A c-section scar will in most cases not bother you, but some can get bothersome. This article will give you a thorough round up of scars resulting from a c-section including common problems associated with them such as itching, bleeding and smelling. We will also discuss the link between pregnancy and c-section scar pain.
Keloid C-Section Scar
As we have already mentioned in a previous article, most scars caused by a c-section heal well and fade away gradually with most being hardly visible in 6-12 months, a pale, thin line instead taking their place. In some patients, however, the scar may become raised and seem to stretch well beyond the original borders of the incision wound.
Such raised scar tissues are usually referred to as keloid. They can result due to poor healing but dark-skinned ethnic groups especially the Africans and African Americans are more prone to keloid scars.
A keloid C-section scar is often reduced using steroid injections or silicone gel sheets such as ScarAway. Surgical scar revision is not advisable for keloid scars as they the scars tend to recur after surgical interventions. The option may however be used in some circumstances alongside other options, particularly steroid injection and radiotherapy.
As for radiotherapy, it is typically spared for the last option due to the potential long-term side effects associated with it.
2nd C-Section Scar
Some women who have had a previous c-section delivery may be able to have a vaginal childbirth through a process commonly referred to as Vaginal Birth after Caesarean (VBAC).
It might however be necessary to deliver your second child through a c-section if you have the same problems that necessitated it in the first place (e.g. the baby is not in a head-down position) or if the doctor thinks that vaginal delivery might cause the uterine scar to rupture.
You are also very likely to have a second c-section if the traditional vertical uterine incision was used during the first delivery even though this is pretty rare nowadays. This is because it increases the chances of uterine rupture.
The repeat caesarean section is normally done along the old scar and this might be the reason why the 2nd c-section scar often heals faster than the first as most patients seem to agree in online forums.
Vertical C-Section Scar
A vertical c-section scar usually results from the surgeon’s or doctor’s decision to use the traditional vertical uterine incisions which is nowadays not commonly used.
The vertical incision usually extends from the belly button to the pubic area and is spared for emergency cases when the surgeon or doctor thinks that there is no time to perform the more intricate, but more desirable horizontal incision.
Emergency cases that may necessitate the vertical incision include placenta previa, babies with abnormalities, and low platelet count in the patient.
A vertical incision also requires more time to heal, is more noticeable (cannot be hidden under bikini line like its horizontal counterpart), it improves gradually with time
If you have undergone a vertical incision c-section, it is very unlikely that you may have a vaginal childbirth in the future.
C-Section Scar Smells
If the c-section smells and has a discharge of pus, you may be dealing with an infection.
Although various measures are taken to minimize the chances of infection prior to the surgery (including injection of antibiotics through an IV line and sterilizing of the skin with Betadine or anti-bacterial antiseptic solution), and the patient is usually provided with a list of post-surgery measures to prevent infection, 6 to 8 percent of c-section incisions end up infected.
You should call your doctor if any likely signs of infection appear including fever, pus discharge, opening up of the incision wound, increasing and pulsating pain, red streaks, bleeding, and offensive smell.
Itchy C-Section Scar, C-Section Scar Itching or C-Section Scar Itches
An itchy c-section can leave you worried if things are really going on well during the recovery phase. Well, one of the common reasons for c-section scar itching is the shaving of the pubic hair prior to the c-section surgery.
It is also acceptable to experience some slight itching as the scar heals even after the hair has grown back, but you should as much as possible refrain from scratching the wound or scar as this can cause infection.
Some patients find that pressing something tightly over the scar useful in reducing the itching sensation, but this should be spared until the initial incision wound has healed considerably, usually 6 weeks after the surgery.
An excessively itching scar may however warrant the attention of your doctor to rule out the possibility of infection.
C-Section Scar Weeping and C-Section Scar Bleeding
As for c-scar bleeding, the question often arises whether it is normal or not. Well, it is normal for the incision wound and the developing scar to bleed over the first few days, but this often stops when the incision wound closes up. This may take you as long as a week or two.
If however an old wound that has healed considerably into a scar however suddenly starts weeping, then this might be an indication that you have engaged in a strenuous activity as to cause the healing wound underlying the scar to open up.
I would recommend talking to your doctor or surgeon for appropriate advice and/or treatment and to rule out the possibility of infection.
C-Section Scar Pain during Pregnancy
If you have had a c-section performed during a previous delivery, you might experience some pain on the scar left behind by the c-section during a subsequent pregnancy. As a matter of fact, c-section pain during pregnancy is one of the most common concerns in online forums devoted to pregnancy and childbirths.
This often happens in situations where the scar tissue from the previous –section attaches itself to other organs such as the abdomen or the bladder. Less intense pain may however be the result of scar stretching to accommodate the increasing size of your baby.