Episiotomy stitches came out - leaving it the best thing?

(13 Posts)
misscreosote Tue 23-Jun-09 19:20:22

Hi there - I had an episiotomy almost 3 weeks ago, given by a trigger happy doctor. The stitches didn't hold and popped out after a couple fo days. At the time, the midwife said to leave it to heal by itself and try to keep my legs together (! easier said than done with a toddler to look after as well). However, she also said this was only the 2nd time she'd seen an episiotomy in 17 years (she's independent), so wondering if this is really the right advice?

The pain has subsided, but the cut is probably over an inch long and as deep. I can't see how on earth it will come together by itself? And if so surely its going to take months?

Anyone with similar experience? It upsets me too much to even look down there, let alone contemplate any intimacy with DH in the future when it has healed sad

It may not be as bad as you think - it is jolly hard to get a good look at your own undercarriage when you're quivering with fear! I remember having a look at mine (with a mirror obviously)after dd3's birth and freaking out - got dh to look (oh the romance) and he said it was all fine - he was right too.

So I think you need to go and see your GP - pick one you feel confident with or a lady GP and get their view. Then if there is a problem you'll be in the right place to get referred straight away.

FrannyandZooey Tue 23-Jun-09 19:25:35

this happened to me and i made the decision to be restitched
it was unpleasant to go through the procedure and was painful afterwards but things were much more 'normal' afterwards and i am pleased i had it done
this is only my experience however, you must choose what you think is best

crokky Tue 23-Jun-09 19:27:32

If you can face it, get your DH to have a looks. I'd go to the GP after that.

misscreosote Wed 24-Jun-09 12:02:41

Thanks all - not really sure I want DH to have a look, he's quite squeamish and might put him off me for life!

Yes, I think a GP appointment isn't a bad idea. Will try and arrange one - or can I leave it as long as the 6 weeks check?

Franny - can I ask about your experience? How long afterwards were you restitched? And was it painful being restitched, or was the pain afterwards bad (or both)? Was it as bad as the pain in that area after labour the first time round, and mobility similarly restricted etc? I had horrendous bruising, as well as the agony of going to the loo, and the thought of going through that again isn't too attractive!

beautifulgirls Wed 24-Jun-09 12:11:36

Mine did this and it took 12 weeks to heal up. My GP advised me not to restitch it though, and apart from the time taken to get it to heal it hasn't left me with any long term problems. The 12 weeks was not so pleasant, but was a lot better after I got antibiotics about 2 weeks in as the wound was infected. After that it was uncomfortable rather than painful.
I would see what the GP thinks as I guess a lot depends how and where it has broken down too.
Good luck.

maxbear Wed 24-Jun-09 12:24:41

Unfortunatley restitching would not just be a case of just getting on and doing it as you would be much more likely to get an infection from it at this stage. You would probably need to have a general anaesthetic, although it might be possible to have it done as a day case. sad

It should probably heal eventually although might well take a long time. Definately get the ball rolling with the GP, if you decide you want to go down the restitching route it is better to start looking in to it sooner rather than later.

Also worth complaining about the doctor, does he routinely wreck womens perineums, does he realise that this happens sometimes? Make sure he is held to account for the distress that you have been caused.

misscreosote Wed 24-Jun-09 13:22:17

Thanks - have already had an infection! Had it a couple of days after the birth, very nasty sudden pains and shivering like I've never shivered before. Cleared up with antibiotics though, so hopefully won't get anything else at this stage. Beautifulgirls - 12 weeks sounds OK I suppose, would rather it were quicker, but heh ho. Its not too painful, so could deal with it, so long as it does come back together again.

I think I'll just ask the GP about it at my 6 week check, its only 3 weeks away, and I guess that waiting won't make any difference at this point if its such a huge deal to have it restitched. Really don't fancy a GA, and have 2 kids to look after, so its not sounding like such an easy option really! I can see why the midwife said to leave it now... Maybe something to sort out once the first few baby months are easing, if it needs sorting out in the future...

My midwife has already made an unofficial 'incident' report about this doctor - not only did he give me an episiotomy without my consent (and when the baby would have come within a couple of pushes anyway), he also tried to pull the placenta out straight away without giving the syntometrine injection first, which could have ripped my womb out shock (and said it didn't matter when my fantastic midwife jumped in to stop him). Then the internal painkillers fell out and he didn't replace them, the stitches came out, had an infection, and to top it all had the hospital ring me to ask if I had my notes as they can't find them (and they discharged me with a form saying I'd just given birth to DD1, which would have been a mean feat at 22 months old, and would definitely have needed an episiotomy!). Phew, got that off my chest wink

FrannyandZooey Wed 24-Jun-09 18:33:01

i think it was at just over 2 weeks - they wanted me to have a GA but i chose a spinal instead so was conscious for the op
it was very thorough - they got a very experienced registrar to do a much better job than a midwife quickly after the birth
the pain when the spinal wore off was quite bad - i won't pretend otherwise
the pain the next day and in the following weeks was manageable - and not as painful as immediately following the birth, no
i did struggle with infections myself, but it was ok in the end

it was not a pleasant time but as i say, i am glad i had it done
a lot depends on what your case is like of course
i would visit a doctor you trust and get their opinion
my female gp was very good and supported me in my decision to have it done, while the midwives were fairly blase and one said unless i had another career i hadn't told them about, who cared what it looked like or ended up being like shock angry

misscreosote Wed 24-Jun-09 19:57:16

Thanks Franny - sounds like a tough choice, but worth it if necessary. Good to know what it involves...

Amazing how lightly the docs and midwives treat childbirth 'injuries'. I was really surprised to hear even DH say that if it was men giving birth, they wouldn't be so trigger happy to cut you open (and he's not usually that switched on!).

zeke Wed 24-Jun-09 22:08:38

I would definately get a second opinion.

I had an episiotomy (forceps delievery) and I can honestly say I had very little pain from it afterwards (had no pain relief during labour but I insisted on some for the forceps, so I had a spinal). I know I had a lot of stitches as it took quite a while...
The woman in the bed next to me (same size baby) didn't have an episiotomy and tore extremely badly and I know suffered a lot.

Anyway, I think I would want to be stitched up again!

Metatron Wed 24-Jun-09 22:16:21

MissC - get it restiched. I had the same thing and it took 12 weeks to heal and it is erm a bit gapey compared to the other side.

I was traumatised for ages and I still wonder if I should see about it being sorted out 5 years later.

Chynah Wed 24-Jun-09 22:22:12

don't suffer - get them to sort it out for you.

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