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Stitched up 'wrong' - advice on what to do next please.

(20 Posts)
Diamondback Wed 02-Mar-11 20:14:02

Probably TMI for some folks here, so be warned!

I had a forceps delivery last week and was stitched after an episiotomy. No problem with that, it was necessary (and better a cut than a big tear!).

Everything's been very painful down there and there's several 'nubbins' that weren't there before. When the midwife checked me yesterday, she told me that the perineum was not aligned correctly when they sewed me back together. She also said that 'many women decide to accept that things just won't ever be the same down there after having a baby'.

She did also say that it may just sort itself out, but didn't sound very hopeful. It's a shame, as all the rest of the care I've had during pregnancy and birth has been amazing.

Anyway, what I'm really wondering is what can be done and how soon? The midwife has advised me that even if I go to the doctor now and ask for it to be recut and restitched, they won't consider doing anything for 6-10 months as they'll want to see if it sorts itself out first.

But surely if it's left to heal 'wrong', scar tissue will form and it will be harder to rectify? Is there a medical reason for leaving it 6-10 months, or am I being fobbed off?

Maybe some women are happy to count their blessings and consider a wonky faff a small price to pay for a healthy baby, but why when it's so unnecessary? To me, having a healthy baby and having a healthy me are two separate issues - one isn't the price for the other.

Anyway, I am upset and rambling. Should I put my foot down and push hard for this to be fixed asap, or are there sound medical reasons to wait and see?

Hopefully Wed 02-Mar-11 20:27:19

I would definitely go an get a second opinion, preferably from a doctor with some kind of experience. If you've had surgery, your 6 week check should be with a consultant at the hospital where you gave birth - do you know if that's the case?

Also, if you're uncomfortable, you're well within your rights to phone the post natal ward and say you're in bloody agony and can you come in and be examined again.

I am disgusted that you are expected to accept that 'things won't be the same' - I had a horrendous 3rd degree tear, hours of surgery, and 2 years later you wouldn't know from a quick look that anything untoward had happened.

Saying that, I felt like my body was going to fall apart a week after giving birth, and was in huge amounts of agony for a long long time - you need reassurance that you're going through the pain of healing, not the pain of healing wrong

<gets all cross about crappy post natal care>

Lavitabellissima Wed 02-Mar-11 20:34:21

I would def go and seek a second opinion. Congratulations on your baby, sorry about the trauma sad

Jellykat Wed 02-Mar-11 21:13:00

I too would get a second opinion.

A friend of mine actually had to get hers 'redone' 8 years after giving birth,and mine is occasionally very uncomfortable (13 yrs later).It definitely gets more problematic with time, if not 'right' in the first place.

Hope it gets sorted out,and Congratulations!

bobbins2 Wed 02-Mar-11 23:01:25

So sorry diamondback ! It’s horrible, I can totally relate to how you're feeling. I had a forceps delivery 5 years ago now. I'm pregnant again and have been booked in for a c-section because I can't suffer that amount of damage again. I had a large episiotomy too and forceps make a right mess. I was soooooooo sore for weeks afterwards and felt like my stitches were coming undone. I had a horrible achy dragging feeling inside like I'd been stitched up too tight, and like you say could see 'nubbins' hanging out that were not there before.

When it's your first baby you just think it's something that you have to put up with, the midwife also told me it would sort itself out !!
After about 4-5 months we tried to have sex and realised that was just impossible.
I went to the doctors who examined me and referred me to a consultant mainly because I was so insistent that something was wrong.

Saw a consultant quite quickly who said he’s book me in for a laparoscopy to investigate what was going on, as a physical examination was just too painful Got my NHS date through for 6 months later !!! There was never any mention of any medical reason for the delay; it was just the waiting list. Fortunately my husband has a private health scheme at work and I was able to go private and have it all sorted within weeks. So it was all sorted by 6 months after the birth

Went in as a day patient, had a general anaesthetic .During the laparoscopy they found a large vaginal polyp (caused from stain of pushing) and bad scar tissue on the inside from episiotomy stitches, which had caused the really tight feeling. All that was removed and I was restitched.

Was another few months before I felt brave enough to try it out !!!
Everything was fine and so much better & comfortable - normal even (not quite as prechildren).
It was such a relief, you don’t have to put up with a ‘wonky faff’ lol and you shouldn’t have to. It’s really bad how women are treated sometimes, makes me so mad !
It’s early days for you yet, but I’d definitely see your doctor; you know best what feels normal and what doesn’t. I just think forceps are brutal and cause so much damage. Good luck xx

DonaLucia Wed 02-Mar-11 23:11:17

i would get a doctors opinion on that ,a friend had it done and it was sorry about my language,too tight in her case,the doctor thaat done it just stitched nearly all together wid only atine gap on the front side ,she was having problems and fidinding dificult to have sex.
So ,i would go and have it checked

CalmInsomniac Thu 03-Mar-11 15:59:46

I had a skin tag as I was healing but it actually disappeared at some point and it's completely smooth there now. The midwife who commented on it suggested showing it to the doc at 6 week check and potentially having it "snipped off" shock. Glad I didn't need to.
So I would say, as you haven't been discharged from postnatal follow up yet, maybe see if you can go back and see a consultant about it.
Everyone I know who has talked about doing post-birth stitches say it really is a car crash down there and so hard to work out what goes with what!

CalmInsomniac Thu 03-Mar-11 16:00:36

PS hope that last post didn't come across as insensitive, was just trying to say, it may be bad now but it might improve as time goes on x

Diamondback Thu 03-Mar-11 21:39:56

Thanks everyone for all your posts - I have another check due next week, so I'll see what the next midwife says and then, if I'm not happy, I'll see what the doctor says - I don't think I can wait a year to have sex with my husband again!

Backinthebox Thu 03-Mar-11 21:49:19

I was completely paranoid about one very small bit that felt like someone was sticking a pin in it in the couple of weeks after birth. Forget the husband - it was my horse riding I was more worried about! I think my MW must have thought I was nuts - I kept asking her to check everything was OK, and I thought she was mad when she kept telling me it was fine. The first 2 weeks did feel like the world was falling out of my bottom, but amazingly it felt much better once the swelling had gone down, and I was back on a horse at 5 weeks post birth. The sharp bit I felt had completely gone.

Now it is possible that you will need further surgery. But I would be inclined to just give it a little time for swelling to go before really getting worried. Doctors don't like to recut and restitch to soon as it is better if there is healthy tissue to restitch, iyswim, and right now your bits will not be at their best, and hence more difficult to get a repair right. In the mean time, you could get a second opinion as to whether you have been stitched together wrong, and if you have what the best course of action is.

dajule Thu 03-Mar-11 22:51:32

One week is quite a short time in terms of healing and tissues settling down.
The midwife who saw you may well have been trying to be diplomatic about the suturing done by the Doctor following your forceps delivery. I'd wait until your postnatal check with your GP if you are still experiencing problems request referral to a gynaecologist with a specialism in perineal repair problems

first1 Sat 05-Mar-11 15:30:05

A week is a very short amount of time considering what you went through. I had a 3a degree tear, spent 2 hours in theatre and at my 6week check was told by an NHS CONSULTANT, it hadn't healed yet but it would...eventually. Agony is an understatement, I couldn't sit down for the pain, I stopped eating (irrational yes) for fear of having to poo. So 9 weeks postnatal I went for a private consultation with a gynae surgeon where I was told there were "pockets" of skin with no stitches! So I forked out for a procedure under GA to be restitched. That was 6months ago. The surgeon, her registrar, a physio, a midwife, a nurse, my GP and a psychosexual counsellor have all examined the new stitching and I've been told you'd never know I even had a baby let alone major tearing! So no, in short, you shouldn't just accept it because you've had a baby. Give it time, but you know your body better than anyone. I'm so glad I didn't just accept the words at my 6week check, and listened to my own instincts.

Diamondback Mon 07-Mar-11 18:04:20

Well, I had another midwife check today and she said that it's healing up better than expected and that perhaps all the swelling and bruising made it look worse last week than it is. She also took the last of my stitches out, which made it a lot more comfortable to sit down!

She said it will be really hard to tell how it will heal until the 6 week check, as it's still quite swollen, so best to hold off any decisions on how to proceed till then. DH is being v supportive though and says we can scrape the money to go private if it's really not right! But fingers crossed (and legs, for the mo).

Thanks everyone, for sharing your experiences - it's been really helpful. smile

zedfaca Wed 09-Mar-11 11:34:30

I agree about them being unsympathetic and treating people like they should just be grateful for their child. My doctor started telling me about a lady she'd seen who'd had nine children and that 'it was all just hanging out of there'. Well I hardly think if I'd sprained my wrist I'd be told, 'Oh that's nothing. We had a guy in here who'd broken his arm earlier.'

Orelle Fri 24-Jun-11 20:20:17

Hello,
Reading your message breaks my heart I know how you must feel. I was also stiched up very poorly. The doctor at Columbia Prespyterian stiched me closed. the opening to the vagina was the size of a pea literally I was only able to squeeze in my pinky (and I have very thin fingers). I ended up having a reconstructive surgery when my baby was 7 months old. It is a terrible feeling going through it all over again. If you have any question please feel free to ask.

Diamondback Mon 15-Aug-11 16:53:07

Hi Ladies,

It's been a while, but I thought I should come back and update.

Good news! The first three months were vile - couldn't sit down or walk far without pain, and crying every morning on the loo (although lots of fibrogel & lactolose helped!).

Had a check at twelve weeks and was referred to the Gynaecologist, as it was too painful for the doc to examine me. However, by the tine I saw the Gynae (4 months post-birth) it had started to sort itself out & me and DH have even managed to reboot the sex life!

Seems it's possible the midwife was mistaken when she said they'd misaligned my perineum. So, just in case anyone's Googled this thread just after their own bad experience and is despairing I thought I'd better let you know, they're not lying when they say it might sort itself out (but do insist in seing a Gynae, to be on the safe side).

gailforce1 Mon 15-Aug-11 18:02:23

Diamond that is great news.
What I am wondering though is about future births? Will you and others with similar problems be advised to have a CSto avoid possible further problems?

Popbiscuit Mon 15-Aug-11 18:15:47

I was stitched up wrong after a vacuum delivery with my first. Didn't really realize until delivery of my 2nd baby; thought it was normal. Was very painful after birth number 1 and then once healed just felt "tighter" than it should have (am cringing writing this...). With baby #2 they did an episiotomy instead of letting it tear on it's own and I was stitched up properly afterwards; no problems since. It may be worth pointing out that the doctor for #2 was a woman and was incredulous at the "work" of the first doctor (um...not a woman).
Give it time, though. I think it takes longer for healing after your first baby and things do stay swollen/bruised/sore for a few weeks.

Popbiscuit Mon 15-Aug-11 18:17:52

Sorry, Diamond. Just realized that you've posted an update to your story. Glad that everything worked itself out.

Diamondback Tue 16-Aug-11 14:40:30

No worries, Popbiscuit - glad it all got 'fixed' 2nd time around.

gailforce1, I should be fine for a vaginal delivery next time - so there's something to look forward to confused. The only thing I'm writing on my next birth plan is 'epidural as early as possible, please'!

From what I've heard from other women, even if it doesn't heal up right you'll still be able to deliver vaginally the next time, but they might put off offering you corrective surgery until you've completed your family unless you're in lots of pain. The Gynae did tell me I could have it cut and restitched to deal with the 'aesthetic' issues if I wanted to, but they'd recommend that I wait until I've had more kids in case I need another episiotomy in the future. I'm not that bothered about the aesthetics anyway - DH assures me it doesn't look like FrankenMuff, so that's fine with me smile

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