Will I need a full shave for my Caesarean birth ?

c-section education c-section scar wound infection Feb 11, 2021

No, the only area for hair removal is the skin covering the site or area cut to get through the uterus or womb. The most common C-section cut is just above the pubic bone and below the bikini line, however, some patients may have to have a vertical line cut below the belly button.  Clippers are recommended in preference to razors to avoid the risk of skin cuts. Any cuts to the skin can increase the risk of infection from the migration of normal skin organisms into the surgical incision. Hair removal creams may also be used to remove the hair providing the skin is tested for allergic reactions well before surgery. In terms of timing for the hair removal, the evening before or day of surgery is recommended but will depend on hospital protocol.

Prior to surgery, the Dr will wash the clipped area with an antiseptic before commencing as an added measure against preventing infection entering the incision which can potentially delay healing and cause other surgical wound complications.

 Why the need for hair removal prior to surgery?

Some more reasons hair needs to be removed before surgery are-:

  • To facilitate adequate exposure to the site and preoperative skin marking. 
  • Eliminating complications with sewing edges together caused by hair strands.
  • To make easier the application of wound dressings which would be complicated by the presence of hair.
  • Hair has been associated with a lack of cleanliness and the potential to cause surgical site infection (SSI) If the infection does enter the incision the ability for the wound edges to seal together may be challenged. This can lead to more serious complications such as wound reopening and sepsis.

What is the best way to remove the hair?

Scientific studies comparing clipping vs. shaving demonstrated a significantly lower risk of Surgical site infection following hair removal with clippers compared to shaving.

Research suggests clipping or hair removal creams are the most preferable methods as waxing and razor shaving are potentially hazardous to wound healing.


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