A c-section is a surgical procedure that is done to take the baby out of the uterus when a vaginal delivery may not be possible. The procedure is done by cutting a horizontal incision in the pelvic region of the skin and typically a horizontal incision in the uterus. The abdominal muscles are also cut during this procedure. On occasion, if there is an emergency a vertical incision may be done on the skin and/or uterus. The type of incision on the uterus will determine if you will be able to attempt a VBAC in the future. After the baby and placenta have been delivered the uterus, muscles and skin are then sewn back together with sutures that absorb. Sometime staples are used on the skin.
Typically they will use epidural anesthesia for a c-section unless it is a true emergency or you are unable to have an epidural for medical reasons. If you are unable to have an epidural, they will put you under general anesthesia. Typically those who have epidural anesthesia have a quicker recovery due to the nature of epidural vs general anesthesia, so if you know you are having a c-section then if at all possible you would want an epidural.
We are blessed that we have the ability to do these easily when they are needed, but c-sections are major surgery and should be considered very carefully in healthy women. Know your providers c-section rate. Know if they are quick to do c-sections for non-emergent reasons. Know what they are and when they are necessary. Ask a lot of questions, especially if you are hoping to avoid a c-section.