What exactly is scar tissue?
"Tissues can either regenerate or scar. Scars (also called cicatrices) are areas of fibrous tissue (fibrosis) that replace normal skin (or other tissue) after injury or disease. A scar results from the biologic process of wound repair in the skin and other tissues of the body. Thus, scarring is a natural part of the healing process."
What are adhesions and how do they form?
"Adhesions form as a natural response to trauma that your body has undergone. All of your abdominal organs are wrapped in a clear membrane, called the peritoneum. During cesarean section, the peritoneum is cut in order to expose the uterus. As a result, the peritoneum becomes inflamed. After surgery, this inflammation triggers the formation of scar tissue.
Typically, this scar tissue disappears after a little while, in a process called fibrinolysis. However, cesarean section surgery sometimes decreases the blood flow to the peritoneum, preventing the fibrinolysis process from taking place. As a result, the scar tissue forms into adhesions."
From my reading, I have learned that 93% of patients that undergo pelvic surgery develop adhesions. It appears quite common for adhesions to tangle themselves up with internal organs and cause pain. I've experienced this first hand. It's not fun, I assure you that. Other complications that could result from adhesions are bowel obstructions and more rarely, infertility.
There are surgical methods to prevent (which would have been helpful to know BEFORE my c-section...yay for informed consent!...NOT.) and treat adhesions. I might talk about that one day, but for now I'm going to focus on ways to deal with the pain associated with adhesions and how to encourage them to break up on their own.
Pain relief options that I've found helpful in dealing with my adhesions are anti-inflamatory pain relivers (such as ibuprofen) and heating pads.
Now that I'm closing in on returning to fertility (I still have not gotten my first post partum period, but I sense that it's close), I'm finding that I'm practically glued to my heating pad. The cramps that I'm experiencing now, post c-section, are so much more severe than any I had before. Thanks adhesions!