How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing? UPDATED

More little BLWers in the making... <rubs hands>

How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing? UPDATED

Postby SharkiesMum » 13 Jan 2014, 18:57

Apologies for the long post, there is a question at the end!
I've got my obstetrician appointment on Thursday, I would like a VBAC and will be discussing this with them, I know they are very supportive of VBAC and this is my preferred option.

The reason I had a csection last time was unusual, I had a perianal abscess at 16 weeks and developed a fistula and they put in a drain that attached high up in my rectum, out into the muscle at that point and down coming out through my perineum. It was to help it to heal open until I could have more surgery and it removed after DS was born.

From what I understand, how well this has healed will dictate whether it is safe to have a VBAC this time (safety for me really, risks are long term faecal incontinence, not usual VBAC risks). The scar doesn't hurt normally, but if I press lightly on it it is very painful still (18 months since I had the drain removed).

My question is, how are your episiotomy scars, or scars from tearing during birth? I hope my scarring is no worse than a bad tear but really I have no idea. Are your scars still painful? Did the scarred tissue stretch ok with subsequent births?

Thanks for your help, I would like to get an idea in my mind before seeing the obstetrician.
Last edited by SharkiesMum on 17 Jan 2014, 08:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing?

Postby SparklePetal » 13 Jan 2014, 19:12

I don't have anything particularly helpful to say experience-wise, but I think if I were in your position I would want to get a specialist opinion on the likelihood of causing long term damage. I know all the choices around birth are a balance of risk versus benefit, and you can't control all the variables or know in advance what will happen, but to me any significant advised risk of faecal incontinence would be a definite deal breaker for a VBAC! So I'd want someone who *really* knew what they were talking about to help me make that decision. Hope you can get the information you need.
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Re: How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing?

Postby SharkiesMum » 13 Jan 2014, 19:21

Thanks SP. the obstetrician should have spoken to my gastro surgeon but if she hasn't I'll get hold of them myself. I think the answer will be they don't know. If they can tell me my risks are the same as anyone else with previous scarring then I'll be happy with that. I'm only 20 weeks so still have loads of time to sort it out!
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Re: How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing?

Postby CherryPop » 13 Jan 2014, 19:24

I agree with SP, but to answer your question, both my two episiotomy scars and second-degree tears have healed well and whilst there is scar tissue there which can be painful at times, it's only during certain activities and really more of an 'Oooh! That was sore' rather than anything more. They were buggers to heal at the time though, I posted here the second time because the pain was literally unbearable. I got stuck in a bath for 2 hours because I couldn't bring myself to get out, because I knew it would hurt so much. I was sobbing with pain every time I had to sit down or get up, going to the toilet was hell, walking practically impossible.

But, the midwife said the doctor had cut right into the muscle to avoid my previous scar, and it was long and deep, so don't let that put you off! It seemed like an eternity at the time but after 4 or 5 days, the stitches broke (because it became infected, but antibiotics cleaned it up no trouble) and the relief was incredible. I would say it was only truly painful for 10 days-2 weeks in total, and as I say, it's fine now.

Sorry if that's all far TMI ;)
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Re: How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing?

Postby Mummyto1 » 13 Jan 2014, 19:53

I only have my own experience to go on but the pain you describe from light pressure sounds a bit of a warning bell for me - I obviously have no idea what that really means but I have had three second degree tears and all healed easily and quickly and I don't have any pain at all from the scarring. I guess there must be scar tissue there but I'm not aware of it. My youngest is 9 months.
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Re: How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing?

Postby gingerbreadhouse » 13 Jan 2014, 20:16

Mummyto1 wrote:I only have my own experience to go on but the pain you describe from light pressure sounds a bit of a warning bell for me - I obviously have no idea what that really means but I have had three second degree tears and all healed easily and quickly and I don't have any pain at all from the scarring. I guess there must be scar tissue there but I'm not aware of it. My youngest is 9 months.


Yes, this. Well, except I had an episiotomy first time, and the youngest is now 2. But the cut and the tears all healed and I have no discomfort or pain; the episiotomy took the longest to heal and was the most uncomfortable (and omw, was I grateful when the MW took the stitches out!).

I hope you are able to get some proper advice from the obstetrician.
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Re: How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing?

Postby ToothFairy » 13 Jan 2014, 22:34

I had an episiotomy followed by two second degree tears. I tore either side of my episiotomy scar with Dylan. All my scars healed well, and I've not had pain like you describe.
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Re: How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing?

Postby mamapup » 13 Jan 2014, 23:00

My c section scar is pretty much gone and forgotten. I don't think I'd even notice it hurting at all now.

Good luck with making a decision, it's never an easy one. I hope you find specialists.to advise. Personally any risk of a fistula would send me begging for a c section though but maybe that's because of my work
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Re: How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing?

Postby shellspark » 14 Jan 2014, 11:29

I also have no advice on the tearing during birth but just wanted to note that I found the recovery from a second c-section completely different in terms of pain (needed no additional meds beyond paracetamol/diclofenac) and mobility. I was up and about the same day and confidently out of the house by 3 weeks. If your section scar has healed ok and the perinal one feels dodgy, I think I would choose to open the stronger one again rather than risk further 'unplanned' damage...

Goodluck with your decision though. Xx
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Re: How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing?

Postby Lily » 14 Jan 2014, 21:42

My episiotomy scar healed with absolutely no pain. I had 5 or 6 stitches, very painful at the time; sitting down and standing up were extremely awkward for a good few weeks and it was at least 10 days before I could comfortably get down the stairs from our flat. It got mildly infected 3 months down the line, and was occasionally itchy while it healed, but once it was healed up, it never gave me any more discomfort. If it was still painful when I pressed it now, I'd be very concerned.
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Re: How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing?

Postby Spanner » 14 Jan 2014, 21:48

Gosh sorry to hijack but i am having major wobbles about my impending vba2c after reading these experiences. My recovery from sections seems like a breeze in comparison to some of these and i am tempted to stick with what i know. Hmmm.
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Re: How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing?

Postby Mummyto1 » 14 Jan 2014, 22:23

Spanner Claus wrote:Gosh sorry to hijack but i am having major wobbles about my impending vba2c after reading these experiences. My recovery from sections seems like a breeze in comparison to some of these and i am tempted to stick with what i know. Hmmm.


Don't be put off! (If a vba2c is what you what, obviously...) It's much more common to heal quickly and easily 'down there', really. Infections, pain etc is not the norm.
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Re: How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing?

Postby shellspark » 15 Jan 2014, 08:15

Spanner Claus wrote:Gosh sorry to hijack but i am having major wobbles about my impending vba2c after reading these experiences. My recovery from sections seems like a breeze in comparison to some of these and i am tempted to stick with what i know. Hmmm.


I know what you mean! If we have a third I'm pretty sure I'll have one last go for a vba2c but these stories do put me off trying too. But a section isn't really ever a walk in the park either I guess...
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Re: How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing?

Postby SharkiesMum » 15 Jan 2014, 08:22

Thanks for all of your replies. It does sound like my scar is quite different to normal episiotomy scars etc then. I actually kind of forgot I even had a csection scar, I never had any pain with it, and within 4 weeks it was almost completely healed. That is very different to my other scar.

The only reason I really want a VBAC is I don't want to stay in hospital and be away from DS. And also I HATE that hospital and was genuinely scared for DS's safety (from other patients screaming, swearing, throwing things etc). But if I have a VBAC and all that scarring tears then I guess I'll be in for even longer than I would with a csection.

I'll see what the obstetrician says and make sure they seem to know what they are talking about, and not just following their standard policy which is to push for a VBAC. I'll let you know what she says!
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Re: How are your episiotomy and birth scars healing?

Postby Rahgamuffin » 15 Jan 2014, 08:33

SM: Which hospital - MMH? Do you have the option to switch to Ashford - not sure its better, but it as least different and doesn't have the same association?
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