Thursday, February 16, 2012

C Sections Can Lead to Hernias

A Cesarean section (commonly known as a C section) is an operation used in child birth to remove a child through the abdomen, rather than between the legs. A lot of women assume that this option is better than natural childbirth because they do not have to do a lot of work for it. They can go in for an operation and come out with a baby in hand. This may be true, but there are a number of medical problems that could come up that women need to keep in mind. One of these problems is a hernia, which is a common result of a C section. Here is a look at how this even happens and what may cause it to occur.

What Is a Hernia?

A hernia after a C section is known as an incisional hernia. This is a result of a weakened muscle in a woman's abdominal area that allows for underlying muscles to pop up to the surface. This makes a slight bump in that area, which could be painful because of the tenderness. The raise happens in the area where the incision occurred during delivery, hence the name incisional hernia. It is fairly common amongst new mothers, but it can be a scare if you aren't aware of what is going on. Let's examine this problem a bit further so you can have a greater understanding of treatments, causes and the like.

Who Is at Risk of Developing a Hernia after a C Section?

Any patient who has abdominal surgery is at risk for an incisional hernia, but obviously only pregnant women can get a hernia after a C section. You can increase your chances of getting an incisional hernia if you gain a lot of weight after your pregnancy. This adds unnecessary stress to the body that can cause all kinds of things to move around. If you do a lot of heavy lifting after birth, you might also increase your chances of getting a hernia because of the resultant strain. Getting pregnant soon after giving birth may also increase your risks.

How Can I Detect a Hernia?

Discovering a hernia after a C section usually happens when some sort of abdominal activity is engaged, like coughing or a bowel movement. If you start noticing some tenderness in that area, simply look down for a bump. That raised area will provide a swift diagnose to share with your doctor. You should not need to have any additional testing done beyond a simple doctor's exam. In rare instances, a large hernia may need some testing just to determine additional underlying causes. You will most likely not need to worry about that.

How Is a C Section Hernia Corrected?

Getting surgery to improve a hernia after a C section might not actually be necessary, unless you happen to be under a severe case. Large, persistent and reoccurring hernias do need surgical treatment so they don't turn into even worse problems than they already are. For the small issues, however, there are belts out there that put pressure on the raised muscles to keep them in place. They are called trusses and many doctors recommend their use. As could be expected, consulting with your doctor will be the best way for you to determine what your options are.


The majority of women may go without having a hernia with a C section, but there is a good portion of the population that experiences this problem. You have to keep this in mind if you are planning to have a C section because it could have a big impact on your health. Talk to your doctor about your risks and you can make a decision from there.

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