Q: I had a C-section approximately five years ago and I have a terrible scar. Is there anything I can do about it?
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A: The short answer is yes. There are many different types of C-section scars that patients get. If your scar is simply thick and has pigmentation and or redness there are several options for you. You may have the scar injected with Kenalog (a steroid), which will make the scar thinner and less noticeable. Care should be taken when the injection is done. If it is too deep, it may cause fat loss and this can be more noticeable. Sometimes because of the formation of a keloid, you may actually need to have five fluorouracil, an anticancer drug, that may work better than the steroid. If your scar is noticeable because it is red in color and has a lot of vascularity, a laser may work to improve that.
Some scars are very noticeable because of the malposition of the skin. On occasion, if the C-section is done as an emergency, or if the doctor is not careful, the layers of tissue do not come together well. You will notice this when the upper layer of the scar or the lower layer of the scar stick out. When this is the situation, you will probably need to have surgical repair and release of the scar. This can be done with local anesthesia and sedation, if you prefer. The different areas of the scar are elevated and using a plastic surgery closure, the different layers are sutured together. The recovery for this procedure may be several days, up to several weeks, depending on the size of the scar. This operation and treatment is a very satisfying procedure for both the patient and the doctor as the results are usually excellent.
Dr. Carlos Wolf is a partner in Miami Plastic Surgery and is board certified. Email your questions to him at Cwolf@miamiplasticsurgery.com. Follow him at @CarlosWolfMD