Incision dehiscence/ surgical wound open

Ugh. Not a post I thought I would make, but I am looking for anyone who has had experience with a surgical incision opening and dealing with wound care, packing, and hopefully successful healing!

I had my baby girl via c-section on Wednesday, 10/19. Things went great in surgery and we were home Friday afternoon. I was so happy with the surgery and it was not as bad as I thought at all!

Sunday evening, my mom noticed my wound dressing soaked in blood. Ob told me to go to the ER to be looked at. When I was there, my blood pressure was up too, which led them to check my liver enzyme levels, and I had severe postpartum preeclampsia. Honestly the wound opening up was a blessing for catching that early. I was readmitted and put on the awful mag drip, but 36 hours later, my liver was much better and BP was down.
The preeclampsia kind of took precedence over the wound in the hospital, but the OB got a wound care team involved, which was good. They measured (about an inch wide on the surface that opened, goes about an inch deep and of to two sides under the skin a bit. My culture was negative for any infection, which is a blessing.
I got home from the hospital yesterday and followed up with outpatient wound care today. They said it’s going to be a pretty long process of going in 3 days a week for cleaning and repacking. At this point it is deep enough for a wound vac, but not wide enough. The specialist today found my body was spitting the plastic dissolvable staples from within the wound, which he thinks is why this started. I’m so freaked that it will continue and keep growing. Ugh
I am good with nasty wounds on anyone or anything but me. This has me totally freaked out! I’m so stressed constantly about infection and it busting open more. My brain has me thinking it isn’t going to heal, even though I know it will eventually somehow.
Has anyone delt with this after a surgery? Also, tips for sponge baths / bird baths? Limited to that now…

Wow, what a scary ordeal! I had preeclampsia that was getting scary prior to delivering, and thus was scheduled for a C-section, but life was good a couple of days past the surgery.

Many years later, I had a bad leg injury (horse related) with a hematoma that blew a hole in my leg. It was a six month ordeal getting that closed up–daily packing with collagen, which I managed to do even during a long road trip. Now it looks like a healed bullet hole, so I tell people who notice it that my husband (a totally non violent guy) shot me. Luckily, no one believes that story.

Jingling for fast healing for you, so you can concentrate on your new baby.



Good to know you healed from it! I am thankful the preeclampsia hit after and didn’t effect the baby, but man that magnesium treatment is not fun, esp when your baby is home and your stuck!

At this point, I don’t even care what my scar looks like or anything, I just want it to be over! The unknown of it all is really what is killing me.

From googling, it seems like people have this issue with tummy tucks sometimes, too bad they couldn’t have done more “tucking” while doing it on me!

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Congratulations on your new baby!

I’m sorry that things postpartum have gone sideways; that is not fun. Many moons ago, I developed a post-surgery infection and “hole” in my incision soon after I got home from my c-section. I was a very strong advocate for being allowed to stay home and come in to the office for monitoring (I was BFing and didn’t want to be separated), so I was given a course of Keflex and my husband was given a bunch of saline rinse, packing material, etc., and instructions on how to use it. My midwife threatened to admit me if it got any worse, but it never did. I think we treated it twice a day.

We joked that when we said we were looking forward to being able to “play doctor” again, this was not what we had in mind.

Mr. Carrots was very brave about handling the wound care. It did heal, and in a straightforward fashion after the abx and proper treatment were brought to bear. My scar is minimal. And there was no impact on BF, thrush development, baby health, etc.

Keep asking questions about treatment options and advocating for minimal separation for you and baby, if that’s important to you. If you’re in the hospital and worried about your BF relationship (again, if that’s a factor for you), ask for a lactation consultant and/or get in touch with your local La Leche League for advice.

Hang in there. I know that adding this on top of the rest of the postpartum/new parent circus is really, really tough. Be gentle with yourself and take plenty of time to rest. (I know that doesn’t always mean “sleep” — that’s precious these days. But don’t do anything more than you absolutely need to.)

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Know that your stress and impatience is totally understandable and normal . I faced medical issues last winter and the hardest thing was the somewhat open ended timeline that made it hard to forward think and plan. I totally understand wanting to be back to a normal and enjoying the life you dreamed of with your baby.

it is not unusual to have tissue reaction to surgical materials. Going forward you need to know what product / material they used and it will become something you report along with drug allergies and sensitivities.

Ask your wound care specialist for tips and tricks for your bathing and sanitation needs. They may have suggestions for barrier products, gentle lotions or even the best type wash cloth. They have probably dealt with thousands of folks and their unique needs and may have tricks you wont find by searching on line… When I had restrictions the woman who does my hair offered me to come in and she would shampoo me. Even something like that bit of pampering once a week may go a long way to making you feel a whole lot better.

wishing you well and sending a hug

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Thanks so much for the support and information! I am home now! I had to go back Sunday-Tuesday, which was hard being away from the baby! She could have come to visit, but they also said the flu was already being passed around, so we kept her home. If I had to stay another day, she was going to come visit!

I am normally very positive and this certainly has tested that. It just seems like each doctor is perplexed by what they see and say “try this”. I think the wound people know what they are doing thought! I just don’t like the waiting game and no real answers on what to expect time wise.

Good news is that my horses are home and I can “see” them daily and my mom is staying here indefinitely for now until I can do more.


I went to a wound care practice when I had the hole in my leg, and those people were magicians. I also had my horses at home then, and my husband would bring them up behind the house one at a time to visit with me. It really helped my outlook.

I can’t imagine being away from a newborn. I’m so glad you are home!


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