Cesarean Scar Care: What You Need to Know

We have already spoken on several occasions about cesarean section and the implications that this abdominal surgery has on the body and the health of women.

Many are the care that is required after the operation, not only externally -that is, aesthetically- but also internally. Today we review what these cares are and how we should put them into practice .

Immediate wound care
During cesarean section, the deepest layers of the skin are sewn together by absorbable material that our body assimilates over the days. The visible tissue, that is, the skin, is sewn with different techniques such as staples, non-absorbable loose stitches, intradermal suture …

After the operation, you will most likely have a large dressing placed covering the wound, the purpose of which is to prevent bleeding after the recent suture . During the time you stay in the hospital, professionals will monitor the condition of that dressing, to detect possible signs that indicate bleeding or infection.

When the doctor considers it appropriate, he will give you precise instructions to remove the dressing and leave the wound in the air , and from that moment you must maintain a series of superficial cares that will prevent the wound from becoming infected or opening:

  • Hygiene of the wound : it must be washed with soap and water daily, avoid the use of sponges that can get caught in the staples or in the seam and dry it very well with light touches helping us with a sterile waste.
  • In some hospitals it is also advisable to use an antiseptic to heal the wound after bathing , but it is important to know that if you have chosen to breastfeed, you should avoid solutions with iodine as they pass to the baby through breast milk .
  • It will not be necessary to cover the wound with any dressing , unless your doctor or midwife has advised you otherwise.
  • We must prevent clothing from pressing , rubbing or catching on the scar. It is better to opt for loose clothing and disposable paper briefs.

In these first days it is necessary to watch that the wound does not smell bad, ooze, blood, is hot or acquire an ugly appearance. We may experience tightness and a certain itchiness that indicate that the external healing is taking place correctly.
It may be that four or five days after the cesarean section you feel strong, almost recovered and anxious to get back to your normal life and start taking care of your baby one hundred percent. But you must not trust yourself. It is important that you rest as long as possible , that you do not drive, go up or down stairs or take weight.

Ask someone to give you your baby when you want to hold or breastfeed him, and if certain tasks such as laying him down in his crib or bathing him require you to force postures, it is better that for the moment someone else takes charge of doing them. Think that if the wound were to open, the post-operative would become more complicated and longer.

It is normal for the wound to hurt , since it is a major surgery, but that pain should gradually subside, and in no case should one part of the wound hurt more than another or a new source of pain appear that we did not have before.

How to care for the scar after removal of the stitches

If conventional sutures have not been used, the stitches will be resorbed on their own, but if this is not the case, the stitches or staples are usually removed 10 to 12 days after the cesarean section . It will be the midwife or gynecologist who will remove them in consultation , after having assessed the wound and its healing status. In case the wound has not yet healed completely, it is possible that only some point will be removed and you will be summoned to remove the rest after a few days.

Once the stitches are removed, you will feel great relief, but also a tingling and numbness around the scar area. Don’t worry, it’s totally normal and it will take time to regain your skin’s sensitivity.

Therefore, in order to increase vascularity and help regain sensitivity around the scar, experts advise massaging the area with rosehip oil daily , as it is a type of oil with moisturizing, soothing and regenerating properties.

How to care for the scar after quarantine

But the care of the scar should not stop there, and after the quarantine, and always under the medical criteria or the midwife, it is advisable to go to a specialized postpartum center to have an evaluation of the scar and treat the adhesions that may have formed in the tissue .

Likewise, it is advisable to avoid the sun in that area during the six months following the operation, in order to avoid changes in skin pigmentation.

Main complications of cesarean section healing

There are cases in which the healing is not carried out correctly and derived problems arise that must be treated by the specialist. Some examples would be:
  • Infection : it is characterized by redness, heat and pain in the area. Fever and suppuration may also appear. According to experts , certain factors such as obesity, gestational diabetes , malnutrition or immunosuppression could increase the risk of infection.
  • Dehiscence : occurs when the wound opens, either because of an infection, because the thread that closes it loosens or because a staple is released. In these cases there is abundant bleeding that does not subside with the pressure of the wound.

In both situations, it is essential to go immediately to the hospital so that the wound is evaluated by a professional and the pertinent measures are taken for its healing.

With regard to long-term healing problems , two main highlights:

  • The appearance of keloids : it is an excess of scarring that, in addition to making it ugly, can itch and hurt. It is very difficult to prevent the appearance of keloids, since various factors intervene in their formation, including genetics. If this is your case, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist who will propose aesthetic treatments that help reduce the volume of the scar and the associated discomfort.
  • The appearance of adhesions , caused by internal tensions after suturing that prevent normal movement, both of the muscle and of the abdominal fascia.

If the adhesions are not treated correctly with a physical therapist , not only the uterus will be affected, but also the abdominal muscles and connective tissue, causing different symptoms that range from constant pain in the area of the scar and surroundings, to annoying in the sexual intercourse, or tension in the abdomen and tenderness to touch.

When to get pregnant again after cesarean section?

Although everything will depend on each particular case and medical criteria, in general, whether you have given birth vaginally or if it has been a cesarean section, the WHO does not recommend a period of less than two years between pregnancies and, in any case , never less than 18 months due to the risk of premature birth and other problems for the mother.

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