In honor of C-section Awareness Month we wanted to share this article by board-certified OB/GYN and Belly Bandit advisor, Dr. David Ghozland, M.D. about C-section scars.
Nearly a third of U.S. deliveries are via cesarean section, leaving these mothers with a lifelong scar. Doctors do their best to minimize the scar, making the incision just below the bikini line. A mother who gave birth via C-section can usually wear a bikini without revealing the scar.
Still, the procedure is a major surgery and everyone’s body heals differently. Some women are left with a barely visible scar while others are more pronounced.
During a C-section, the surgeon makes two successive incisions: first through the lower abdomen, and then through the uterus to reach the infant.
There are also two different types of incisions that will be made on the abdomen, depending on the medical circumstances:
- Horizontal Incision: A horizontal incision in the lower part of the uterus is used in nearly 95 percent of C-sections. The skin is thinner in this area and therefore the surgery will result in less bleeding. Horizontal C-sections heal faster and leave less of a scar behind than vertical cuts. In addition, this type of procedure makes it easier for mom to give birth vaginally in the future, since it is less likely to split.
- Vertical Incision: This style, which involves cutting the abdomen from the belly button to the pubic line, is rarely used in developed countries anymore. A doctor may have to proceed with a vertical incision if the mother already has a scar in that area or in certain fetal emergencies.
Even a small or faint scar can be bothersome. Fortunately, there are some effective ways for successful C-section scar removal. Laser scar removal can help treat discoloration and smooth the texture of the scar and surrounding area. This outpatient surgery, which uses a laser to promote collagen and elastin growth, can be completed in as little as three months and requires no recovery time.