According to WomensHealth.gov, the most common surgery undergone by women in the U.S. is childbirth by cesarean section - also known as c-section surgery.
While many of these surgeries result in barely noticeable, horizontal scars below the underwear line, there are times when large, raised, discolored, painful or even vertical scarring happens.
The good news for women who have abnormal scars resulting from a c-section is that they may be able to make it less noticeable with the help of a plastic surgeon.
"In the hands of a skilled surgeon, painful, thick or prominent scars can be revised for a more subtle appearance," a plastic surgeon who performs scar revision surgeries wrote recently in the La Jolla Light newspaper.
Doctors may use several different methods to reduce the size and improve the appearance of a scar. According to the National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus, this may involve opening the incision and reclosing it carefully as well as using nonsurgical cosmetic techniques such as dermabrasion.
Others suggest women who suffer from unsightly c-section scars combine their scar revision with other procedures such as a tummy tuck or a so-called mommy makeover, which may include a combination of cosmetic procedures including breast lift, liposuction and/or body contouring.
Individuals who are considering plastic surgery to treat any type of prominent scar should contact a licensed, board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss their options.