Scar tissue is not something you notice by just looking in the mirror, but if you are to have surgery, it can get in the way and make things very difficult. Scar tissue is simply tissue that replaces normal skin once there has been an injury. Your body does its best to repair itself, but you have a scar because the skin fibers do not come together the same way. When you have surgery, particularly in the stomach region, it can leave a lot of scar tissue. If you are with a doctor that does not have a lot of experience, the scar tissue will be even worse. Some of the worst forms of scar tissue are seen after a C-section. Cleaning up the scar tissue can make a huge impact on your recovery.
Formation of Scar Tissue
To understand how scar tissue forms you have to understand the skin. The skin is the largest organ in the body. It protects the inside of the body. It may be soft at times, but it is durable. There are three layers of the skin: epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. When doctors are describing burns, they are describing the layers of skin that have been burned. When you get a cut, the epidermis is typically the layer that gets cut. As soon as you cut yourself or get cut, like in surgery, you bleed. The bleeding is stopped with blood clots. The clots form a plug that prevents you from bleeding continuously. In surgery, once you are sewn up, the body sends cells that help to rebuild the skin. The fibers produced from these cells breaks down the blood clots. Proteins and collagen then begin to form creating scar tissues. Most of the scar tissue lies underneath the skin. It may not be a huge problem at first, but it can cause difficulties later.
Types of Scar Tissue
There are five types of scar tissue. The first type is stretch marks. We may not see it that way, but it is. Keloid scars is another types. These are dark elevated scars that form when there is excess collagen. Sometimes keloids grow abnormally large. They are like benign tumors in a way. Atrophic scars are sunken scars that are typically seen with acne. Hypertrophic scars may be red and are also raised, but over time they flatten. Finally, contracture scars are those associated with burns. The skin rolls over on itself leaving a puckering look.
Pelvic Scar Tissues
Scar tissue is a common problem that gynecologist see. Scar tissue can cause infertility, miscarriages, and other issues. Scar tissue in the pelvic region is typically a result of C-section or surgery that has taken place in the uterus. Some common surgeries include fallopian tube removal or fibroid tumor removal. Many of these fibroids stick to the uterine wall. When that happens, pulling them out leaves scars. A C-section requires an incision in the abdomen. The sewing of the incision can be very messy and create even more scar tissue. If later on, you have to have surgery in the pelvis, that tissue can get in the way.
It can be very difficult to prevent internal scarring, especially when there are incisions made inside of you. You will not even know you have internal scarring without diagnostic testing. Sometimes these tests do not even show everything. When a gynecologist goes inside for surgery, a lot of times they are surprised by how much scar tissue you have. If you are looking to have more children, it is best to clean up that scar tissue so that it does not block the ovaries or fallopian tubes. You may also have pain with sex, and trouble with bowel movements. Some have overall pelvic pain.
The way a wound is sewn back up can do a great deal in preventing scar tissue. Prevention starts with the physician and ends with you. When you have a wound or a scar that is healing, there are things you can do to help the scar heal properly. If you have had surgery in the pelvic region, it is important to keep your bandages on and change them at the appropriate times. You do not want the bandages to be too tight, but you do not want them to be too loose either. Having the right pressure on the wound can prevent the keloids and elevated scars. Keeping the scar covered prevents discoloration, but it also helps protect it from irritation. Clothes can be very uncomfortable, and if they are constantly rubbing in the area of the stitches, it can cause the stitches to come out and lead to bleeding. Cleaning the wound is good as well. Proper hygiene techniques keep infection away. Sometimes you can use creams to ease the itching during healing. Other creams help soothe any irritation you may have.
Scar tissue can happen with any injury you have. It is very common with surgery, particularly pelvic surgery. For most people, it is not a big issue, but if you are looking to become pregnant, you should talk with your OBGYN about any scar tissue you may have that could affect your chances of pregnancy. Scar tissue is not something you should be too worried about. There are methods of treatment and also methods of prevention.
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