Some women opt for a C-section while others may have to undergo this surgery because of some health complications they might be facing while pregnant. Whatever may be the reason for a woman to undergo a C-section, complications such as adhesions may arise after a few months or even after a few years of the delivery. Browse through this post and learn about the symptoms of this condition. Also, find out how you can prevent it.
What Are Adhesions?
Abdominal adhesions are a common complication of surgery. When your body undergoes the surgery, tough tissue bands may form between your abdominal tissues and organs, which are known as adhesions. It is difficult to prevent or stop them from forming. They may appear like spider webs or nylon strands that surround the organs of your body. These strands are powerful and may cause an obstruction in the blood flow or cause disruption in the functions of various internal organs.
How Do Adhesions Form After a C-Section?
Abdominal adhesions are very common, especially after abdominal surgeries such as a C-section. There is a very less likelihood of its occurrence during a laparoscopic surgery because the incision is comparatively small. However, during a c-section, a bigger incision is made. Therefore, there are more chances of trauma or injury to the peritoneum.
The peritoneum is a clear membrane that covers the abdominal organs. But when this protective and slippery lining gets damaged during a c-section, the body’s immune system gets rolling and starts healing itself. This leads to the formation of sticky scar tissue, which is also known as fibrin matrix and inflammation.
In most cases, these scar tissues or bands dissolve with the help of a biochemical process, which is also known as fibrinolysis. But during a surgical procedure, fibrinolysis may not happen that effectively because of low levels of blood chemicals that are required for the process. This means the tissues or bands do not dissolve but instead they develop into adhesions. This may occur a few weeks, few months or even years after you may have undergone a C-section. Most abdominal surgeries can cause the risk of abdominal adhesions. However, C-sections pose a much higher risk.
What Are the Symptoms of C-section Adhesions?
Here are some symptoms of adhesion pain after C-section adhesion:
- If you experience trouble in standing erect or straight.
- If you have unexplained pain in your abdomen years after undergoing a C-section.
- If you have a bloated or swollen tummy.
- If you experience pain during sexual intercourse.
- If you experience pain or tenderness in your scar.
- If you experience intense menstrual pain, especially after undergoing a C-section.
- If you experience severe pelvic pain.
- If you face secondary infertility.
What Are the Visual Characteristics of Adhesions After a C-section?
You can establish whether or not you have adhesions following a c-section by observing some simple signs. If you have an indented c-section scar, which is thick and raised, then you may have adhesions. Also, if your scar is darker than the rest of your skin colour, chances are you may have dense adhesions, which may be irrespective of the fact that the scar protrudes out, lays flat, or is indented.
What Are the Possible Complications?
Here are some complications of adhesions that can arise after a c-section:
- Adhesions can cause dyspareunia or pain during sexual intercourse.
- Adhesions may result in infertility too.
- Some women may experience pelvic pain because of adhesions.
- Adhesions may cause complications and difficulties in further abdominal surgeries.
How to Treat C-section Adhesions
The complications that occur because of adhesions can be treated. A procedure called adhesiolysis can be performed to cure infertility or pain associated with adhesions. If you experience trouble in passing stools, surgery may be conducted to reopen your intestine. In most cases, the treatments are successful, but there is always a risk of further complication, which may occur because of new adhesions. However, laparoscopic adhesiolysis may be a better option because it reduces the formation of adhesions.
How to Prevent the Formation of C-section Adhesions
It is important to learn that all surgeons are aware of the fact that adhesions may result in complications. Therefore, a number of measures adopted by the surgeons aim at minimising the risk of C-section scar adhesions:
- The use of certain medication may reduce the chances of adhesions.
- By closing the peritoneum post, a caesarean section will less likely cause adhesions.
- By creating a barrier between the damaged tissues to prevent them from sticking may minimise the occurrence of adhesions.
- One of the most effective and best ways to reduce or prevent the risk of bowel adhesions after a C-section or other kinds of complications is by opting for a vaginal delivery if possible.
Reducing the risk of adhesions is one of the best ways of saving yourself from this condition rather than having them surgically removed in the later stages of your life. For more information on this topic, it is suggested that you speak with your doctor and learn about the possible risks and options you can have.