Mothers Don't Worry: All You Need to Know About C-Section Scar Removal
A C-section, or cesarean section, is the surgical delivery of an infant through incisions in the abdomen and uterus. Although traditionally indicated for medical reasons such as high-risk pregnancies, twins/triplets, when the infant is in the breech position and cannot be flipped around before labour starts, it is also commonly performed for elective reasons, where the mother chooses to have a cesarean section instead of a vaginal birth.
Reasons for a Scheduled C-section
Your doctor may pencil you down for the procedure in advance of your delivery date. A few factors that require a C-section include:
- Your infant's wellbeing. An illness or a congenital condition might make the already tricky journey through the birth canal even more treacherous for your baby, or requires your child to be delivered before the due date.
- Breech position. When your baby is in a breech position and can't be turned, your doctor might decide that a C-section is necessary, as a breech vaginal delivery is far riskier for the child.
- Placental issues. The placenta could be in a location that makes vaginal delivery riskier, such as partially blocking the cervical opening. In that case, a C-section is likely safer for you and your infant.
- Other complications. If you develop preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure) or eclampsia (a very rare progression of preeclampsia that affects the central nervous system, causing seizures) and treatment isn't working, your doctor might opt for a C-section to protect both of you.
- A previous C-section. Although vaginal birth after c-section, or VBAC, can be performed, it is often riskier and an elective C-section may be recommended instead.
In this article, we will be discussing the removal of C-Section Scars.
What is a C-Section Scar Revision?
A C-section scar revision procedure is done when C-section scars are large, discoloured, raised and quite painful to the extent that it can no longer be ignored, ie. keloid or hypertrophic scars. This can occur despite most C-section scars being small, barely detectable horizontal scars. The surgery is performed to diminish the cesarean section scar leading to a more imperceptible appearance with Dr Ho carefully removing the undesirable scar tissue, allowing the residual scar to be less visible.
To aid in additionally reducing the visibility of a C-section scar after the scar revision procedure, the doctor may prescribe an ointment to be applied topically on the scar.
Which Candidates are Applicable for a C-Section Scar Revision Procedure?
Mothers who are:
- In general good health
- Does not suffer from detrimental skin diseases
- Does not smoke or utilise tobacco products in large amounts
- Carefully understands the benefits & detriments of the treatment
The doctor will determine during the consultation process if this procedure is right for the patient or if there are other alternatives to consider instead.
What to Expect During the Scar Revision Procedure
Usually, a C-section scar revision procedure requires opening the incision and then sealing it carefully with a meticulous surgical approach that diminishes the size of the scar. Patients will have to receive a certain degree of sedation depending on the complexity of the procedure as well as receive IV/local anaesthesia. This aids in making certain that the patient is comfortable and does not encounter pain or discomfort during the surgical procedure.
Dr Ho will aid in realigning the scar tissue by making precise incisions around the scar and under the scar to open up the tissue such that the scar appears less visible. During the procedure, even the shape of the scar and any upraised scarring can also be carefully cut away and improved to appear less unsightly.
The procedure will last a few hours and often, dissolvable stitches are utilised such that once the scar heals, there will be no stitches to remove. Patients will be able to return home the same day of the procedure, though recovery time varies from patient to patient.
There are certain situations in which a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) may be required when the muscle has separated or there is excess loose skin. In such cases, the scar revision procedure is part of the surgery.
Recovery from Scar Removal Treatment
Patients will be given a set of extensive post-operation instructions to ensure the treated scar is sanitised regularly to keep infections at bay. As mentioned above, the doctor may prescribe a topical ointment or cream to be applied topically to ensure a speedy recovery.
Results will vary from patient to patient, though, they should experience visible less scarring, and with regular care and maintenance, the treated scar should be quite difficult to notice.
What Should Be Done Before the Surgery
Restrict Solid Food Before Going Under Sedation
The period of fasting is required prior to the administration of the sedative in order to reduce the risk of vomiting or regurgitating food into your throat or mouth, which can happen if there is a significant amount of food or fluid in your stomach. Although rare, this can leave to choking and airway obstruction as well as lung infections. The sedation used for a C-section scar revision is typically very light with no paralysis induced. Hence, the risk of this happening is minimal.
Patients usually will have to stop eating food 6 hours before their surgery. Water in small amounts are allowed up to an hour prior; all oral medications should be continued on the day of the surgery itself unless specifically instructed to stop. The doctor will advise you regarding the proper amount of time you must stop eating or drinking before your operation.
Refrain from Shaving Your Stomach Or Pubic Area
You might believe that you are being helpful by cutting down one step, however, shaving with razors creates small nicks in the skin, which can promote infection that could pose a problem during the procedure. If hair removal is required, the nurse will take care of it prior to the surgery.
What Should Be Done After Surgery
Anticipate that the treated scar will be sore for a week depending on your own recovery. It will be best to refrain from holding or carrying most items especially if they are heavy. It can be beneficial when you sit down, to have a cushion over the treated scar to protect the area.
You may also be advised to wear soft, cotton, loose tops and pants that do not irritate and rub against the treated scar. Itching and slight pulling sensations may be experienced around the scar that will fade as well as the bruising. If you have a fever, experience pain beyond what the doctor mentioned, or if the scar does not seem to be healing, it would be best to consult the doctor immediately.