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EMCS - external scar 'stitched' up with big metal staples

(30 Posts)
MamaFi Wed 04-Nov-09 13:53:16

... the midwife on a home visit afterwards said he was probably a junior surgeon, the night staff are usually not as good as daytime staff (!) and that he was lazy for using staples. It was horrendous having them taken out on day 10. I still get tearful and angry thinking about it. It's all wrapped up in the whole horrible birth experience probably.

Just wondered if anyone else has had this? All of my friends who've had c-sections have had dissolvable stitches. I know I shouldn't complain - my little boy was delivered safe and healthy.

QandA Wed 04-Nov-09 14:14:43

I had those but it was few years ago now and I thought they had moved away from using them, but really not sure. They didn't hurt when they were removed though.

multivac Wed 04-Nov-09 14:17:48

I had metal staples, too (nearly five years ago). The removal didn't hurt; but my scar isn't as pretty as some I've seen...

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Wed 04-Nov-09 14:18:47

I haven't heard of anyone being stapled for a long time, but I guess it's what the surgeon prefers to use. Better that than being stitched up really badly.

If I were you I would question it with his superiors.

bronze Wed 04-Nov-09 14:19:16

Poor you. I thought they had stopped using them I had a long running stitch with beads on 3 years ago

norksinmywaistband Wed 04-Nov-09 14:20:01

I had staples, my section was during the day, planned and carried out by a consultant.
It is more the surgeons preference than inexperience, well that was what I found when I worked on the surgical wards.

Why are you angry about it?

norksinmywaistband Wed 04-Nov-09 14:21:25

I think tbh I would be more angry at the midwife's comments. she is not a trained surgeon

hobnob57 Wed 04-Nov-09 14:23:56

I had staples after my emcs (also done at night) but was told by my mother (had lots of abdominal surgery) and the MW that they are much better than stitches. The scar is neater and tends to heal more quickly, and the MW didn't understand why more surgeons didn't use them. I was dying to get mine out 'cos they were so itchy and found it almost therapeutic!

If I have another CS I'll be asking for them smile

guyfawkesWILBURn Wed 04-Nov-09 14:26:23

Dh had loads of staples in his scalp a few years ago after a terrible head injury but the scars have healed beautifully. I had a running stitch like bronze's for my EMCS, but the scar was pretty bad anyway - I do think it's more to do with your own healing and the incision itself rather than the method of holding it together IYSWIM.

Poor you having a horrid birth and then bad time getting the staples out, though. Can you talk to you m/w or health visitor and just go through the whole birth story? It's often helpful in coming to terms with bad experiences.

TheCrackFox Wed 04-Nov-09 14:28:52

I had staples and it wasn't an emergency but an ELCS at 10am. The surgeon seemed very experienced and she later told me that she preferred them as they tended to leave a neater scar.

I had them out 6 days later and didn't feel a thing.

glasjam Wed 04-Nov-09 14:39:42

MamaFi - have had no experience of metal staples but have had 2 EMCS. Sorry that they were so painful to take out but even more sorry that you had such an insensitive, flippant midwife. Fancy saying such a thing to a new mother, recovering from a CS with hormones all over the place. What on earth did she hope to achieve by planting the idea in your head that you'd been stitched up by a virtual incompetent - am angry on your behalf. I hope you are reassured by the other posters on here who have talked about it being a personal surgical preference and having good experience of them healing well. I hope it puts your mind at rest.

And by the way, you do count too - I know we always say "as long as the baby is healthy" but Christ, Mothers are quite an important part of the equation too so their health and mental well-being is rather important too! Sorry you seem to be wrestling over your birth experience as a whole - try talking to someone at the hospital about a post-birth debrief (can't remember the exact term for it but most hospitals will have something in place for people who want to talk in detail about the whys and wherefores of the birth) but get up and leave if you are confronted by anyone with an attitude like that particular midwife and ask to see someone else.

Congratulations on the birth of your baby boy and good luck with the healing smile

mrsmontano Wed 04-Nov-09 14:47:49

don't be angry, it's just the surgeon's preference, whichever they think is best. He was hardly lazy, he performed major abdominal surgery and delivered your baby safely!

No idea why the midwife would say that hmm

BalloonSlayer Wed 04-Nov-09 14:52:23

I had staples with my first CS, 9 years ago.

When I had my second, the surgeon asked me how I wanted my wound closed hmm. At something of a loss, I said that staples had been fine last time, so that was what he did.

For my third CS, I had a female surgeon who didn't ask me what I wanted but gave me the neatest set of stitches resulting in a much smaller scar than the other two times. Don't know why I had to mention that she was a woman but I do wonder if she made an extra effort to make it look nice, bless grin.

I certainly don't feel that the staples were any way inferior however. I would happily have had them a third time.

I wonder whether your MW is just moaning about having to take them out.

However, 'tis easy for me to say - I didn't find it hurt having them out. One or two pulled a little both times but it was tOK. (Oddly enough all three times one side of the scar, right at the end, has always given me gip. Wonder why.)

NowtonTelly Wed 04-Nov-09 14:55:55

I had staples with my first section and stitches with my second. I was told by the second surgeon that it's a matter of the surgeon's preference as to which technique they use.
Having my staples removed didn't hurt at all. Maybe the MW's technique was too rough or she wasnt experienced with removing them and felt under pressure?

MummyAnnabella Wed 04-Nov-09 15:02:49

i had dissolvable after 1st emcs and staples after 2nd emcs. both left neat scar and no difference in terms of healing etc.

only thing was i was dreading getting them out which mw said was really minor and nothing to worry about but i think it is just that after everything you go through you just want that to be it. didnt hurt at all at the time.

i asked 2nd consultant for stitches instead of staples and she refused saying as 2nd cs it was preferable as more secure. said she also uses if anyone overweight or other reasons she wants to be on safe side.

thehairybabysmum Wed 04-Nov-09 15:07:21

I had staples for both mine, last one was 2 yrs ago. No pain on removal.

Your midwife saounds like a right stirrer though

AtheneNoctua Wed 04-Nov-09 15:18:50

I had the long thread with a bead on each end for both sections (6 and 4 years ago). I had staples for knee surgery about 15 years ago. It didn't hurt to remove them. I think the midwife's comments to you are well and truly out of line. The surgeon is far more qualified to decide how best to close you up than she is. And maybe she did something wrong if removing them hurt.

However, the scar on my knee is a whole lot uglier than the one on my belly. So, I'm inclined to say I prefer the thread. My second section left me with a much nicer scar than the first one. Although both surgeons were women.

belgo Wed 04-Nov-09 15:27:40

Poor you. Staples need to be taken out very carefully using a sort of rocking action otherwise they can be painful. But then thread stitches can also be painful, it's a sensitive area and your abdomen has been through major surgery.

The midwife was unprofessional to say the doctor was lazy.

Have you talked about your birth experience? You sound very upset by the whole thing, it may help if you can talk to someone. It's not just about having a healthy baby, you need to be helped to come to terms with the whole experience.

MamaFi Wed 04-Nov-09 16:11:56

Thank you for your responses, I am relieved to hear it is surgeon's preference one way or another and hopefully nothing to do with inferior doctor. Midwife wasn't my usual one, and a student removed staples under supervision- I should have perhaps insisted on midwife doing it, but at the time I was pretty weepy!

It was a while ago but was chatting about it with a friend this morning who was horrified, just thought I'd come on here and ask you lovely ladies for your thoughts, as it does prey on my mind a hell of a lot, probably more so with the midwife's comments - as I was knocked out, it was all such a rush, and I know nothing of my son's entrance into the world, she made me think I'd been the subject of some ancient barbaric practice.

Everything healed fine in the end, little boy fine... I'll stop whinging now! Thank you for posting!

TheCrackFox Wed 04-Nov-09 16:19:41

Mumsnet is the best place for whinging. It is great that you are fine and all healed but you are allowed to have feelings about the birth of your son.

I am sorry that you didn't get to see your son enter the world but you will have many firsts with him.

giggleloop Wed 04-Nov-09 16:26:52

My sis had staples for her em hysterectany. She was told it was neater and would heal better and was more appropriate for the size of the incision (vertical from naval to pubic bone). I had very neat stitchs for my emcs on a Sunday night. People were brought in to admire the surgeons work hmm.

BonjourIvresse Wed 04-Nov-09 16:34:45

I had a a crash encs and had the running stitch and the metal beads and a drain. Having the drain taken out was REALLY painful, though it was a bitch midwife who didn't even offer me gas and air while she did it, Having the thread out wasn't too bad.

MamaG Wed 04-Nov-09 16:39:14

MamaFi I will respond later in more dteail as I 'm in a rush but I too had staples and they hurt being removed

I found it really upsetting too x

latestincarnation Wed 04-Nov-09 16:50:53

The skin sutures/staples are really the icing on the cake - all the hard work and skill goes on internally. How the skin closure is performed is purely down to choice, and personally, if I want a patient off the table quickly(for their benefit, not because I need a fag break lol), staples are a quick, secure, easy closure with minimal tissue reaction, thus minimalising scarring.

Your MW is stirring, and not being supportive. even if you did have a junior surgeon, he would have had a more senior collegue present, there was no need to make you doubt the care you had. Healthy mum and healthy baby - congratulations!!

AtheneNoctua Wed 04-Nov-09 17:50:52

I had a crash section under general for my first baby. So I know what you mean about not really being there. But, I didn't really mind. I had had quite enough of failed induction, painfull exams, sweep, waters broken, and more. So when they said they needed to knock me out because the block wasn't taking effect fast enough I just thought to myself "Oh thank God. I don't want to be here anymore anyway." I woke up to DH next to me holding DD. I didn't really mind this method of delivery (though would have preferred to skip the whole failed induction bit and just gone straight to section). But, some people are bothered. And it's okay for you to feel like you missed something. Your feeling are what they are. But, in the end, yes of course it is happy ending with a healthy mum and baby.

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