16 answers

C-section Complications

I had a c-section a little over a week ago. When the docs came in and removed the staples the realized the wound hadn't healed correctly. They packed me up with gauze and sent me home with my little guy. I've had home health care nurses coming for the last few days to change the gauze and dressing (twice a day) and am now awaiting a vacuum pump for the wound (which apparently only needs to be changed 3 times a week).

Various docs and nurses have told me anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks for recovery with the vac.

Has anyone else had this experience (I'm told it's not that uncommon, especially in women who labor for a long time and end up with a section)? The vac is apparently used in other wounds as well - does anyone have any experience with them?

Just looking for other stories to help me understand what I'm in for. Thanks!

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More Answers

Hi E.-
I feel your pain literally. I too had complications from an emergency C-Section when my son was born. The wound started leaking profusely. I ended up going to the emergency room early Christmas morning-Talk about nerve wracking I had an infant at home ready to celebrate his first Christmas, and I was in the ER. I was sent home with guaze and told I had an infection that had to drain on it's own. I had a home care nurse for 6 weeks cleaning the wound and applying dressings. You mentioned a vac. I don't remember having that done.
Congratulations and best of luck!

oh my... I feel so bad for you... sounds awful! But the good news is I am sure you will heal fine once this is all over. I actually never heard of that but wanted to wish you all the best & hope lots of people respond to your question!

I had similar complications after a repeat c-section last summer. My wound opened four days after being sent home and needed to be packed with gauze for almost two months, twice a day. I was never given the option of a vacuum pump. I would say, though, if it only has to be changed 3 times a week and you hear positive things about it, please do it. Being reminded of and inconvenienced by the wound dressing twice a day can be very depressing, and you don't want anything to take away from these first precious moments with your newborn son.

My c-section healed fairly nicely, considering. There is a slight divot where the wound was, but there are no tags or bumps along the scar line, which can happen if the outside wound heals faster than the inside (which is what the gauze packing and the vacuum facilitate).

Best of luck to you and keep snuggling that little guy!
-S. Toups

I am a home care nurse and have had many woman with post C-Section complications. The wound vac is for deeper wounds. Not as comman in post C-sections. It does work well, but it tends to beep a lot if it has a leak. I wound say about 6 weeks for a full recovery P.

NOT for C sect,

but wound Vacs are great, you need to keep the area clean,

lay on your back, or SIT back,

little movements

Take all the meds,

Wear white cotton t Shirts, make sure they are clean,
Don't rest the baby on your belly,

Eat healthy, drink plenty of water.

--Its very common for people to get infections at hospitals,
I also want to suggest using GLUE the next time for your C sect.


Hi E.,
I also had an emergency c-section. I went through the whole labor with contractions and still ended up having surgery. My recovery took 6 weeks. I was able to exercise by the 7th week. It is now a year later and occasionally I can get a little pain there but nothing to worry about. I don't have experience with vacs though. I wish you luck in your recovery.

Congratulations on your little guy! I'm sorry you are having some trouble with your healing. I've had three c-sections but my last one 8 months ago is the only one I had any trouble with where the corners got infected. I didn't need a wound vac for it though.

Now my mom had a heart attack last June and ended up on life support. While moving her from bed to bed, somebody apparently hit her back on something and she developed a HORRIBLE wound on her back. Think amazing make up job in a horror movie and a very large wound. She had to be on a wound vac and said that she felt better while on it. It was a pain because you have to carry the vac around with you of course but the times they took it off for a couple of days because she was about to go to a doctor's appointment or something, she couldn't wait to get it back on.

I do have to say that from the pictures I saw to what her back looked like when they removed the vac are like night and day. The area is a little pink but honestly, I couldn't have imagined it looking as beautiful as it does because of how bad it was.

I don't know what other kinds of stories you are getting but I wanted to send you my mom's where I can honestly tell you it was ok. Just watch people around the hose too!! That's the other thing.

I wish you a speedy and full recovery so you can get back to just enjoying your little guy.



Hi! How unfortunate that you had to go through this, especially with your first baby! I am so sorry. I haven't had experience with complications like this but I am a Medical/Surgical nurse and have taken care of many people with wound vacs... wounds have ranged from surgery that has not healed properly to pressure sores. They are wonderful things although you will be connected to a machine that puts constant suction on your wound sucking out any type of drainage that you might have. They are pretty portable and some of them are quite small but it will be extra things besides the baby to lug around with you. I am not sure what type of wound vac would need to be changed 3 times a week... typically they are only changed if the suction system is broken. You will probably have a spongelike dressing that is cut to fit the size of the wound and then a clear plastic film is put over top, sort of like the dressings used over an IV site. On that top layer, there will be a tube which connects to the suction collection chamber. When turned on, the dressing will shrink to flat and constant suction will be maintained on the wound. If that top dressing gets a hole in it or starts to come off, the entire dressing needs to be changed.... otherwise, they typically leave them in place. I hope that things go well for you and that you heal quickly... There is so much to look forward to with your new bundle of joy! Take care and get well soon. (hope this helps some)

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