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Pt 8 (Oct13) Any old prolapse! Uterus/womb prolapse, rectocele, cystocele, enterocele, urethrocele, incontinence, pelvic floor, anterior and posterior repair, TVT etc

(1000 Posts)
Bladderama Tue 01-Oct-13 18:12:29

Welcome to thread 8 (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 - an earlier 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
Thread 7

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.

Dragonroad Tue 14-Jan-14 08:31:16

noordinary Your op is bound to be playing on your mind. The mesh issue is a concern but it is about balancing how much you need to the operation against the chances of a problem happening to you and the severity of the problem if it does.
I have to say I am panicking a bit that this odd bleeding is due to erosion of the tape. Just need this period to end so I can tell for sure what is going on. I am 5 weeks on from the this surgery and I think it is the TVT which is still causing aching and pain. The more I do the more it hurts. That and the odd bleeding is a bit of a worry at this point.
I shall spend the morning chasing an appointment for a scan.

happylilme Tue 14-Jan-14 09:05:07

Noordinary I had a feeling if you read the posts it would be upsetting for you. That's what I was worried about. Going by what you have said you have a lot of problems with your bits and Bob's. Can you ask at the hospital for an emergency appointment and seek some reassurance from consultant even if it was just a phone call. I would hate to have read that and faced the prospect of having it done. My sister had a mesh for hernia and she has been absolutely fine 6years down the line. I really feel for you.
Dragon could the tape be too tight. I really hope it gets sorted out. If I do too much I get uncomfortable with pain around the scar tissue. ConsultAnt said to gently massage the scar tissue easier said than done as I have a house full of boys with very little privacy.

Dragonroad Tue 14-Jan-14 09:15:23

happy yes, don't want to disturb the children!
Got another tampon in, fingers crossed I am wrong and have just been to the doctor because I am having a period! Embarrassing but much less worrying.

happylilme Tue 14-Jan-14 09:19:34

Another thing Noordinary when people post things like let's say a stay at a hotel and they had a bad experience they are more likely to go online and have negative things to say. People who have good experiences tend not to post at all if you get what I mean. With all surgery there are risks of complications, you weigh it up like Dragon said with how bad you are feeling. I really think you need some reassurance from your surgeon, I'm sure he knows the success rates as that is his speciality. Just remember people on here as it says above are not so medically trained. confused

happylilme Tue 14-Jan-14 09:24:26

Lol Dragon I wouldn't be the only one left with scars poor kids smile
If it is your period at least it will ease your worry., it's just a bloody pain in the arse this vagina watching. I'm a nervous wreck.

Dragonroad Tue 14-Jan-14 09:34:01

Oh happy you made me laugh out loud grin. I have never looked at my vagina so often and talked about it so much. I really hope we can all have a good laugh at my expense in a few days.

greeningthedesert Tue 14-Jan-14 10:53:47

Hi All

What an amazing thread to find.

I'm 44 and had my 7 year old twins by c-section. I was determined to have a VBAC with their little sister (I was nearly 42 when she was born). I figured that I was pretty fit, in good shape and I really wanted a natural delivery experience. I had no idea of the risks, which was daft as my mother had also needed prolapse surgery in the past. It was a 36 hour labour of which I was pushing for 7 hours and in the process tore my pelvic floor muscles pretty badly and gave myself a mild to moderate cystocele, mild urinary incontinence and a moderate rectocele. I delayed the op until the youngest was more independent (she's 2.8 now and I probably should have waited even longer).

I am two days after anterior and posterior colporrhaphies and a TVT. A bit sore, but feeling much better than I had feared. I'll write in detail in case it is of use to anyone who hasn't yet had their surgery.

Had the op on Sunday at 4 pm with a spinal epidural and a strong sedative so I wasn't 'awake' (I really didn't want to be aware during the op). At 8 pm they gave me paracetamol (I was expecting something a bit stronger!). By about 10 pm I was still in quite a lot of discomfort (think mid-stage labour) so they gave me a shot of something stronger which eased everything. On Monday at 6 am they removed the catheter and gauze padding - I had no painkiller in me by then but it really didn't hurt at all. I had anticipated agony. Afterwards the ache was as if I had grazed my knee badly but inside my vagina. All day I alternated paracetamol and ibuprofen. They discharged me at 2.30 pm and I flew home at 5 pm (I live abroad in a small remote town about an hours' flight from the capital, so for most medical procedures our health provider flies us to the capital). I really could have done without the flight as it basically meant I couldn't lie down for 4 hours, but we managed. I had my first BM this morning which was uncomfortable before, but fine during (TMI) - it really helped to put a small step under my feet. I'm taking lots of movicol and fluids.

I try to intersperse everything with lying down, but I do find it hard to 'take it easy'. I realise that I've already reorganised the freezer and loaded the dishwasher this morning. Bending is uncomfortable, so I try not to. I am determined to not lift anything heavy, although with 3 cuddly kids that'll be the challenge.

Anyway I hope this helps someone as I have found these threads utterly invaluable. I anticipated reading lots of books or watching films, but all I've been doing is reading these threads.

greeningthedesert Tue 14-Jan-14 11:08:14

I have a question: how soon after the surgery were you advised that you could start pelvic floor exercises? My Dr said she'd refer me to a physio at 3 months, but that seems a rather long time. I'd like to try to help my pelvic floor muscles to be as strong as possible but I really don't want to do any damage.

happylilme Tue 14-Jan-14 11:27:46

Hi ya greeningthedesert welcome to the merry band, I hope your recovery is going well,don't envy the flight after surgery eek. I haven't really been told much post surgery. I can only say I tried pelvic floors about 2 and a half weeks and ithurt. I am now 5 weeks 5 days post surgery and I tried last night and I am a sore today so 3 months is probably right. I guess for 12 weeks it just pure healing time. I have a 21 month old and it is difficult you need plenty of support. It's second nature to do jobs around the house and its easy to forget.

Dragonroad Tue 14-Jan-14 12:37:44

greeningthedesert welcome! I am glad all is going well for you and you sound like you are coping really well. I would be a little careful about over doing it. I was told too much too early could undermine the surgery and that would be a shame. Keep us informed of your progress, we are all very interested to see how we progress.

Lodders1 Tue 14-Jan-14 14:35:01

Hi all, I've just joined this site after a friend recommended it. I'm 1 week post op for an anterior repair and tvt procedure, anyone had similar?

Dragonroad Tue 14-Jan-14 15:06:08

hi Lodders1 lots of us have had similar. How are you feeling?

I have just been for a physio appointment and it was very good. She had a very gentle and thorough look at my belly and the outside of my ladybits. She identified the tender bits and was very reassuring about the pain and said she thought it sounds like the sort of tenderness you get after infections and I just need to take it easy whilst it settles.
She showed me how to do the pelvic floor exercises and was very hands on in seeing how well they worked. In my case she said there was a little movement but not a lot!
More importantly she was lovely. I really hate those examinations and she actually listened and asked questions about it and talked me through it. She has made another appointment and is going to work with me to see if she can help settle some of the panic. I might not even take the propanadol for the next appointment....will see about that.

jcakec Tue 14-Jan-14 18:50:01

That sounds really positive Dragon, can I ask did you have to ask to see the physio?

Dragonroad Tue 14-Jan-14 19:38:21

jcakec - it seems to be just part of the package but she was surprised to hear that I had already had the operation. I think she was expecting to get me to try all the exercises and see if I could avoid the operation. She said that doing the exercises would help the circulation and get things moving as I am still quite tender. Very lovely lady.
Have you, or anyone else, been for physio?

happylilme Tue 14-Jan-14 20:43:00

Can we do pelvic floors now Dragon, I saw physio pre operation but was so long ago I forgot what the advice was. I am trying to do them but I think I was doing them a bit too rigorously that it stung. I think I will ask Dr about physio. She said I had good pelvic floors bar the rectocele. I'm lucky I think in that I haven't had any issues with bladder. Touch wood. So do you feel more reassured now Dragon.
Jcakec are you still getting pains when sitting?

Dragonroad Tue 14-Jan-14 21:08:35

happy she said to do 5 lots of pulling my pelvic floor up, including my backside, and holding for 5 seconds. she said to do them 5 or 6 times a day for a month before i see her again. She also said to use a mirror to see the movement. Your vagina watching comment came to mind! I now have medical permission to do it.
I do feel more reassured. She was very sensible and I will have to see about the bleeding urethra in a few days. Hopefully I was either wrong or it was a one off and won't happen again.
pain and swelling much less than it was and is reserved for the end of the day now. I am looking at my huge belly with a very painful bladder with stabbing pains. How's you?

Lodders1 Tue 14-Jan-14 22:00:20

Hi Dragon, good to hear you're doing well with the physio. I'm doing better today, had a couple of sore and very tired days last week. Sorry to be so vulgar but the advice I was after was re going to the loo!!! I went y'day and really didn't think I was straining bit a huge bulge appeared where I'd had my prolapse repair, really scares me to know just how weak things are there. Have you or anyone experienced similar? Any help/advice greatly recd. thanks

Dragonroad Tue 14-Jan-14 22:13:09

hi Lodders. for the first 3 weeks I didn't strain at all for a poop. I just took lots of stool softeners and waited for nature to take its course. I chose not to look during this time, for the most part, but I often felt I had a bulge. I think it was just swelling that I could feel. I now rarely feel this and only if I have been standing. I obviously don't know if you have anything to worry about but your insides will be very swollen so perhaps it is just that. I hope that is of some help but if you read the various contributions here, others have said they thought they had a bulge only to change their minds a bit later.

Lodders1 Tue 14-Jan-14 22:26:24

Thanks for that dragon, good to know I'm not alone. Things we have to go through, such joy! I think
I'll take some extra lax's then!
Thanks again

happylilme Tue 14-Jan-14 22:30:32

I had a feeling today of fullness where my prolapse had been repaired so I used a suppository, well it was like putting rocket fuel up my poor bottom. Within 10 minutes I was sitting on the loo. That being said it gave instant relief to that fullness feeling. I had slowed down on my bowel meds but this taught me I will be on them for the foreseeable future.
Apart from that Dragon I'm grand. Doing my pelvic floors while typing obviously not on vagina watchgrin

Noordinarygirl Tue 14-Jan-14 23:07:34

Thanks for your kind words and reassurance Happy and *Dragon. I'm not normally wussy like this - really NOT at all. (It's all in private mind you!) I did call the hospital again today and they will hopefully be getting back to me tomorrow about a new date. Apparently there's 10 'new' dates for surgery (lots of others let down too, I think) and the earliest one is next week! Let it be me on THAT day. I shall keep you posted.

It must be worrying for everyone post op who feels any sort of bulge going on - but at least we now know from all the updates on here that it's par for the course and not something to overly worry about in the early days of recovery.

The BMs do sound quite challenging - I'm maintaining my weight at Slimming World by having lots of scanbran - it's pretty much pure bran so that keeps nature working on its own!!!

The vagina 'watching' does make me laugh but it's not something I'll be doing for a while after the op I don't think. Don't want to scare myself! I do have a lovely big mirror that I kept from my self-catheterising days (luckily didn't need to use it for that though!) so I will eventually have a good use for it! Maybe I should try and rig a head torch onto it too.....

greeningthedesert Wed 15-Jan-14 09:16:45

Thanks for your welcome.

In the NHS, the truth is noordinary that those who shout the loudest often get the fastest service. I know it shouldn't be that way, but it definitely seems to be. I really do hope you get your surgery soon.

happy and dragon your infections sound grim. I hope your discomfort is lessening now they're finally getting treated properly.

My doctor has made me take 'just in case' strong antibiotics from the day of the op. I'm not sure if this is routine or was because I seem to naturally have somewhat low white blood counts and neutropenia.

The thing that's getting to me a bit at the moment (day 3) is not knowing what is too much, too little, too heavy etc... If I empty the dishwasher one dish at a time is that too much? What about a full kettle? Or crouching down/bending over which is what I'm doing to stop my 33 month DD from jumping up on me... confused

happylilme Wed 15-Jan-14 10:21:02

Greening I was the same. What I did I used at jug to water to pour into the kettle so I wasn't lifting anything too heavy. Just be careful with loading or unloading dishwasher as it involves lots of bending, I was not to do this or hang out washing etc for the first 3 weeks (such a hardship) just allow the skin to knit then gradually build daily activities. So no hovering or pushing trolley or pram for 6 weeks. Easier said than done I know. Also I found if I sat on the sofa and let my little boy climb up I could still give those precious cuddles.

greeningthedesert Wed 15-Jan-14 11:32:04

Yeah, happy I try to make sure I'm lying on the sofa while my littlest is around so she climbs up to me as otherwise I know that one day I'll pick her up without thinking about it.

Yesterday I thought I'd come up with a clever way to fill the kettle by stretching the tap to the kettle so I didn't have to lift it at all (for some reason our tap looks and works like a tap but is really a shower head). Only to realise, once the kettle had boiled, that I was still going to have to lift it if I wanted to fill the teapot blush.

jcakec Wed 15-Jan-14 17:00:20

Greening I agree it is the bending down to the dishwasher which might be bad for you or squating. I dont know how those of you with young children manage it must be so hard for you. Even after a few weeks I didnt know how much to do. Dragon - no follow up care at all here, just told to see the gp if I felt I needed to. Happy - thank you for asking, yes still got pain, i know I need to go back to gp but keep putting it off, the thought of being examined again and told there is no reason for me to be in pain -I cant seem to face it. Dragon I hope your bleeding has stopped.

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