C-section scar tissue and adhesions
Scar tissue and adhesions are issues we deal with in c-section healing. In fact, post-surgical scar adhesions happen after most pelvic and abdominal surgeries.
An adhesion is a fibrous band of scar tissue that grows between organs or muscles, glueing them together. Adhesions will restrict the internal movement and will stick together tissues that normally would not be connected.
Our tissues are created by cells. These cells are aligned in an orderly way, like bricks in a wall, creating smooth tissues. However, when we get a cut the body tries to bring the pieces back together as soon as possible. In order to do this, it starts quickly laying down collagen fibres in the area. The result is a thicker tissue that grows in a more disorganized way and that can spread to other areas of the pelvis and around the scar area: organs, connective tissue and muscles.
Adhesions do not happen only by c-section. They can appear after any abdominal surgery. They are different in each person: some will have more than others. Research suggests that over 50 percent of women will develop scar adhesions following surgery.
Adhesions and scar tissue can cause pain and other long-term health problems. The problem is that they are difficult to diagnose as they don’t show up in x-rays or other medical tests.
Some of the symptoms of adhesions are:
- Abdominal pain without cause
- Difficulties to stand straight
- Sense of restriction
- Swollen belly
- Pain during intercourse
- Increased menstrual pain
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Pain along the c-section scar
- Bladder urgency
In some cases, they grow around or inside other organs like womb, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowels or bladder. If they grow in the fallopian tubes, they can cause infertility and if they grow in the intestines, they can cause bowel obstruction. They can also create chronic abdominal pain and increase the risk of bladder injury. They can restrict the function of the pelvic floor muscles too.
Some people would choose to go through surgery to remove these adhesions. However, the problem is that this surgery will create new adhesions. Laparoscopy surgery is less invasive and can give better results.
What can we do to help with adhesions?
The longer a woman waits to seek help, the thicker and denser the adhesions will become but there is always a chance for improvement.
– Massage can help alleviate the pain and discomfort created by adhesions. It will break the scar tissue aligning the cells in order. Women should massage their own c-section scar as soon as possible after surgery. Just wait until it is healed enough. If it is painful, work around the area. Remember that the scar that we see on the skin is just in the superficial layer and there are deeper layers you need to reach in order to release the scar. You can always book a session with a therapist that can massage your scar in a proper way and also teach you the right way to do it yourself.
– Energy work. Energy is always moving around in a healthy body. Adhesions are blocking the healthy flow of energy and can cause restriction and illness. The right energy work will restore the energy movement. From an energetic point of view, surgery has not only cut the tissues but also has stopped the flow of energy in your ethereal body. Reiki or other forms of therapy can help with the adhesions caused by your c-section by releasing the unwanted energy in your body, restoring the flow of energy and promoting relaxation and balance.
– Stretching and movement. Exercising when you have abdominal adhesions after a c-section can be tricky as women can feel pain and tightness. However, the movement will help oxygenate and will take nutrients to the area. Also, gentle stretching help to release the muscles. Sedentarism can create more restriction, weaken the muscles and make the movement more difficult.
– Correct breathing. Proper breathing patterns will get the right amount of oxygen to the body. It also mobilizes the organs in the abdomen and the core muscles.
– Low-stress levels. Lack of adequate rest and high-stress levels can decrease the production of collagen and impair the body’s ability to heal.
– Hydration and nutrition. Water is essential for most body functions, from wound healing to mental processes. Hydration will keep the tissues lubricated and it is fundamental when growing new tissue. Eating the right quantity of nutrients is equally important. Deficiencies of certain minerals, vitamins and other chemical substances will create an imbalance in the body and can contribute to the abnormal tissue growth.
If you are interested in booking a postnatal massage with me to help with your c-section healing you can find out more about it here.