C-Section Pregnancy Scars: Prevention, Management, Causes & Types| KM NU Hospitals
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C-Section Pregnancy Scars: Prevention, Management, Causes & Types

A Caesarean section, commonly known as a C-section, is a surgical procedure for delivering a baby through an incision in the mother's abdomen and uterus. This method is employed when a natural birth is risky for the mother, baby, or both. 

C-sections may be planned or performed in emergencies, addressing complications such as abnormal positioning, foetal distress, or maternal health concerns. The procedure involves anaesthesia, an incision, and careful removal of the baby. 

While C-sections are generally safe, they entail recovery time and potential risks. The decision to undergo a C-section is typically made collaboratively by healthcare providers and expectant parents.


Types of caesarean sections

The choice of the type of caesarean section depends on various factors, including the reason for the surgery, the position of the baby, and the mother's medical history. It is performed to ensure a safe delivery while minimizing risks to both the mother and the baby. The following are the commonly used C-section incisions:

. Low transverse caesarean section: This is the most common type of C-section. The incision is made horizontally across the lower part of the uterus, also known as a "bikini cut." It is preferred over the classical incision because it is associated with less bleeding and a lower risk of uterine rupture in future pregnancies.

. Classical incision:  This type involves a vertical incision made on the upper part of the uterus. It is rarely performed nowadays, due to its association with a higher risk of uterine rupture in subsequent pregnancies.


Causes of C-Section Scars

The C-section incision typically results in a scar, and various factors can contribute to the formation and appearance of scars. The following are some common causes:

. Surgical technique: The way the incision is made and closed during the C-section can affect the appearance of the scar. Proper surgical technique, including precise closure of the incision, can help minimize scarring.

. Infection: Infections that occur during or after the C-section can contribute to the formation of noticeable scars. Infections can hinder the natural healing process and may result in a thicker or more raised scar.

. Poor wound care: Inadequate care of the incision site can lead to complications such as infection or delayed healing, which may affect the final appearance of the scar. Following postoperative care instructions from healthcare providers is important.

. Genetics: Some individuals are more prone to developing noticeable scars due to genetic factors. If a person has a family history of hypertrophic or keloid scarring, they may be more likely to develop such scars after a C-section.

. Obesity: Women with higher body mass index (BMI) may have an increased risk of developing larger and more prominent scars after a C-section.

. Diabetes: Diabetes can impact the body's healing process, potentially leading to slower wound healing and an increased risk of complications, including poor scar formation.

. Pregnancy complications: Complications during pregnancy or labour that necessitate an emergency C-section may contribute to a higher likelihood of scarring. 

.  Previous abdominal surgeries: If a woman has had prior abdominal surgeries, especially those involving the uterus, there may be an increased risk of adhesions and scar tissue formation during subsequent C-sections.


Management of C-Section Scars

Management of C-section scars involves various options to reduce their visibility and improve skin appearance: The following are the various treatment options for C-section scars:

·       Silicone treatment: Utilizing silicone gel or sheets/tapes has proven effective in minimizing surgical scars, particularly for smaller scars. The application of silicone aids in breaking down scar tissue, leading to a lighter and less noticeable scar over time.

·       Steroid injections: For larger scars, steroid injections are employed to flatten the affected area, making the scar less conspicuous. Regular visits to a cosmetic gynaecologist are necessary for continued injections, as it is not a one-time procedure.

·       Laser therapy: Advanced medical lasers can be used to lighten C-section scars, even those that are a few months old. Multiple sessions may be required to achieve visible results, making this an effective option for scar reduction.

·       Scar revision surgery: In cases where other treatments prove insufficient, scar revision surgery may be recommended. This procedure involves making an incision over the scar, removing the scar tissue, and allowing the body to heal anew. If the production of scar tissue is controlled, the visibility of the scar can be reduced. Subsequent treatments may then be explored to further lighten the scar.

Prevention of C-Section Scars

Preventing or minimizing the appearance of C-section scars involves proper wound care and promoting overall skin health. While it is essential to note that individual healing varies, below are some tips to help prevent or reduce the visibility of C-section scars:

·       Follow medical advice: Adhere to your healthcare provider's instructions for post-operative care. This includes keeping the incision area clean, dry, and protected to prevent infection.

·       Gentle cleansing: Clean the incision site with mild soap and water as recommended by your healthcare provider. Avoid chemicals, scented products, or excessive scrubbing.

·       Keep it dry: Ensure the incision area remains dry. Rub it gently with a clean, soft towel after washing.

·       Avoid sun exposure: Protect the scar from direct sunlight, especially during the initial healing period. Use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) or cover the scar with clothing when exposed to the sun to prevent hyperpigmentation.

·       Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet: Proper nutrition is essential for better skin health and faster wound healing. Stay hydrated and consume a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C and zinc.

·       Manage your weight: Avoid rapid weight gain or loss, as fluctuations can impact the appearance of scars.

·       Massage: Gentle massage of the scar tissue can promote blood circulation and help reduce scar thickness.  

·       Scar creams and ointments: Some over-the-counter scar creams or ointments containing ingredients like silicone, vitamin E, or onion extract may help reduce scarring. Consult your healthcare provider before using any products to ensure they are safe for your specific situation.

·       Stay active: Gentle physical activity can help improve blood circulation and promote overall healing. However, avoid strenuous exercises until you receive instructions from your healthcare provider.


To summarize, caesarean section scars require careful postoperative care to minimize complications. Adequate wound hygiene, monitoring infections, and avoiding strenuous activities during the initial healing phase are essential. Regular follow-ups with healthcare professionals ensure proper assessment and timely intervention if issues arise. Adhering to medical advice promotes optimal healing and reduces the risk of complications, fostering a successful recovery for mothers with caesarean section scars.

NU Fertility in Bangalore, India, is renowned for delivering exceptional cosmetic gynaecological services, particularly in caesarean sections. With a commitment to precision and patient care, NU Fertility stands out for its expertise in enhancing the aesthetic aspects of caesarean procedures, ensuring both medical excellence and personalized attention. Experience the best cosmetic gynaecological services at NU Fertility, where your well-being and satisfaction are prioritized with utmost care.



1.  Scar Tissue after a Cesarean Section. National Library of Medicine.


2.  C-section. Medline Plus.


3.  C-section. Better Health.


Author: Dr. Gracy Sunny Kindo