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Pt 7 (Feb13) Any old prolapse! Uterus/womb prolapse, rectocele, cystocele, enterocele, urethrocele, incontinence, pelvic floor, anterior and posterior repair, TVT etc

(993 Posts)

This is thread 7 (again - see below) 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.

With apologies for confusion in thread numbers - the previous thread was called part 7 but it was actually the 6th thread.

Here are the previous threads:

Thread 1
Thread 2
Thread 3
Thread 4
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.

NeopreneMermaid Thu 21-Feb-13 22:22:42

Yikes Netty! Mine was under a local only so I got to keep the lady garden. How are you feeling now (apart from the itch!)?

MrsAnnie Fri 22-Feb-13 07:34:58

Neoprene - On the toilet thing, I found that resting feet on a box helped - raising them up about 6 inches. Initially I rested each foot on a new toilet roll until I found something more suitable at about the same height.

NeopreneMermaid Fri 22-Feb-13 14:59:54

Thanks Annie, I'll try using DD's step! I think I'd beore comfortable to have my feet lower though and I'm not sure how DH would feel about excavating the floor of the downstairs loo. hmm

WhodveThought Sat 23-Feb-13 07:34:11

I have just been given a date for four diagnostic tests to (supposedly) help work out why I am experiencing bowel incontinence (I could tell them why. Crappy delivery. But they don't like my answer, hah!). I am so nervous. I have to have a pressure test, an endoanal ultrasound, electromyographic testing and a nerve stimulation test. Basically they are turning me into a human sock-puppet for a few hours.

Does anyone have any experience or advice about any of those? They are just the latest in a long string of mortifying tests and I like to be prepared with information from actual people. Not just doctors and specialists who say it will be fine, won't hurt, blahblah-untrue.

Nannasylv Sat 23-Feb-13 14:50:53

Hi to everyone!
Manglemess - No I don't mind your mentioning my situation at all. If it helps me to get any help/advice, I am just grateful. I need to get fixed to work/have a life again. My H left me last week, and I am now on Income Related ESA, so bankruptcy/homelessness is beckoning. I need all the help I can get! xx

cardamomginger Sat 23-Feb-13 19:24:52

Whodve I've had the pressure test and the endo-anal US. They are fine. The pressure test involves inserting a narrow ultrasound-type wand up your bottom. You lie on your side with your knees bent up. It's only a few minutes. They take pressure reading when you are at rest and then when you squeeze your bottom. Really only a few minutes. The US is like a trans-vaginal, except up your bottom, so they can see any damage to your internal and external anal sphincter muscles and any damage to the deep pelvic floor muscles that wrap around that whole area. Again, it's literally a couple of minutes. There's no fasting or enema-type preparation required for either.
I haven't had the other two tests. Sounds like fun (not).
Nanna - sending you big hugs XXXXX

cardamomginger Sat 23-Feb-13 19:27:18

Whodve - the tests didn't hurt at all. Not even that uncomfortable. But if you're worried, take some pain killers an hour or so before the test. Won't do any harm.

Dahlialover Mon 25-Feb-13 12:53:54

Hi - it is amazing how quickly things move on! A new thread already.

I am 6 weeks after rectocele repair.
I am just clocking on to say that my return of vag disch was thrush this time sad . To be honest, it was hard to tell from the previous infection, other than there was less wet (pantliner rather than ST) and did not smell like dirty toilet. The itching has only come on since I've been treated sad

I am off to see the physio for a 6 week appt later this week. I have no idea what for or why, but hopefully, she will tell me when I get there!

Good luck to every one with their tests

Blueberry - I did not have pelvic floor muscle problems either. Mine came from not having been sewn up properly (if at all) after birth of first child. Glad to have had it done at last (21 years!)

MustTidyUpMustTidyUp Mon 25-Feb-13 14:47:48

Hi Dahlia how are you feeling 6 weeks on? I am to have a posterior repair and perineorrhaphy and am trying to work out how long I will be out of action.
Does anyone have any advice re exercise post op? I am a runner / Zumba enthusiast and I know these are out for a while - I was thinking of buying a second hand cross Trainer to get me fit again (I have had quite a large weight loss and am worried about putting weight back on if I can't exercise).

*Nanna8 - sorry to hear about your H and the problems him leaving is causing.

Dahlia - hope your physio appt goes well.

Mustidy - google Michelle Kenway, or look at her videos on Youtube for lots of advice about exercise. Swimming is probably the safest way to get back your fitness.

Anyway, I think I've strained my repair a bit today sad. I've been back at my pilates class for about a month, doing it very carefully with help from the instructor and following the advice given by Michelle Kenway but it feels a bit uncomfy tonight and all lumpy and bumpy inside. I am feeling really down, as if I'm never going to be totally free of this problem and always worrying about undoing the repair. I've got a physio appt on Friday, so they will hopefully be able to advise me, but this definitely feels like a bit of a setback.

Nannasylv Mon 25-Feb-13 18:29:34

NurseryNetty - I loved the comparison to an old sofa, it made me chuckle! First bit of joy today!

NurseryNetty Tue 26-Feb-13 09:13:31

Well, I've been signed off til the Easter hols, which will give me an extra 5 weeks in total. Been to see occupational health, and don't have to have a phased return (I wouldn't get paid for the days I didn't work). The OH woman said that she thought I'd probably started to do too much, which is why I felt so rubbish last week. She's probably right!
The doc said that 5 weeks post surgery is a very short time, and that there will be swelling possibly for months yet. I'm to go back before Easter if I don't feel there is any improvement, but I feel a bit less squishy this week than last. Think the HRT pessary that I've started to use again is also helping.

Hope everyone is taking it easy!

Dahlialover Tue 26-Feb-13 12:39:43

Musttidy - I feel Great after six weeks! I feel like I could do anything.

However, apart from the bacterial infection and thrush, I have big spots on my chin, got an itchy rash on my chest and my itchy ear has come back. I went to a ballet class for the first time yesterday and felt a bit achy in the lower tum, so had a lie down for half an hour and fell asleep. So, probably not quite there yet.

Walking is fine and probably helping fitness.

If I had a job, I think I could probably do it now, but not all the running around after as well. And I would need early nights. I wake up sometimes in the night, but mostly I am sleeping very deeply.

wouldratherbeskiing Tue 26-Feb-13 13:35:08

Whoknows - I have shared your worries about 'undoing' things and felt very low and uncertain about the future. It took a long time to heal following the rectocele repair in March. I can remember it feeling really draggy if i overdid things for quite a few months. I've said on here before that 2 consultants had painted a different future to the one I envisaged saying I couldn't do the hobbies I love but the one who operated gave me the green light. I only felt optimistic 10 months after when I went skiing - sounds a bit naff but it reminded me who I am as I feel I lost control of my body and life as things were slipping.

My cystocele repair 4 weeks ago, a week after getting back from my ski holiday has been a great success and I do feel finally fixed. The consultant reported the back wall repair looked good and this has given me confidence.

Try not to worry - easier said than done I know - but it really does take a long time - it is likely to still be healing. Hopefully the physio will put your mind at rest. If you have concerns after your appointment then perhaps a visit to your Gp or gynae clinic may help.

Thank you Would, I feel much better knowing it isn't just me. I have known all along that I may well end up needing another repair for the cystocele but up till yesterday I was feeling great, full of energy and no discomfort or pain for weeks, so I was hoping it would be a long way off. Still a bit of discomfort today, possibly in art due to the fact that I have been poking around, but also I have got that something in my knickers feeling again a bit, but can't decide whether I am just imagining it. No dragging, but I haven't been on my feet all that much. At least I have the physio appt on Friday, glad it happened before and not after that.

MrsAnnie Tue 26-Feb-13 18:45:29

Well I am on day 14 of rectocele repair and its been really helpful to read everyone's experiences. I went out for a short walk today - first exercise since op. Managed about 30 mins slow walk with a break at half way point but am really really tired now. Very draggy feeling ATM so back in my sofa position. Not helped I think by day 4 of heavy period ..... think I deserve a wine

cardamomginger Tue 26-Feb-13 18:56:08

MrsAnnie - I have to say I think that's too much too soon! Especially if this is the first exercise you've had since the op! I've had 3 lots of surgery and am 2 weeks after my last lot. I think at 14 days post surgery you should be aiming for about a 10 minute walk each day, adding 5 minutes per week. At least that's what my hospital and OP physios have told me. You're doing some serious healing right now and need to take it easy! Definitely have that wine and feet up!!
Dhalia - sorry to hear about the thrush infection sad. What have they put you on? I had one of these after my last lot of surgery (and suspect I may have an infection now after this lot of surgery). These can be buggers to shift, as the stitches and forming scar tissue act as a focal point for the thrush. I ended up taking itraconazole, which did the trick. Hope it clears soon. It's a miserable addition to an already miserable situation.

thrifty Tue 26-Feb-13 22:05:41

Hello again...
Well I have another date now, but not until march 26th, so another month to wait. Still something to aim for. Glad to hear everyone's doing OK and taking it easy.

Tr0ubled Tue 26-Feb-13 23:22:14

Have been a bit silent of late. Hectic half term last week and then put my back out on Friday. Managed to see an osteopath on Monday and have a slight scoliosis and serious muscle spasm. However 2 sessions with him and I'm much better than I was plus lots of Diazepam and painkillers prescribed by the doctor!
I have my surgery booked for this Friday and was dreading having to cancel due to my back after having been sent home on the day of my op before Xmas, but having spoken to a pre op nurse today she thinks I'll be ok to go ahead.
So the nerves are kicking in, mainly about having a GA and not being able to pick up my children for the next 8 weeks. sad

cardamomginger Tue 26-Feb-13 23:55:17

Hi Tr0ubled. Bugger! That really sucks sad. Good luck and will be thinking of you. Make sure they ALL know that you have done your back in and get them to write in on your notes. I'm hypermobile and did my shoulder in just before I had my last op. I had a word with the anaesthetist and asked her to make sure that no one started yanking me around in theatre. She said she'd keep an eye on everyone for me. When you are waiting to go down to theatre experiment with the bed and with pillows to find the position that suits your back best - better to do it whilst you are more mobile than when you are post-op. A physio should come and see you the day after surgery (and probably every day who are in hospital). Mention it to her too.
Will be thinking of you so much!
XXX

wouldratherbeskiing Wed 27-Feb-13 10:15:38

Whoknows The post op report in March mentioned a small lump on my front wall. I knew then that it was likely I'd need a further repair. It got worse quite quickly and made me feel quite miserable despite my GP thinking it was only small/mild. I continually worried the rectocele repair was failing because of the front wall bulge. I saw the consultant 6 months after my first op and he was reluctant to operate until I mentioned it was a disaster intimately and how miserable I felt. As I've said the cystocele repair has been a much easier recovery and all is successful. It's interesting that for during booths ops it has been discovered the bulges were bigger than anticipated despite being examined standing up. Hopefully yours can be maintained with help from the physio - for me I knew I wanted it repaired asap.

Mrsannie - good you're listening to your body - plenty of rest is required.

Thrifty - a date at last. When I was cancelled and rescheduled they put me first on the list with a big note not to cancel.

Troubled - poor you - very good advice from cardamom. I was hugely relieved when I finally got to the op and sort of zoned out into submission. Will be thinking of you Friday.

Nannasylv - any luck with referrals?

MrsAnnie Wed 27-Feb-13 11:58:14

Thanks all for advice - am taking it slowly today. It certainly looks from posts here that recovery time can be much longer than I had anticipated. I suppose one worry is being to get fitness back (particularly at my age) - I can imagine everything going south very quickly!

Would - sounds like you have had more than your share of problems from your repairs but good to hear you are feeling healed at long last.

Troubled - will be thinking of you Friday

multimum4 Wed 27-Feb-13 17:48:16

Hello everyone
First can i say a big thank you to everyone who has posted on this thread. It has so much information, and it is wonderful to know that I am not alone. Good luck to everyone waiting and due to go into hospital. Would have posted before but couldn't find the most recent thread!!( new to this posting lark!)
I am 5 weeks post anterior posterior repair (with mesh) and tvt.
Can I say that my recovery has been good. Rested for 2 weeks, then gradual activity, no infections and apart from being uncomfortable sitting or standing for too long no real pain now. And all those horrible symptoms with wees and poos are a thing of the past! I wish i had had the op years ago. It took me so long to pluck up the courage to see my GP.
I can really relate to Netty's post as I have said I will go back to work next week (6wks post op)part time for 2 weeks then full time again.I am a teacher (year 1) and my job is very physically demanding too. Should I wait for my consultant post op appointment? Don't want to go back and find I can't cope but am bored at home. Also one of my sick notes actually says what I've had done - wish it just said Major Surgery!!!

multimum4 Wed 27-Feb-13 18:07:27

Oh and another thing!!! My consultant told me that as my enterocele repair was very big he had to use mesh. I was really worried as i had read stuff on the web about complications with this before I went into hospital. Has anyone on here had a mesh repair and was it ok?

Hi Multi - I do think going back to work next week might be a bit soon for you, especially as it is not the sort of job where you can go home early if it really is too much, also I imagine you are on the move all day teaching Yr 1, it must be tiring at the best of times. It is not just about coping while at work, it is being able to pick up all your normal responsibilities again too, I could have gone back at 6 weeks full days (office job with 5 hour days for me, I work within school hours), but I would not have had the energy to pick up my DCs from school, cook tea, take them to all their activities etc, do chores as well, I went back at 7 weeks for two hours a day and built back up to 5 hours over a couple of weeks, but I was still getting help with ferrying the DCs around, housework etc in that couple of weeks. Your GP will be able to give you a further sicknote if you need it. How about another couple of weeks off then part time till the Easter holidays?

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