C Section Incision


On Average How Big Is A C Section Incision?

If you due to have an elective c section or you’re worried about the chances of having a c section due to problems that may arise at hospital, then you might want to know a little about the c section incision.

This is the cut that the surgeon makes in order to open up the womb and remove the baby.

The size of a c section incision isn’t always the same and remember the priority in emergency situations is to get both baby out and you safe.

It isn’t easy to answer this one exactly because babies can be born at many various weights, shapes and sizes.

Also this can depend on the position your baby is in and whether the head is in the downward position or in the breach position.

The conditions in which the operation is used will also have an effect on the size of c section incision. If there was some urgency involved, because of serious problems then again, this may dictate how big the opening needs to be.

During the operation a surgeon will need to make an slit through the tummy wall. The normal area for this is a horizontal cut, just around the bikini line (pubic hair line).

This incision is known as a standard transverse or 'bikini cut' incision and is typically about 4-6 inches in size.

If a bigger incision is desired or the baby needs delivering immediately then a vertical incision may be the next option. This is usually referred to as a classical opening and is usually only done if: -

  • The baby is premature
  • The baby is lying crosswise in the uterus
  • The placenta is in the way or
  • The uterus hasn't stretched enough to allow for a safe a transverse incision. 

The classical cut is performed vertically from just below the tummy button (naval) to just above the pubic bone and this also changes in length depending on the baby's size.

How big a c section scar is and the way it repairs and appears in the future will also depend on how the sides of the incision are knitted back together. Some doctors prefer to use staples whereas others still use suture.

There is little proof to show that either way will increase or decrease the size of the appearance of the c section incision scar.

An infected scar can cause a lot of anguish, pain and stress.

After giving birth by c section, you just want to get back to normal as quickly as possible. It may have been a very upsetting and emotional experience whilst in hospital, but at least you have a beautiful baby to show for the trauma you’ve been through.

The next job is to make sure that you make a full and rapid recovery. The good news is that an uncomplicated c section incision will heal very quickly and after a few months if you manage to lose your baby weight, all that you’ll be left with after having your baby is just a tiny scar that's barely noticeable.

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