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Any old prolapse! Uterus/womb prolapse, rectocele, cystocele, enterocele, urethrocele, incontinence, pelvic floor, anterior and posterior repair, TVT etc part 7

(1001 Posts)
gottagetthroughthis Fri 19-Oct-12 00:38:09

This is thread 7 of a long-running series of posts from ladies suffering from pelvic prolapses to support each other through the process of diagnosis, repair and recovery.

Here are the previous threads:
Thread 1
Thread 2
Thread 3
Thread 5
Thread 6

Info from BBC Health

What is a pelvic prolapse?

As the muscles, ligaments and supporting tissues in the pelvis become weaker, they are less able to hold in the organs of the pelvis such as the womb (uterus) or bladder.

Gravity pulls these organs down and, in the more severe cases, may appear through the entrance to the vagina.

A variety of problems can occur, depending on where the weakness lies and which organs are able to descend, but in every case there is some degree of prolapse of the vaginal wall, which begins to invert (rather like a sock turning inside out).
Prolapse of the womb or uterus is the most common prolapse, affecting as many as one in eight older women to some degree
Prolapse of the bladder, known as a cystocele, is less common.
Prolapse of the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the bladder) is known as a urethrocele.
Prolapse of the intestines is quite rare, and known as an enterocele or rectocele.

Symptoms

Symptoms depend on which tissues descend, and how severe the prolapse is.

They may include:
A sense of heaviness or pressure in the pelvis.
The appearance of a bulge of tissue in the genital area, which can be quite alarming, and is often red and sore.
Urinary problems, such as having to urinate more frequently, feeling the need urgently, being incontinent (losing control of the bladder) or, conversely, being unable to pass urine when you need to.
Pain in the pelvis or lower back.
Sexual problems, including pain and decreased libido.
Constipation.
Vaginal discharge or bleeding.

Treatment and recovery

Once a prolapse has developed, surgery to fix the affected organs is usually the only way to cure it effectively.

However, another option is to use a device known as a vaginal ring pessary. This is rather like a contraceptive diaphragm or cervical cap. It's made of silicone or latex, and placed in the vagina to push back the prolapsed organs and hold them in place. Many women happily manage their prolapse this way.

Losh Wed 06-Feb-13 16:26:20

Dahlia - It's annoying to get contradicting opinions from your care team isn't it?

My consultant said to remember that I was a convalescent, not an invalid, and the nurses were all for resting! My consultant also told me that pfe's don't make any difference to the repair, and of course the physio was all for them. Very confusing.

I am going back to the doctor a week early to get checked, but in the absence of any crippling pain or bleeding, I'm fairly sure my recent pain is in the relams of normal following this op. |Got a few sharp pains up my fanjo today to further compound the joy though - sigh!

Have also gone back on the lactulose as I was feeling a bit bunged up, and that issue resolved itself last night with predictable results. Not sure if I really was bunged up or if I am just swollen, but live in fear of being constipated right now, so better safe than sorry.

Did have some horrid trapped wind that had me up at 4am though, so called in sick today. I hate calling in sick and only went back to work last week as I only do 2 days at a desk job, but felt so rubbish today that I couldn't face it. Went back to bed and slept past 12.30 when the phone woke me, so reckon I must have needed it.

Melady - no experience here, but you have my sympathy - that's a bit grim for you! I found the catheter very unpleasant, so I hope it gets removed asap.

fengirl1 Wed 06-Feb-13 17:38:37

To all the ladies discussing recovery and exercise versus rest, I'd say do what your body tells you but build up slowly - don't suddenly go mad! And definitely stuck to the no lifting etc guidelines given to you to maximise the chances of healing as well as you can. My very lovely gp can you tell I fancy him? likened an op like this to a car crash in terms of trauma, but in a more controlled way.... That really put things in perspective for me when I told him I felt lazy as I wasn't doing much.

slinkychick Wed 06-Feb-13 19:15:15

Hi All
Lots of new people again and still some 'old' . An update. Anteria and posteria repair plus TVT. This was on 6th Octeber so 4 months. Stll get the odd stitch coming out. Feel really, really well. Had a personal training session today and loved it. Able to everthing but no heavy weights and had to change the way I do some things. I never thought I would get this well it seemed to go on for ages. I have not tried sex yet though, still a bit scared as a sware it is about half the size!!! I would advise just take your time, everyone is different and be kind to yourself. there really is no rush you will heal , some fast and some not so fast. My consultant said 'I do these ops so women can do, not so they can't do. That has stuck with me. I agree with the lady before we are not invalids........ though I did act and feellike it some days lol It is all about self care
Happy healing ladies. So pleased lots of you are doing so well x

Losh Wed 06-Feb-13 19:37:44

Hi Slinky - encouraging to hear how well you are now feeling - light at the end of the tunnel!

Have you tried any sort of sexual activity yet? I too think the new model looks very small, but can't wait to try it out! I am anxious, but as soon as I am out of pain (serious passion killer!), I want to bite the bullet.

mangledmess Wed 06-Feb-13 20:40:28

For some reason this thread does not appear on the first page of the general health on my phone so I keep missing new posts. I have bookmarked it so I can find you all again.

It is good to hear of so many doing well and feeling better after their ops. I think by time I get to the end of the journey I am on right now I will be in some sort if asylum as I just can not cope with it anymore. No amount of anti depressants or counseling will put my insides back nor will they help me empty my bowels and I have never been so angry with doctors to why they keep insisting on these and not just operate. Wish I had more sympathetic and caring consultants like other people on this thread have had. I feel surgery is my only hope of a pain free normal life. Soon I hope to share good news with you all x

Dahlialover Thu 07-Feb-13 15:12:29

Mangled - hope you have good news soon too. My experience of antidepressants was not helpful. Take care of yourself thanks

Footle Thu 07-Feb-13 16:03:41

Mangled ( oh I do hate calling you that ! ) I kept losing this thread too. I asked MN about it and they showed me that I had inadvertently clicked on something that said " don't show me this thread" or something. Ask MN if you can't find the button.

slinkychick Fri 08-Feb-13 19:29:00

Oh mangled, so sorry things are so hard for you. It's hard but try to stay on topof it all. Be angry, I think depression is anger turned inwards (sorry I am a psychotherapist) so let it out dont let the docrors silence you.

Bladderama Fri 08-Feb-13 20:41:02

Mangled looking forward to hearing good news from you soon, hang in there x

Hmm am bleeding much more this time round and for alot longer should I be worried?

Tr0ubled Fri 08-Feb-13 22:37:14

cardomom how did your appointment go on Wednesday?

bladder I'm afraid I don't know about length of bleeding but I would guess that all surgery has a different recovery. Is it heavy? Go with your gut, if you're concerned give the doc a bell. I hope otherwise you're recovering we'll and you're not in too much discomfort.

I'm still waiting to hear back from my consultant with a date for surgery but I spoke to his secretary today and discussed the possibility of Monday 25th February. Hate this hanging on and meanwhile my symptoms seem to be getting worse and worse. So frustrating to think I should be 7 weeks post op now.

Yellowhorse Sat 09-Feb-13 12:06:48

Just checking in 3 weeks on from my repairs. I have felt well, so well, have to keep reminding myself to not over do things. Sadly, that has been hard as my mother been very ill, and needy (I am an only child so no one else to help), and we had a burglary too. Nothing taken luckily, but still meant I spent a whole day with the police and running round sorting new locks etc. not what I needed as was just over two weeks past operation. I have,however, been really tired as a result of the running around I had to endure.
How will I know if any of this has damaged my repairs? I have had a dragging feeling at times, but no more bleeding etc.
re the pelvic floor exercise, I was told by both my consultant and physio to do no exercise except walking until my 6 week check up.

wouldratherbeskiing Sat 09-Feb-13 16:40:18

Bladder - I echo what Troubled said. I'm sorry I can't remember which bit you have had repaired this time. I found the rectocele repair was a more difficult recovery than the cystocele which didn't bleed at all. I remember bleeding for quite a long time with the rectocele.

Yellowhorse - I can remember feeling the dreaded dragging feeling and worrying my repair had failed. I think it is probably a warning you are doing too much. Sorry to hear about your Mother and burglary - it's a lot for you to deal with but you must look after yourself as much as possible during this recovery period.

Troubled - good luck with a date. It's a miserable time waiting. x

Yellowhorse Sat 09-Feb-13 17:28:02

Thx would rather.have resisted my mother today, and besides a couple of short walks,done little. However,seems as I can drive,I am expected to be a taxi for everyone!! Am sure would get more sympathy and help if my problems were visible!
Enjoy your remaining weekend ladies.

roseanna1 Sat 09-Feb-13 18:40:56

Hello lovely ladies smile

Good to hear so many success stories! Bladder - glad its all working out x
Fen/ Sure - smashing news you are both doing so well...so chuffed for you both!

A little question if you don't mind if anyone has had any experience? I had stitches removed in Dec that had still been in place since the posterior repair in June, and the consultant said she wouldn't do any more surgery for at least 4 months to allow things time to heal so gave me a cube pessary to help meantime. It has actually helped quite a lot, but I've found since day one that I hadvery slight coffee coloured discharge that I put down to maybe the stitches coming out or slight irritation. It's been getting a lot worse though (though still not a huge amount in total). Spoke to the pessary nurse who asked a lot about periods (been v heavy, closer together and lasting about 9 days over the last six months or so). She went away and spoke to the cons. who said he didn't think it was the pessary at all but period related and I could make an appt if I wanted to talk about it. Anyone any similar experiences they could share? Am still kinda thinking its the pessary and don't want to go back months from now to be told they still can't do anything coz the wounds still not healed....

Bladderama Sat 09-Feb-13 19:03:17

Hello roseanna smile good to see you
I only used a pessary for a very short period of time and had bleeding and thrush when using it, it really was not for me. As far as periods go mine went from being completely regular pre first repair to totally un-regular after that repair for months. They got closer together longer and heavier. Not sure if that helps you but they did settle down again after some time although still slightly closer together than they were. I also still had some stitches from the last repair which were removed on Monday but they did not cause any bleeding or discharge just a bit uncomfortable.

Had a really heavy bleed this morning when I got up (pouring!) so phoned the ward who advised rest and to call back if it gets any worse, has thankfully settled down during the day but what a fright I got.

Yellow - I can only echo what the others said, please try and take things slowly, glad you had an easier day today. I wasn't allowed to drive until 6 weeks (rectocele repair) and certainly noticed the dragging if I overdid things. I don't think there is any way of knowing if you have healed successfully till you see the surgeon again.

Roseanna - I have never tried a pessary, also have no periods due to the Mirena coil so can't really answer that I'm afraid.

Bladder - I didn't have too much bleeding post-op, only needed thin towels for a couple of weeks then pantyliners, so I'm not sure how much is too much.

Mangled - <hugs>

Troubled - hope you get your date confirmed ASAP.

No real news from me, just wanted to pop by and see how everyone was doing. I've just been called up for jury service and am wondering how my repair will stand up to sitting on hard wooden benches for 6 hour days 5 days a week (might have to take a cushion, I'm generally fine on hard seats now, but not all day every day perhaps).

roseanna1 Sat 09-Feb-13 20:05:59

Thanks Bladder...I got quite a big bleed after my first op and was pretty shocked too! Settled down with rest after 24hrs though, so hopefully yours will be the same. That's really interesting re post op periods...maybe its something to do with all that rummaging around they do to us lol

Wouldrather...glad its all going well...would definitely take a cushion though! x

roseanna1 Sat 09-Feb-13 20:06:48

Oops..meant whoknows (can you tell I've had a glass of wine lol)

cardamomginger Sat 09-Feb-13 20:09:12

Hi Tr0ubled - thanks for checking on me!

Well, the good news is the the poo-o-gram didn;t show any high intestinal prolapse. The bad news is that it shows that I have a recurrence of the rectocele. This fits with what I have been experiencing, as I am certainly straining more these days. We discussed why this should be. I am hypermobile and this often goes with very stretchy tissue and weak and stretchy scars. We know that things are stretchy with me, so this is the best explanation of why this has happened. So I'll be having a front wall repair with collagen mesh and a back wall repair, again with collagen mesh. The mesh should lay down a matrix for my body to lay down extra thick scar tissue. Apparently collagen mesh for the back wall is not normally used, but in my case we need it. Whilst he's in there he'll test the uterus again and if he finds any movement he'll stick some stitches in the ligaments behind the cervix. This will all be through the vagina, so there's no danger of me waking up with an abdominal incision.

I am seriously dreading Monday (day of the operation) and just don't know how I'm going to get through this all. This is the third operation and I just don't know how much more strength I have left for all of this. I'm so scared that my unusually stretchy tissues means that I will be one of the few who just can't ever be fixed. Or that I'm going to be in and out of surgery for the rest of my life. I'm still certain that I am in the best possible hands and that if anyone can sort me out, my surgeon can. But he can only do what he can do with the materials available - i.e. my tissue. And if that's basically weak and rubbish..... sad. I know I am jumping ahead of myself here, but I can't help it!

Bugger!!

Bladderama Sat 09-Feb-13 20:18:16

Oh yellow take it easy and look after yourself that sounds like such a rough couple of weeks x

Troubled it was another posterior repair, is it a private date that you are still waiting for? I would call the cons secretary if it is. Hope that you don't have long too wait x

Roaseanna I am very jealous of the wine envy I had assumed that the rummaging had affected my periods and hope that I am not in for a repeat performance...

I would def take a cushion whoknows the very thought of long days on a wooden bench is making me wince for you!

Ouch Melady just seen your post and hope that you are doing okay and that your bladder is healing again.

Bleeding much lighter now thank goodness hope that it stays that way.

Bladderama Sat 09-Feb-13 20:22:18

Oh Cardamon big hug for you <<>>
Will be thinking of you on Monday.

It is hard going through all of this but I am sure that the surgeon would not put you through it if they didn't think that there was a good chance that it would help you.
Is it the same surgeon who did your previous op's?

I wish that I could offer some re-assurance for you x

Cardamom - hugs for you too, will be thining about you on Monday.

cardamomginger Sat 09-Feb-13 20:45:55

Thanks bladder. Yes, it is the same surgeon. I did a lot of thinking and got second and third opinions before I decided he was the one for me. And I do still think that! For what it's worth (and I guess him being the very experienced professional and everything, it is worth something!) he is optimistic that this will work. X

cardamomginger Sat 09-Feb-13 20:46:16

Thanks whoknows X

roseanna1 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:03:54

My heart goes out to you Cardamom x

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