at other institutions and ideally at a multi-institution level to evaluate if results can be corroborated. Our opinion is that the horizontal bikini incision should be utilized but only after mastery of the DAA approach using the conventional vertical incision.

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