C-section Nerve Damage

Updated on July 23, 2008
P.R. asks from Depew, OK
11 answers

I had my daughter 17 years ago by c-section. For years, the scar stayed raised and red and hurt on one end that was more flat. Below the scar is numb and there is graduated sensation along the top and right end. The left end is the one that had the electrical jolts that would hurt. I say *had* because in recent months, after 17 years, the scar is now flat and smooth, doesn't feel hard anymore - but the numbness is still there. I have consulted with 3 different doctors and they just shrug and say "oh well, sometimes that's the way it goes" like it is no big deal to them. It frustrates me because I know it has diminished my pleasurable sensations.

Anyone else had similar experience and did you find an resolution or were you just told to live with it like I have been? I had heard a repair surgery could be done but I haven't been able to track that down.

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C.S.

answers from Jackson on

I have the same problem. I guess I have just learn to live with it. But I have gain some weight after both of my kids (18-16 years old) I finally went and had a Tummy tuck about a year ago. All my fat was hanging over the C-section area. Now I have an even bigger area where I have numbness. It is because they cut through the nerves. I will never get it back or I would have by now. But I look good.. ;)

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M.W.

answers from Little Rock on

Dear P.,
I TOTALLY understand your frustration. I too had a C-Section a little over 15 years ago and have also had several laproscopic surgeries to remove ovarian cysts. I ended up having a complete hysterectomy in 2004 - this incision was done just below the one from the C-Section.

My scars can still be tender at times, but not too bad. Like you though, I have lost almost ALL SENSATION on my lower abdomen. My doctor's have also told me this is something that happens and may or may not resolve. I have not heard of any type of surgical or other type treatment that will correct this.

I agree that it can be EXTREMELY annoying at times!!!!! I also hate the fact that the nerve & muscle damage in that area makes it so difficult for me to TONE up my lower abdomen and it's almost impossible to get rid of the "kangaroo pouch." I guess I have just learned to live with it. Best of Luck to you & God Bless.
M. W.

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J.D.

answers from Huntsville on

I had a C-Section in 2006, and I also feel nothing below the scar. I could run a needle through the area, and wouldn't feel a thing.

The doc said that was common. A lot of my friends who had c-sections have the same issue.

It hasn't hurt my intimacy though. The numbness doesn't go that far down..

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L.B.

answers from Biloxi on

P.,
I too have had a c-section and have nerve damage and being a surgical tech I have learned there is nothing that can be done about it! When having a section they have to cut muscle and sometimes they do hit nerves. I know exactly how you feel about no sensation. My daughter is 5 and if we are horse playing or whatever and she just accidently hits my stomach above the incision it still feels very odd and even sometimes hurts because of the nerves being cut. I have talked with my ob/gyn and he says that I might always have that feeling or the nerves might eventually grow back together!
I know that I haven't been much help to you but atleast you now know that you are not alone!

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C.H.

answers from Jackson on

Go to ican-online.org
International Cesarean Awareness Network and join the online forum. There are thousands of women on the list and they may have some answers for you and know of a doctor in your area that can do the repair. I am sorry you are experiencing this!

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G.F.

answers from Tulsa on

I don't know about having surgery, but I had my daughter by c-section 7 years ago and a hysterectomy 3 months ago and my scar is still numb. I had asked my sister-in-law about it at one time because she had both of my nephews (almost 18 and 14) by c-section and she still has the numbness feeling as well. I have spoken with a doctor about it and like you was not really given a straight answer, but was told that it is normal for you to feel that numbness. Hope this helps...
G. F.

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J.H.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Tackling the nervous system is something that's still eluding the medical profession. Its a very tricky business. Nerves do have the ability to repair themselves, but its a very slow process and the results are sometimes very strange sensations. I had breast cancer, so I've gone thru alot of surgeries that destroy nerves in some very sensitive areas. One of them was a lymph node removal under one of my arms. It affected my upper arm, shoulder, a good portion of my back. My fiance gives me regular massases and it seems that I gain a little sensitivity everytime he does. The numb area has been reduced to right around my incision and lately even that area "itches". Increasing bloodflow to the area will go a long toward helping to repair the damage, so you could give massaging and massagers a try. Use a cream or oil that helps stimulate bloodflow, like cinnamon or myrrh - someplace like Akins can help you with what to pick. Beware tho, the new sensations always start with alot of itching and shooting pains, but you can think of them as progress. I also find that a nice seductive massage helps to put me in the mood. I hope this helps. :}

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A.B.

answers from Shreveport on

January 5, 2006, I had a son by scheduled c-section, followed by a hysterectomy. The next week when we went in to have my stitches checked and my son circumsised, a nurse told me it could take six months for the nerves to regenerate. She was wrong! My scar is still numb. I do still have pains through it on occasion. It looks just like you described your scar, only mine is not red. One end is flatter than the other. The end that is not flat looks kinda puckered like my dr. gathered in more skin for a few stitches. I have been told to just live with it. I know of other women who have been told the same thing, so it's not just you. I hope it helps to know this problem plagues a lot of women. I guess this isn't much help otherwise!

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S.K.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I've had 2 c-sections and am very numb, but it hasn't
diminished my pleasurable sensations" ..
but as i understand it, it is normal to be numb.

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M.M.

answers from Huntsville on

Too late for vitamin E oil put on the scar.

I had a C-section 26 years ago. I don't have the exact same symptoms you do except for the numbness right on top of the scar and to either side. Of course there was nerve damage --

I will have more "pain" with it when I'm overweight and my stomach sticks out -- there was muscle damage there too. I wonder if this is like "phantom" pain people experience when they've lost an arm or a leg..... nerves still thinking there's something there?

My suggestion is to find a female OB/GYN and talk to her.

I had a hormonal problem after menopause and the male doctor "just let me go off hormones" knowing full well the ramifications. The female doctor I went to two years later because of painful intercourse, told me he should have been shot and knew full well what would happen. I've been treated successfully....

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M.C.

answers from Jonesboro on

I would definitely consult with a plastic surgeon to see about having a scar revision done. The nerve damage is likely permanent, but it wouldn't hurt to find out what can be done, if anything. Sometimes, sensation comes back over time as nerve fibers regrow (nerve fibers grow in length at a very slow rate but can be very long, depending on where they are in the body) or relax after being stretched. You might ask for references for a plastic surgeon who has specifically dealt with c-section scar revision. You might could talk to previous clients to hear about and see their results. You don't want to make something worse than what it already is, so be careful about choosing your doctor. In a scar revision surgery, basically, all of the scar tissue is removed, the site is closed back up very carefully, and then hopefully, you will have a nicer and smaller scar than before. The doctor might be able to diagnose or treat any nerve damage issues while he has you open, but again, that damage could be permanent. Good luck!