Symptoms of a bowel injury after a C–Section

By Jason Brady

Mother holding her baby indoors

A Caesarean section (C-section) is a common surgical procedure performed to deliver a baby when vaginal delivery is not feasible or carries significant risk to the mother and/or baby’s wellbeing

While C-sections are generally considered safe, they do carry some risks, including the potential for bowel injuries. In this article, we’ll explore the symptoms of bowel problems after a C-section, their prevalence, and the recovery process. Additionally, we’ll discuss making a medical negligence claim related to C-sections with Blackwater Law.

What are the symptoms of bowel problems after C-section?

After a C-section, it’s crucial to be aware of potential bowel injury symptoms, as early recognition can allow for prompt medical intervention. Some common symptoms include:

  1. Abdominal pain: Persistent, severe abdominal pain that doesn’t improve with pain medication.
  2. Nausea and vomiting: Unexplained nausea and vomiting can indicate a bowel issue.
  3. Bloating and distension: Noticeable abdominal bloating and distension.
  4. Changes in bowel habits: Alterations in bowel movements, such as diarrhoea, constipation, or blood in stools.
  5. Fever and infection: Fever, chills, and signs of infection like redness, warmth, or discharge around the incision site.
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Can you have bowel problems after a C-section?

Yes, bowel problems can occur after a C-section, though they are rare. During the surgery, the surgeon may accidentally nick or damage the bowel, leading to complications. Additionally, adhesions (scar tissue) that form after the procedure can sometimes cause bowel obstructions or other issues in the long term.

How common is a bowel injury in a caesarean section?

Bowel injuries during a C-section are uncommon, but they can happen. One US study from 2022 showed bowel injuries occurring in seven out of 6201 caesarean section procedures. Another case report from a hospital in Yemen recorded an incident rate of between 0.08% and 0.54%.

While the risk is relatively low, it’s essential for medical professionals to exercise the utmost care during the procedure to minimise the risk of complications.

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How long does it take for bowels to return to normal after a C-section?

The recovery timeline for bowel function after a C-section varies from person to person. In most cases, normal bowel function should return within a few days to a week after the surgery. However, some individuals may experience temporary changes in bowel habits due to the surgical and healing process.

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Make a C-section medical negligence claim with Blackwater Law

If you believe you or a loved one have experienced medical negligence related to a C-section, you may be entitled to compensation. Blackwater Law is a leading law firm specialising in medical negligence and C-section claims.

To initiate a claim, you should follow these steps:

  • Consultation: Get in touch with a clinical negligence solicitor to discuss your case and obtain free initial advice and support.
  • Gather evidence: Collect all relevant medical records, documents, and evidence to support your claim.
  • Await legal representation: Blackwater Law will assign an experienced solicitor to handle your case and guide you through the legal process.
  • Claim submission: Your solicitor will prepare and submit your claim to the appropriate authorities, such as the NHS or private healthcare providers.
  • Negotiation and settlement: Blackwater Law will negotiate on your behalf to achieve a fair settlement, taking into account your pain, suffering, and any financial losses incurred.

Blackwater Law successfully represented the family of baby Blake in making a midwife negligence claim after the community midwife failed to notice a severe medical abnormality.

New-born baby in hospital