C-Section adhesions and scar tissue are filmy, sticky, tentacle-like bands of tissue that form in your abdomen after abdominal surgery.
They are the body’s way of replacing damaged, cut tissues.
C-Section adhesions are one of the most worrisome C-Section risks because they’re painful and can cause long term health complications.
C-Section adhesions and Scar Tissue Concerns.
- How Do C-Section Adhesions Become a problem?
- What are the complications C-Section adhesions?
- How to ease Adhesion Pain and Discomfort?
- How can you prevent C-Section adhesions?
How Do C-Section Adhesions Become a problem?
Adhesions become a problem when they attach themselves to organs and other tissues in your body.
For most women adhesions don’t grow large enough to cause complications, however for some women they can adhere (hence the name adhesion) to other organs like ovaries, uterus, Fallopian tubes, intestines or bladder. If they adhere to the intestines for example, they can cause bowel obstruction.
The most difficult thing about adhesions is that they don’t show up on X-Rays, ultrasounds or other detection devices making abdominal pain difficult to diagnose. Adhesions are often recognized after a process of elimination. If a problem can’t be detected elsewhere, then adhesions will be considered.
Complications of C-Section Adhesions and Scar Tissue
- Bowl Obstruction. Abdominal Adhesions are the most common cause of bowel obstruction.
- Chronic abdominal pain. Adhesions can adhere to abdominal organs or tissues causing a pulling, painful sensation.
- Increased risk of bladder injury.
- Infertility. There’s about a 20% risk that C-Section adhesions can interfere with future fertility.
For women who experience extensive pain or have fertility issues from c-section adhesions and scar tissue complications, additional surgery to remove the adhesions can help.
The problem with more surgery is that it creates more adhesions. This is one main reason women are advised to limit the number of C-Sections they have.
The good news is that adhesion removal can be done laparoscopically which is a much less invasive surgery and has a good success rate for relieving pain and improving fertility.
Ease C-Section Adhesion Pain and Discomfort
If you are suffering with adhesion pain or infertility here are a few things that can help.
- Post surgery massage therapy. Massage can help loosen the grip of adhesions. For example, post C-Section self-massage therapy is a good preventive measure in help minimize the damaging effects of adhesions. And it can be done soon after C-Section surgery.
- Yoga Exercises. Yoga poses and stretches, like the forward bend, the cat/cow stretch, the cobra pose and side twists will strengthen and tone muscles keeping your incision flexible while also keeping it from getting tight and uncomfortable.
- Stretching for C-Section Adhesion Pain Relief. Daily stretching is another way to soften adhesion fibers. Pelvic tilts are an effective yet gentle exercise for stretching the areas of the adhesions that need the most attention.
How to Prevent or Minimize C-Section Adhesions
If you know you will be having a C-Section take a pro-active approach using these tips to prevent C-Section Adhesions from becoming a problem.
- Inquire about using adhesion blockers with your doctor. Absorbable Adhesion barriers like Seprafilm can minimize the risk of abdominal adhesions and adhesion related complications. Adhesion barriers like these can be inserted at the time of surgery to help guard against the formation of adhesions. Ask your doctor about using an adhesion barrier.
- Closing up the peritoneum. This is a surgical technique that helps minimize tissue injury and contamination of the wound, but it’s also been found to reduce adhesions. Another procedure you should inquire about with your doctor.
On closing the peritoneum, a study in 2005 by Stanford University has found that women who have had the peritoneum closed as part of their first c-section delivery are as much as five times less likely to develop adhesions than those who had theirs left open as is the common practice today.
This is possibly why I have not had any issues myself with adhesions as my doctor closed the peritoneum. I actually think this is one of the most significant things your doctor can do.
- Use of Joel-Cohen incision incision. A report by Mathai M, Hofmeyr GJ of The Cochrane Collaborative suggests that using a Joel-Cohen incision, a specific type of incision used for C-Sections can result in “… less fever, pain and analgesic requirements; less blood loss; shorter duration of surgery and hospital stay”. Again, ask your doctor about this.
- Self Massage Therapy or professional massage therapy helps minimize the pain of adhesions. Massage works by breaking up the bands of the adhesions, helping the body return to normal, pain-free function.
Unfortunately adhesion related disorders or ARD is misunderstood and often misdiagnosed and its victims have to fight to get to the cure.
That was the case for Karen Stewart, a mother who fought for 14 years trying to get to the bottom of her daughter’s chronic abdominal pain which were misdiagnosed adhesions.
Karen’s daughter is finally well today thanks to her perseverance. Karen now devotes much of her time to Adhesion awareness through her popular book “Doctors: Bound by Secrecy? Victims: Bound by Pain!”
Blessings and I hope that helps
Photo Courtesty of By Ohmega1982 & freedigitalphotos.net