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C-section scar heal time

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Mum2L View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 January 2009 at 10:22pm
It will be 5 weeks PP for me tomorrow, and my c-section scar just does not seem to be healing properly.

I had an elective c-section, and was expecting to recover quickly. Because I've had a couple of surgeries in the past that gave me a scar exactly like a c-section scar, I was expecting to recover in a week or so (it terms of the scar healing properly, no open bits).

They took my dressing off on day 3, and said to me that I had a little weeping, which was normal, but it looked clean.

I went back home on day 4. No doctor, nurse, or midwife told me how to clean and look after the scar. So I just cleaned it how I thought it should be cleaned (rinsed gently but thoroughly when I have a shower, then patted dry with clean, soft cloth)

I had my first PP checkup with my midwife the next day, and she immediately prescribed antibiotics, as she said the weeping (a mixture of blood and pus) was a sign of an infection.

I had to go back to the hospital 2 weeks PP as my midwife was not happy with how it was healing, and I wasn't either. The weeping was not settling, and the antibiotics were not working. The hospital told me to stop taking the antibiotics, took some swabs, and (finally!) they told me how to look after my scar. I was quite angry, and said that no one told me how to look after it when I was discharged. I was also told that they should have replaced the dressing when they took off the old one, and should have given me some dressings to take home so it would heal properly.

But they didn't bother to put a new dressing on it.

I ended up going back to the hospital a couple of days later with mastitis. I was in for 3 days for IV antibiotics, and I finally had new dressings put on my scar. When I was discharged, they gave me a weeks worth of dressings.

Now I am at 5 weeks PP, and the scar is still not healing properly. The weeping is still at the same level it was at 2 weeks PP. I still have open bits along the scar. I'm still having to take Voltaren for pain and inflammation, This is despite the fact I have been doing what the doctors told me in terms of looking after the scar. They told me to lie flat about 4 to 5 times a day for about 10 to 15 minutes, drying the scar with a hairdryer on the cool setting.

I am getting really frustrated. I am such a clean person, and this weeping make me feel so unclean. I did have the overhang of belly over the scar, but that has pretty much disappeared.

Can anyone offer some advice on what I should do to speed up recovery? I am normally such a fast healer. I am doing everything I can to get it to heal. I have increased my daily dosage of flaxseed oil and vitamin c, to see if that helps heal things faster. I am also taking probiotics.

With my scar not healing properly, I haven't been able to go for a light walk (I have to wait another week).

I am at my wits end with it. I really hate wearing granny undies all the time. I only have one skirt and one pair of trousers that I can wear that doesn't dig into my scar (all my other skirts and trousers are at hip level).

I am seeing my GP on Wednesday for it, as I had my last midwife appointment yesterday.


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peanut butter View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote peanut butter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 January 2009 at 8:28am

Denise, that is such different advice to what I was (or wasnt given).  My dressing got changed on about day 2 and hasnt come off since.  My OB told me just to rinse in the shower and wait till the dressing fell off itself and then put a new one on and thats it.  My MW yesterday had a look and was happy nothing was oozing or red etc.  She said, if the dressing comes off in the next few days we will put a new one on but if it stays on for another week we will just take it off and leave it. 

 

I wasnt told to keep it dry.  In fact I was told that with the dressing on it was a "nice wet healing environment"

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cuppatea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 January 2009 at 8:38am
Yeah I was never told to dry mine either. The dressing that went on in surgery stayed on until the mw took it off about a week later and then that was that. I didn't have to do anything after the dressing came off, I was just gentle when drying that area as it was still tender and bruised but apart from that I did nothing else.

It totally sucks that you have had that much pain and trouble with it. I hope your gp is able to give you some good advice.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Freesia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 January 2009 at 9:30am
I had to leave my dressing on until it either fell off on it's own or my mw replaced it too. It was one of those kind that is the water cannot seep into. Once it was off, I was told to pat mine dry after a shower and then to use the hairdryer on it to dry it thoroughly. I have a belly overhang so I was told it was very important to keep it dry and lie down and air it as much as possible to prevent it from getting infected.

It sounds like you're doing everything you can and you probably just need to give the AB's some time to start working. Good luck and I hope it starts coming right real soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote weegee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 January 2009 at 10:10am
Hugs you poor thing, not what you need with a newborn to look after!

I spent a fortnight in hospital with a wound infection. I was due to leave 5 days PP (bubs had been in CBU) and DH noticed my dressing was a little green, so I casually mentioned it to the midwife on call, who called a doc, and suddenly there was no way I was going home and they put me in a private room to minimise the risk of cross contamination. They threw loads and loads of different antibiotics at me until they found what worked (mostly IV, until I got so sick of being there I bullied them into trying oral ones - they had to wake me up every 3 hours at night to push or take another cocktail). Once they got on top of it though it sounds like mine was better than yours by 5 weeks

A wound specialist wanted to put a wick in it to draw it out that way, and she actually picked at one end of the wound to try to get it to ooze properly but it didn't play ball. (It was a bit green and oozy but then it sealed up and stopped oozing despite being hot to the touch, red and angry all the way up past my belly button.) In the end what worked was a heat pack to draw out the oozing, and a nurse and I spent a while actually squeezing it out (sorry TMI!) early one morning. (Was actually quite funny having several nurses and midwives cram into my room at 3am going "yay! Rachael's finally oozing!")

The more "alternative" hospital midwives mentioned that a poultice would have helped draw the infection out (so you might want to look into that?), and then my LMC midwife (who was a bit of a hippy herself) suggested getting some sunlight on it once it had started to heal. To protect my undies etc I actually just used to fold a maternity pad in half and stick it in the belly flap, worked great (and made it easy to tell if the oozing was getting any better).

It sounds to me like you have really been let down. I hope your GP helps get you some answers, ask them about different ABs as well (or a higher dose?), as what you're on doesn't seem to be doing the trick.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lisa85 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 January 2009 at 10:42am
Hi Denise

I don't have much in the way of advice just wanted to say I hope your feeling better
I had my dressing on for 3 weeks because I was too scared to take it off lol! My LMC kept telling me to do it in the shower but I had heard that it doesn't hurt to let it start peeling away naturally in time. So I waited for 3 weeks then my LMC pinned me down on the couch and liberated me haha. I wonder if mayby they took yours off too soon? I hope it gets better soon chic Must be so hard trying to look after a newborn with that kind of drama on your hands.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toniellis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 January 2009 at 2:04pm
I had my dressing removed before I left hospital so not too sure about that. I was encouraged to use those surfboard style maternity pads on my wound, clean in shower by lifting any loose skin upwards & allowing water to rinse it followed by a gentle pat dry and I was also told to air it out by spending time on my back on the couch with it exposed... Didn't think the hair dryer was a good idea as that could push in bacteria on your skin into the open wound?

Best suggestion though is visiting your GP, which I see that you are doing tomorrow. Sorry that you have had such a rough time of things with the c-section healing process.
Have you tried arnica? It's mainly for bruising etc but I use it quite a bit for any kind of healing
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Mum2L View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mum2L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 January 2009 at 9:39pm
I'm thinking they took the dressing off too quickly, but also they failed, as medical professionals, to tell me how to look after it when I was discharged.

I brought some arnica today, and have been taking it all day. Will see if there is an improvement tomorrow.

I was told the hairdryer was good, as it dries everything out and can stop bacteria from multiplying too much. I have been only been doing it on the lowest setting.

Oh well, I will see what my GP says tomorrow. I just want to wear normal undies again, wear different clothes, and be able to go for walks.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SMoody Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2009 at 1:38pm
I actually had dressing on for about 4 weeks. My gynae looked at it on day 3 (without opening it up) and told me to shower for another 2 weeks and just to keep it dry at the top and if I see any bleeding or puss come out from the bandage to call in immediately)

The dressing would come of on this own and did at 4 or so weeks and then to just make sure it is kept dry. I used maternity pads and put it over the bandage under the panties to keep it totally dry (her suggestion). I moved house at 7 weeks and did lifting (which was totally forbidden). We had to cancel follow up to week 9 due to her missing flights.

And she was fuming when she saw how the scar healed. It looked great by the way but she could see I did something I shouldnt. You can barely see it and when we went for our Immigration medicals they had to look carefully to be able to see it except for the one place (that she was a bit cross with me for).

But my advice is go to your GP and get them to refer you on to another gynae that can have a look as this doesnt sound normal at all. You shouldnt be in such pain at the moment.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LeahandJoel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2009 at 2:02pm

Mine was changed daily in the hospital and was pretty much told I could wear one if I wanted when I got home. Went home day 6 and was back in day 9 with it infected.

After that district nurses came every day for 10 days and checked it and changed the dressing. I was never given any info on caring for it myself by the hospital or my MW or for that matter the district nurse.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeSpirit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2009 at 8:58pm
With my scar, it was changed on day 4 in hospital, and then left until about 3wks PP, it was sore and red and weeping with some of the internal stitches poking out until 5 and a half weeks, but wasn't infected enough for antibiotics. at about 6 and a half weeks I got sick of the stitch and pulled it out through my scar.It actually closed up and started healing properly then. Now it's still raised and pink, I think that's just how it has healed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MissAngel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 February 2009 at 11:05pm
mine was changed on day 3 due to seapage, padded and re-taped. A week later i developed a nasty infection where it swelled up and popped one end of the stitches. 8 months later and i'm still having problems with scar tissue underneath which is bumpy and nasty and everytime i get my AF or I sneeze etc it blimmin hurts!
I also get terrible constipation occasionally which my doctor things was aggrovated by the C/S and it makes my wound area ache.
i also get thrush on it frequently with being larger and having the wee overhang. I usually have a libra ultra-thin there to help with any sweating which causes the thrush. Talc is also my friend!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pukeko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 February 2009 at 11:05am
My scar didnt heal for quite some time either....the dressing came off the day after surgery (as i recall it = mind you i was a bit "out of it" with the after effects of the drug

My MW gave me some blue stuff (sorry i cant be more specific as to what it's called) - it was like a liquid that you use to flush out the wound - as it was incredibly weepy and bleedy when i got home. I then used curash powder to put on it to dry it out = and used a maternity pad across it to also keep it dry = and stop it staining my clothes..... it took a while but definitely worked....i can relate to feeling really gross when it just wont heal. I also took antibiotics to stop it getting infected....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Polina45227671 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2018 at 8:06pm
Hi, read this article
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