A c-section, or caesarean section, is a surgical procedure in which an incision is made in the lower abdomen to deliver a baby. Because the skin is being cut, it carries a higher risk for infection than a vaginal delivery.
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Types of Infection
C-section incision infections are most commonly caused by staph and strep bacteria. Two main types of infections can occur: cellulitis and wound abscess.
Symptoms of a cellulitis infection include redness and swelling extending from the location of the incision outward across the area, causing the skin to become warm and tender. An abscess causes the same symptoms but may also ooze pus. Fever will likely be present in both types.
High risk factors include obesity, diabetes or immune disorders and women taking oral steroids prior to birth. Chorioamnionitis, an infection of the amniotic fluid, can also increase the risk of infection.
Treatment depends on the severity of the infection. Antibiotics will likely be prescribed and pus will be drained. Deeper wounds may require packing of sterile gauze to allow the wound to heal from the inside out.
Possible complications include necrotizing fascitis, or flesh-eating disease, rupturing of the fascia tissue and protruding of the bowel through the wound.
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