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Infected caesarean scar

(30 Posts)
Pammi Sun 02-Sep-07 14:13:28

I had my 2nd c-section two weeks ago and recently developed an infection in the scar. It looks like an open sore and is oozing fluid (sorry for tmi). I am starting a course of antibiotics tomorrow and am washing the area with plain water and cotton wool, drying with tissues and applying gauze dressings. Has anybody suffered from this before and if so, how long did it take to heal? It's most frustrating because otherwise I feel fine and this is stopping me from being able to walk properly and is quite painful.

OP’s posts: |
papilion Sun 02-Sep-07 14:17:15

Did the midwife/doctor take a swab before antibiotics were presribed?

Pammi Sun 02-Sep-07 14:18:13

No, but they said they would do if this course of antibiotics didn't clear it up.

OP’s posts: |
papilion Sun 02-Sep-07 14:31:56

My opinion for what it's worth is that the swab should have been taken before any antibiotics were administered.

Probably no need to be concerned

Usually a 'broad spectrum' antibiotic is prescibed in these situations, and works well.

However, if no improvement in a few days, request further investigations.

Hope this helps

saralou Sun 02-Sep-07 14:35:51

i had an infection in my scar

took 4 courses of antibiotics to get rid of the infection, i can't remember how long it took to heal but it seemed to take forever (sorry probably not what you wanna hear!)

whenever you can lay out on the sofa or bed and let the air get to your wound, will dry it much better that way... also do this when you've gotten out of the bath

mummy2aaron Sun 02-Sep-07 14:52:35

Mine took a couple of courses of abs, made me feel awful though.

daisyandbabybootoo Sun 02-Sep-07 14:55:16

Pammi...I had an infection in my wound as well and was told by the MW that I would need two types of anti-biotic to ensure the infection gets effectively treated. I can't remember the names of them, but they did the trick. It was about four weeks before I could walk any distance comfortably though.

I would also be watchful for thrush if you are breastfeeding. My DD is nearly 13 weeks and I'm battling to control thrush in my breasts at the moment. We were both asymptomatic to begin with (DD only has two tiny spots in her mouth which i was told were milk spots) but feeding has been getting steadily worse.

I hope you feel better soon...

...and Congratulations on your LO!

tissy Sun 02-Sep-07 15:05:37

add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to your bath

Klaw Mon 03-Sep-07 10:09:00

You can also try taking Arnica pillules (homeopathic remedy), I have never used them myself, but many people swear by them. You can get 200c pillules from Helios, or 30c from Boots or other chemists and health food shops, but this might not be considered a strong enough dose.

I have them in the house now at 30c and in my Doula bag at 200c. Look into it if you can find the energy and see if its for you.

Also, if you are bf you might want to check out what ABs are offered to you and if they are considered 'safe' to use [[]]

Hope you are doing OK, I did post to you on that VBAC thread that I'd like to hear more about your experience so that I may learn from it. Would you mind? Obviously I'd undrestand if it's too much just now....

Furzella Mon 03-Sep-07 10:47:36

Mine also took a couple of courses of antibiotics to heal. Absolutely agree with the suggestion to get as much air to the scar as poss, plus as much rest as you can get (ha ha) and live yoghurt, floradix etc to help your body deal with the double assault of infection and antibiotics. Poor old you. It didn't make any difference to the scar in the longer term - looks fine now (tummy apart but that's not entirely the c-sections!).

Anchovy Mon 03-Sep-07 10:53:43

I was told to dry mine with the cold setting of a hairdryer after a shower. Get it completely dry before you put a dressing on it.

Martha200 Sun 09-Sep-07 16:17:39

Oh, you so have my empathy.
I was let out of hospital with a weepy scar 4 plus years ago. No one batted any eye lid and was just handed a couple of dressings.

It was a community midwife who came over when we called her in the night and she was more worried about me than the baby (who was fine as it turned out.) She went and got me some decent dressings from the hospital, luckily I was not infected but she told me to take Vit C tablets and some homeopathic remedy.. could have been what klaw mentions.. wish I could remember blush and it WORKED so well.

Very much wish you well on your recovery.

Pammi Wed 12-Sep-07 16:14:53

Well nearly 4 weeks after the birth the hole in my scar is still showing no signs of healing. I've had antibiotics - don't seem to have helped. The nurse has dressed it twice with iodine dressings and it feels the same. No one seems that bothered about the fact that I can still barely walk and getting to the doctor is a major problem. Does no one do home visits these days?! A friend of mine suggested applying manuka honey to the wound. Has anyone tried that? I'm so desperate I'm willing to try almost anything!

OP’s posts: |
NAB3 Wed 12-Sep-07 16:33:58

Mine hadn't healed by over a year so I had to have it resutured. HOpe yours heals quicker than that!

Mintpurple Wed 12-Sep-07 16:38:46


Ask at your GP for a hospital referral to the 'tissue regeneration nurse' or teh 'wound specialist nurse' as they are experts in dealing with difficult to heal wounds and have the latest dressings, lotions and potions.

Actually, might be worth phoning the antenatal clinic, explaining your problem and asking if they can refer you or give you her number to call her (or even phone the hospital switch directly and ask to be put through to her). Wound breakdowns and infections are not that uncommon, but can be hard to treat as they are always being stretched as you move about etc.

Good luck.

phoebebouffet Wed 12-Sep-07 22:18:07

Well aparently I had MRSA in my c-section scar and but it wasn't as bad as yours sounds, i had it when lo was 3 weeks old but it never caused me any major problems. It wasn't painful because the whole area was numb and still is really. If it doesn't heal ask for a swab. Can't remember how long it took to heal...about 9-10weeks I think, but it healed with antibiotics...and so did the gaping hole in my breast due to abcesses - nice!

Bewilderbeast Wed 12-Sep-07 22:40:29

Pammi, did you have the dissolvable stitches? Mine didn't dissolve and from 6 to 10 weeks bits of stitch were workinh their way up to the surface and bursting out, the wound became infected, especially in the middle, ds kicked it and it burst leaving several deep holes. The edges at the ends of the scar also came apart because of the stitches working out. The anti biotics helped the swelling go down very quickly (although the middle is still at 10 months more 'fleshy' than the rest of the scar). It took at least another 4 weeks to close up after that IIRC certainly was not healed by new year and DS was born late october. What I'm trying to say is can you ask them to check that your stitches are dissolving correctly and are not causing the problem

Pammi Thu 13-Sep-07 13:36:35

Bewilderbeast - I didn't have dissolvable stitches, mine was one long stitch held by beading which was all taken out in one go. I'm guessing that the site of infection may be where I had a drain inserted after surgery and that when it was removed the hole didn't close up properly. Either that or where the beading came out at the end. I will ask for a swab though, as they didn't do that first time round.

OP’s posts: |
terri912 Thu 12-Mar-09 04:13:16

I had a csection 4 weeks ago, It was my first c, however I have had 7 vaginal births before this, I am 40 and wondering if this has something to do with why I am having such a hard time recovering, have a pretty nasty looking infection and am just finished my second set of antibioticsdoes not seem like it is getting any better and ifeel horrible, starting to wonder if I am ever gonna feel okay, physically or mentally again. If anyone can shed some light on any of this please let me know. Feel free to contact me at

kitstwins Mon 16-Mar-09 22:06:11

Some infections can be hard to clear, which is extremely upsetting when you're trying to get over a caesarean and deal with a newborn. I always think it's the ultimate insult - you have a big operation, feel as if you've been run over by a truck and given a 7lb scream machine to care for AND then go and get a lousy infection in your scar.

Broad spectrum antibiotics are routinely offered but sometimes they don't pack enough punch which is when you'll find yourself on second or third doses. Plug away with these and keep nagging your GP if it doesn't feel better and you don't feel right.

In the meantime, do the following as this all helps: -

1. Bathe in salt baths with a few drops of tea tree oil or lavender oil in it. Two large handfuls of bog-standard salt (I bought cheap boxes of the stuff from my local shop). Tea tree oil and lavender oil are antiseptic and tea tree oil is also anti fungal. After the bath, dry meticulously with a clean flannel or kitchen paper and lie on your bed for 10 minutes minimum (half an hour if screaming baby permits...) with your scar exposed. Let the air get to it.

2. Aside from your morning and/or evening bath. During the day (two or three times if you can manage it) tell everyone to s*d off and go upstairs to your bathroom with a cup of cool boiled water. Add a few drops of tea tree oil and with a clean piece of cotton wool, dab the scar with the tea tree water. Don't rub at the scar and use fresh pieces of cotton wool for each area. Dry as above.

3. Don't use a hairdryer on a cool setting to dry your scar. Advice differs on this and the midwives in my hospital told me to waft a Clairol over mine, however my consultant went berserk when I happily advised him of my blow drying plans. Apparently there's a lot of fluff and gunk in the filters/interiors of most hairdryers and you'd be effectively blasting that into your scar. Not sure if this is true but it sounded plausible and he was cross so I took his advice....

4. Wear cotton clothes and big pants. Buy giant knickers from M&S and don't wear anything near your scarline. So no pyjamas or trousers with zips. I couldn't even bear a tight seam against my stomach so I never tried to wear anything near to my scar, but I was told that anything too near it can irritate it further.

5. Take things easy and rest. I always felt slightly hysterical when people told me this as I was battling with a post-caesarean body trauma and premmie twins, but really I think I should have spent a lot more time in bed rather than 'soldiering through'. I think I thought I was just being pathetic and by getting on with things and being brave I'd get well. Not so. Lie down when you can. Have big sleeps or just lie on a bed with your baby when you can. Sleep is a great healer - it's when the body heals itself so the more you can get the easier your body will find things.

6. Antibiotics can make you feel lousy. Eat plenty of pro biotic yoghurt and/or take a pro/pre biotic supplement. All health food shops sell them, often in powder form. They're a good antidote to punishing rounds of anti-bs and can help stave off thrush, which can be a side effect.

7. Listen to your body. If you're still feeling crap then push for further antibiotics and treatment.

8. My final point. This will be over soon. One day you won't have an infection in your scar anymore and you'll be able to get on with enjoying life and feeling yourself again. The interim sucks, but it's temporary so try and enjoy your new baby as much as you can and hold onto the thought that one day soon you won't have this ghastly infection.

Hope this helps. It's grim and you're being very brave.

yassy Sun 12-Jul-09 15:17:35

i had my second c setions 6 weeks ago everything was fine but being a single parent i was having to do everything myself which led to my scar becoming swollen and inflamed and unable to walk. i went to the doctors and was told there was nothing wrong and was given a course of flucoxicillin wihich has made my scar worse so i returned to the doctors and was told nothing was wrong and was given another course of anti bs and cetrizine which are not doing anything then i have developed a hole in my scar that bleeds and is weepy so went to the doctors again but was refused to be seen as he thought i was wasting his time

Mamulik Sun 12-Jul-09 15:27:30

dont wash with water, you can infect even more

kitkatqueen Sun 12-Jul-09 15:37:04

daisyandbabybootoo if you are breastfeeding with thrush check this link - it helped me.bfn leaflet page

yassy ffs!!! That is not ok. Go to your nearest walk in clinic, or if it comes to it go to a&e. If you have had 3 diff types of antibiotics and a hole has appeared then that means the anti bs are the wrong ones you need to be swabbed to find out which one you need. Your gp is out of order for refusing to see you.

OP, Ask your midwife to swab the wound to find out which bacteria you have and go from there. If you are really worried about using water to wash the wound then you can use saline although it is not often reccomended any more by hcp's as with the right antib's it doesn't make much difference.

Bodipop Thu 15-Jul-10 15:02:52

I had my baby girl 6 weeks ago and my scar is stil infectedsad. had 2 lots of flucloxacillin which did nothing then a course of Clindamycin which seemed to help heal most of scar- but i still have an 'Opening' of about 1cm which just wont knit together. My G.P doesnt seem too bothered you can see my insides!!!! Hoping with my careful cleaning with boiled salt water 3 times a day it'll heal soon. I've been told to try honey from a friend... but not sure what to think of that?? anyone else tried it??

lizzytee Fri 16-Jul-10 14:55:51

Bodipop, I got a very good tip on this site, which is that the hospital that performed the surgery is still responsible for you.

I had two infections and was not prepared to trust the GP, so called the hospital and got seen in my consultant's clinic the following week.

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