The long term impact of caesarean section scar problems on the individual and associated healthcare needs

Hubert van Griensven, Ann Moore, Valerie Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term
impact of Caesarian section
(CS) scar problems on the individual. It also assessed the help that women
would like to receive for these issues. Nineteen participants who had undergone a
CS between 11 and 35 months previously took part in qualitative interviews. First,
a survey explored the women’s personal experiences of CS scar problems and related
healthcare. The topics and participants for the survey were identified through
Internet research into informal discussions and a postal survey. The women who
took part in the study were recruited from the catchment area of a National Health
Service trust in South East England. Caesarian section scars clearly affected the
participants in a variety of ways. Although some women were troubled by their
scars, few sought professional help because the majority had learned to live with
any problems that they might have. Their main concerns related to subsequent
pregnancy. However, many participants felt that better information, advice and access to peer support would have helped them to recover from CS and cope with any persistent problems. This study identified problems with the effective provision of information to service users. Women felt poorly prepared for the potential consequences of CS. Preparation and peer support may be more important than medical care with regard to CS scar problems. The efficacy of prenatal CS recovery information could also be improved, and should include details of support groups and facts about CS scars. Women who seek help for CS scar problems need a credible explanation of their symptoms. Therefore, practitioners should understand
persistent postoperative pain, the potential impact of CS scars and the importance
of patient communication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-30
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Caesarean section
  • patient information
  • postnatal recovery
  • post-operative pain
  • scar tissue


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