Caesarean section is also known as C-section. It is an operation in which one or more incisions are made through a woman’s abdomen to deliver one or more babies. It is the most common surgical procedure that women have. The recovery from a caesarean birth will be different for each woman and can often depend on how well she was when the operation was performed and if she had a long and difficult labour, leading up to the caesarean.
Having a caesarean section will leave you with a caesarean scar and it’s just a normal part of having surgery. The scar or also known as suture line will be about 15 to 20 centimeters long. Most women’s scars are along the top of their pubic hairline.
This procedure is usually performed under spinal anaesthesia because it is safer than general anaesthesia effects. The surgical procedure may last more than an hour, with the greater percentage of the time spent on suturing the various tissue layers after delivery.
There are typically two types of incisions made when having a cesarean, the low transverse horizontal incision and the longer vertical cut. Most C-section procedures are done with the low transverse horizontal cut. Generally, only some emergency is the vertical cut made.
A horizontal uterine incision is usually preferred by surgeons because it creates a much stronger scar. However, in some cases, such as when the placenta is blocking the passageway of the cervix, the incision is made vertically.
Any incision causes trauma and oedema to the surrounding tissue with accompanying emotional issues. For the first few weeks following your C-section, your body heals by making scar tissue; this is where collagen is deposited into the wound area which is what makes the scar take on a raised, dark red appearance. Application of compression reduces oedema (swelling) to the area and improves healing. Compression also reduces the wound from developing a thickened scar. The use of compression also aids pain free walking.
Please see a summary of the SRC Recovery Shorts results from our pilot studies where patients were referred by Obstetricians and Physiotherapists.
Wound healing phases.