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HOW TO HEAL A C-SECTION WOUND

(24 Posts)
kcha24 Tue 20-Oct-15 17:07:39

5 months after having an emergency c-section, my scar has finally healed so I just wanted to share the things that worked for me:
- I was put on endless rounds of antibiotics (mainly flucloxocillin) every time they detected bacteria from swabbing the wound. When it's actually infected - and you know because it smells like cabbages and weeps more - this is obviously the way to go but I was told by the Tissue Viability Nurse at the hospital your body will invariable show presence of your own bacteria and too many antibiotics can actually slow the healing process so only take them when it's showing a very high presence or clearly infected.
- Make sure you have one point of contact who is responsible for overseeing the healing of your wound - not just the GP practice nurse who may change the dressings. i.e. your consultant at the hospital and if things drag on, even the surgeon who did the caesarian as technically it is 'his scar' that isn't healing and he should know about it. Ask to see a Tissue Viability Nurse at the hospital too.
- Wear some abdominal support such as a Spanx girdle to lift and hold in your tummy
- Although they don't officially advise you to do this, off the record I was told to air the scar after a shower just by lying down and holding my tummy for up to 30 mins if I could so the air could get to it and help seal it - I think this really helped. Don't use a hair dryer on cool.
- Use dressings with silver in for its anti-bacterial properties, such as Aquacell Ag. This really helped. And using silver nitrate at the end when is started to over-granulate did too.
- Acupuncture - doing the 'circle the dragon' technique of putting some needles around the wound really helps to promote blood flow.
- Don't let it get you down. I've never heard of anyone's Caesarian scar that didn't heal. My consultant say she only sees one person like me a year so hopefully you'll heal before I did.
G'luck!

mummytime Tue 20-Oct-15 17:46:50

My wound healed with no special treatment - maybe it was just luck!

WanderingTrolley1 Tue 20-Oct-15 17:49:55

No special treatment here, either.

Only1scoop Tue 20-Oct-15 17:52:59

Mine healed on its own and now virtually invisible.

A little numbness in places still but that helps with bikini wax grin

zippyswife Tue 20-Oct-15 18:00:55

Thanks for the advice. I was lucky with my last c section as healed quickly and Easily but Im due my second ELCS soon and I'll definitely remember this advice.

LumpySpaceCow Tue 20-Oct-15 18:07:38

I didn't do anything and it healed perfectly and quickly. Holding my tummy up for 30 minutes would have just split the scar back open!

Roomba Tue 20-Oct-15 18:08:20

Sounds like you've had a rough time with it, OP. I got a large haematoma around my wound after my first CS, which was agonising and horrible to look at. I was treated with a Megapulse machine (whatever they do) which seemed to help a bit, but otherwise it all healed on its own after a few weeks. The scar is still a bit bumpy and thick.

Second time around, my wound healed really well with no assistance and is almost invisible now.

My friend had a horrible time with hers and found the silver nitrate stuff really helpful.

Glitterspy Tue 20-Oct-15 18:09:26

Thanks for this. I've a low lying placenta (31 weeks) and am beig scanned next week to decide whether I need a CS. If I do I'll be grateful for having had this advice, it puts things into perspective a bit. How long do the scars normally take to heal?

kcha24 Tue 20-Oct-15 20:08:14

I think normally they heal in 6 weeks without the need for any of what I've suggested here, as some of these lucky ladies know. This is mainly just for the few of us who find ourselves desperately googling at 3am to find out ways to make it heal five months down the line. Thankfully I don't think it's that common so am sure you'll be fine.

lachattequirit Tue 20-Oct-15 22:29:28

Thanks for this advice OP, tho it has scared me a little bit. It sounds like you've had a hard time.
My EMCS scar healed without any special treatment and is barely visible 3 years later. If I am less lucky if I have another CS I'll remember some of your tips!

CakeInMyFace Wed 21-Oct-15 03:47:23

I'm somewhat similar to you op in that I've had wound complications but at 6 weeks post section. I see a nurse daily as have a hole in my wound and she packs and dresses it daily. I had a staph infection too. Nurse said its incredibly common sadly. Can't believe it took tou 5 months. Im hoping mine is healed in a few more weeks and I've found that horrendous!!

MyFriendsCallMeOh Wed 21-Oct-15 03:59:09

Op that sounds tough, glad you have finally healed. I took massive doses of calendula and arnica tablets a few days before my planned section and for a couple of weeks after. My consultant was very old school and dismissive of it but gobsmacked at the quick healing time. Might be a placebo effect but it worked for me. I had a waterproof dressing for one week after the section, then no dressing after that, was told to get the air to the wound. Also an elastic Velcro corset type thing to wear 24/7 for 4 weeks. My section was done in Asia but all this is standard for all sections, they even put the corset on you as soon as you can stand up.

MrsTedCrilly Wed 21-Oct-15 17:38:46

Hey OP, I can relate! Mine took 5 months to fully heal too, it was such a relief! It had been open in parts and weeping. But it didn't affect my life or anything so I never saw anyone or got treatment, it just took its time to seal all the layers. I wonder if weight has anything to do with it? I had an overhang so it couldn't air properly.

kcha24 Thu 22-Oct-15 09:21:45

Yeah, I'm sure an overhang doesn't help. Though I've definitely got a few pounds to lose I don't think I'm the most obese person ever to have a c-section and presumably very overweight people heal or they would've said something. Or would they?!!
Next time I'm loading up on calendula and arnica and will wear the support belt from early days like they do in other countries.

GayByrne Thu 22-Oct-15 15:22:29

I recovered well from my EMCS with my middle child, had VBAC with the last child of mine and have just had an ELCS for breech baby as a surrogate mother for my friends. We're 8 days post section and it's going ok. Airing after a tea tree oil bath helps. Medicated soap for my showers also help, though I never actually directly wash the wound.

Am going to look into the corsets as I feel very loose in the belly, if that makes sense.

Poor op. I hope you manage to continue a good recovery now. You've had a rough time of it x

Namechangenell Thu 22-Oct-15 17:20:10

Mine healed no problem - sorry you had so much trouble, OP.

One thing I wish I had been told, however, was that the scar would shrink, as my stomach shrank back. I remember looking at my scar and dressings post op and thinking I looked like I had a foot long incision. Roll on a few months and it was six inches, if that, and is now a faded silver.

troubleatmillcock Thu 22-Oct-15 18:31:49

Bloody hell OP, sounds like you had quite the time of it.

I didn't really have any problems with the healing of mine, it's still very pink and visible though but DS is only two so I'm not sure if that's normal or not. It's around 4 inches long.

mayhew Fri 23-Oct-15 08:37:43

You poor thing. As your surgeon says, not common but awful when it happens. Tissue Viability nurses are essential for slow healing wounds, even if just as an advisor to GPs and practice nurses.

As a midwife, I am careful advising women who are overweight about vigilance in spotting problems early. You will need a mirror or helpful partner if you are overweight because the scar is in the crease under your tummy. We do know you are at much greater risk of wound infection and breakdown.

For drying the wound after rinsing with a shower head, I advise patting with kitchen roll until it comes away dry.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Fri 23-Oct-15 08:55:16

I didnt use anything either. It just looks like a thin white line now. 8 years later though it still itches sometimes.

BelleBoyd Fri 23-Oct-15 10:19:48

OP I'm sorry this is totally useless information for you now and I'm sorry you had such a hard time. I had a private csection for my second child after a nightmare delivery with my first. I had no stitches, they used surgical glue which was amazing. It was waterproof so I could wash over it straight away even baths! And the glue just came off on it's own after a few weeks. It's now a thin white pencil line with no puckering. So pleased with it. Apparently there is pretty much no way with this method the scar can become infected.
I am posting this for anyone considering a c section so they can maybe request it.

kcha24 Fri 23-Oct-15 11:15:12

Wow that's great to know, thanks so much BelleBoyd. I think I'm going to start saving now and go private for an elective c-section next time too. The delivery and aftercare this time for me was pretty horrendous. Think I had PTSD for a few weeks afterwards! Good to know, thanks.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Fri 23-Oct-15 19:55:43

What do they normally use in the uk? I had mine in Singapore and had dissolving stitches and a waterproof dressing for a week. I was able to take baths etc. After a week or so, the dressing came off and wasn't replaced.

kcha24 Sun 25-Oct-15 18:38:13

I think it's pretty inconsistent in the UK/with the NHS. Some people have stitches, some glue, some staples. I haven't heard of anyone being encouraged to wear a support band or being given a waterproof dressing so they could have a bath.
Interesting, Mayhew, that you are at much greater risk of wound infection if you're overweight. It makes sense but I was never made aware of that and it would've been good to know. I wonder if there is any way to reduce the risk?[Alongside laying off the cakes]. Thanks all.

poocatcherchampion Fri 18-Dec-15 20:04:21

Thanks for this op. I read this on the date you posted it which was the day of my 3rd c section.

I thought: that's nice - my wounds heal wonderfully without any of that - but I find myself 9 weeks on feeling very down with an open wound that is just not healing. sad

I remembered you and searched your post.

Next stop tissue viability nurse and maybe acupuncture.

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