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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:
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 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.
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.
leaky thinking of you for Tuesday, you will be just fine. Look forward to hearing from you after.
slinkychick thankyou for your positive post, it was just what I needed. I'm 4 weeks post op (5 procedures in total) and although I am so much better than a couple of weeks ago I still have quite a bit of pain and am nowhere near as mobile as I thought I'd be (FYI Leaky, I'm pretty sure my pain is from my perenium repair and hemorrhoidectomy, not the rectocele or cystocele) It's not helped by my family now saying 'oh I thought you'd be so much better by now', it makes you start to question why you're not. So anyhow it is good to read something positive - even if I've got another 4 months to get there!!
That's good to hear Slinky. I'm fine 6 months post op too and back to exercising (only problem at the moment is tennis elbow and I really can't blame that on the gynae stuff). I've been doing Pilates again for a couple of months and can definitely feel the strength coming back. I can spend hours walking without any dragging, I did a short Easter Fun Run yesterday as well. So hang on in everyone.
Slinky that's awesome. I love you. I'm desperate to get swimming again. I can officially start again this week.
Leaky I have everything crossed for you for Tuesday (except legs ). Let us know when you're on the other side!
Haven't been on for a while, to be honest I was getting a bit fed up of thinking about the whole thing and was trying my best to ignore it! Finally went to see the consultant on thursday, Ended up waiting for 2 hours cos they were running late. She asked me a bunch of questions then examined me. Outcome was my pelvic floor muscles are in great shape for someone with 5 children but she can't see any prolapse!!! What she actually said was that given my symptoms and history she was expecting to see a severe problem. She can't repair what she can't see? How she can't see the lumpy bulge sticking out is beyond me. Told to go away and come back in six months. Was very upset when I got out and no idea what the hell she did in there but was very sore and spotting for a few days after. Thinking about it though she did show me a computer image of a rectocele and talked about it for a bit then said I may have been better off seeing a colorectal surgeon so am a bit puzzled. Have made an appointment to see a different gp and see what she says and find out what the heck is going on. Other thing I was wondering if someone could help me with is I have very low back pain and a pain/achey thing very low down on my left side sort of near my hip? Could this be down to the rectocele? I am still baffled as to how she couldn't see it, I mean I can take hold of the damn thing! Anyway am still a bit upset and down about the whole bloody thing and fed up of everything hurting and still not knowing what the heck is going on
Footie I wasn't ever examined standing up but, tmi sorry, I first saw a colorectal surgeon and he put a finger up my bottom and then pushed into my rectocele so it was then very obvious in my vagina. He then sent me for a defecating proctogram and this is what the UroGynae referred to when I eventually saw them. I would push for a colorectal referral charley and then take it from there.
I'm getting really concerned about how tight I am down below. I know there will be a considerable amount of swelling but I can't even get my little finger in . I've been trawling through past posts trying to see if anyone else had the same but can't find any reference to tightness. I'm so scared. Still in quite a bit of pain and am finding it harder to bear whilst feeling so nervous of the eventually outcome to all this surgery and that I may be one of the few that can't ever enjoy sex again
I think that is where I am going to go Troubled. I agree Footle, I too thought it was a total waste of everyones time!
How long are you past surgery Troubled? Could it still be swelling that hasn't gone down yet? I think I remember from reading past posts that a few people were having difficulty even seeing an opening due to swelling!
I am just plain nervous all the time now.I was nervous they were going to say I needed the surgery now I am nervous they are going to fob me off and leave me the way I am lol. Bag of nerves here
On the up side though I finished work at the weekend. Very sad to go and am really going to miss everyone I work with but am relieved to know I won't have to go in and lug big heavy crates around for 6 hours every other night.
Hope someone comes on and puts your mind at ease troubled.
Troubled - the doctor managed to get a small speculum in at 3 wks for a swab and the gynae at 5 wks. Didn't try anything else till 6 weeks, with lots of lubricant. And that was only a small rectocele.
Since you have swelling from all directions, it may require a bit more patience! Don't panic yet
I am still a little sore/require lubricant after 12 weeks.
Charley - What can anyone say! My gynae said that everything was OK but I know there is a bulge high up on the left - just told me to do pelvic floors. Fortunately it does not cause any symptoms. Hope you get to see someone more useful soon.
I am still having constipation issues. I am trying to learn pelvic floor release exercises now, for a change. I think all those years of overcompensating may not have helped.
charley I wasn't examined standing up and when I asked my consultant why, he said he does examinations standing up if a patient is experiencing symptoms but he can't see a prolapse when he examines with the patient lying down. In my case the prolapse was so obvious with me lying down he didn't need to. I think an appointment with another GP sounds like a very good idea.
Tr0ubled I think you are very brave poking about down there in the first place! When I had my 2 week follow up the surgeon managed to insert his finger and a small speculum (not at the same time ) and whilst it was sore and felt tight it wasn't too bad. You have had so many procedures though I wouldn't be at all surprised if you weren't still very swollen.
Thanks footie its really reassuring to know.
I'm going to see my consultant in a couple of weeks so will see what he says.
Does anyone know if its too early to start using sweet almond oil at 4 weeks post op? I've heard its really good for scar tissue and I want to make sure I'm doing all I can.
Charley I agree you should get a second opinion and be examined standing up. I'd have good days (nothing to see) and bad (impossible to miss) with mine. Sorry you've been messed about.
Any news from LeakyR? Her op was scheduled for today. Hope all's well.
Leaky hope you're doing ok post op. It's very quiet on here at the moment but I'm always checking in so please post if you need to.
I think I've turned a corner in terms of recovery. I still have pain that is only managed through quite strong painkillers but I'm now on my feet for long sessions without hurting. I'm even managing to cook the kids tea, do the washing up etc.. I'm at my mums at the moment and my littlest is being more demanding of me. In a way this has been good as its made me get my arse in gear but also it's meant I've been doing somethings I shouldn't, i.e lifting her onto the loo, leaning over the bath to wash her etc.. It can be hard with this recovery as your physically able to do more than you should, and especially when you're controlling your pain it's easy to forget.
I'm still vey nervous that I'm too tight but guess I'll have to deal with that later in my recovery. Also still interested to know if anyone has used any oils to help with healing and softening perenium scars? I was thinking of sweet almond oil or wheatgerm oil, but would love some opinions.
Has anyone had this?
Is there a surgon/hospital I should/n't go with?
How long were you in hospital for?
How long was recovery and what could/n't you do?
What are the side effects?
Has anyone done this and it didn't work/went wrong? What happened and how did they fix the issues (the original one/s and the subsequent one/s)?
When did you have post op sex?
I have little ones and would like to take a beach/swimming holiday, 4 weeks after the operation so was wondering if this was possible and the effects on the family life during the 4 weeks after surgery.
Tr0ubled glad to hear you have turned a corner. I'm doing much the same sort of activities re cooking tea and leaning over the bath, but do you really need to be lifting her onto the loo? Can you get a step? You've come so far it would be awful to ruin it, although I understand exactly where you are coming from. I picked dd up about 2 weeks post up, it was just a reflex as she had tripped, I soon put her down again once I had realised what I'd done. With regards the oils, I'm not familiar with them in terms of aiding recovery, are they the same ones you use if you want to do perineum massage before birth?
ohhhhnooo I haven't had a sling, but an anterior and posterior repair. However, I'm now 4 weeks post surgery and definitely wouldn't be up for a holiday. I'm pottering about at home very well but definitely wouldn't be picking up suitcases, catching little ones around the pool etc. It's a different op of course though, so hopefully someone who has had it will be along with a better idea.
Hello again all,
Well I finally had my op, and am now 9 days post op for posterior repair and merena, they didn't do the anterior as he said it was only small and too close to the bladder muscle to be safe, he hoped that the posterior repair, which was quite big, was going to offer support to the bladder, they also took a polyp from the cervix, he said had probably been caused by the pessary ring.
So its all been a blurr, was asked to pack and go from from the hospital 36hours post op, once I'd done my 3 weeks, cos they were desperate for beds.
The first thing I noticed that once asleep in my own bed, was I didnt have to get up for a wee in the night, bloody marvelous that is :-) I can't remember how long its been since I've had an uninterrupted nights sleep, so I guess the repair has helped the bladder :-)
Then it went downhill for a few days over the weekend as I couldn't poo, was Tuesday before I had a proper poo, so 7 days, those days were agony and I may have well have lived in the bathroom, passing a half a baked bean every half hour, senekot seems to have been the best thing, so anyway tonight I'm going tho try without any laxatives as I seem to need a poo every time I stand for a few mins.
I feel extremely glad that they only did one side, troubled I have no idea how you have managed with so many procedures, and I think you must be really swollen, my hat goes off to you with how well your coping.
I have been very lucky with support, dp has been very attentive and my mum is here now, running around after us, cooking and cleaning, even Ds has been a bit helpful.
Hope everyone is OK, tink, sorry to hear your news.
Ohnoo, isn't that what bladderama had on the last procedure, I'm sure if you read back someone has had that in the last 3 months.
Troubled, if it was me, I don't think I'd be using oils until the stitches have come out, I would be too worried that the oils would erode the stitches early iyswim. However, that is only my opinion, and I have no actual experience as to whether it would
oh nooo I had anteria, posteria and TVT which is the sling that you are having.That healed well with no pain at all where the ends comeout abouve the pubic bone.I had heard terrible things and read of so many side effects so was very worried. I did have twinges for several weeks, and it took a couple of weeks to get back to weeing normally (but no pain,just wierd) but all settled and no leaking now even when I had a bad cough
I know every one is different and I am 57 so probably took longer than others to heal. My other repairs were the hardest I think. My friend had her bladder sling done day surgery and was back to normal about 4 weeks later.Hope this helps. by all means email me
Thanks for the replies.
I looked at bladderama's posts and she had quite alot of work and from what I could glisten it wasnt the sling as such.
Slinkychick - I will pm you, thank you.
Embassing bodies is on 4 right now with a prolapse on looks like they will show the poo X-ray thing (sorry can't remember the proper name)
I haven't posted for a while although I lurk around occasionally to see how people are getting on. I joined mumsnet after I had my surgery (anterior repair, posterior repair and TVT) in August last year. Like others the reason I found the thread is because I was worried and could only find scare stories in other places. I suppose people with success stories are less likely to find these threads and to post their stories so information is a bit skewed.
Anyhow, I am a success story so I thought I'd let you all know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
In the weeks following surgery I did have a wound infection and recurring urine infections so had 8 lots of antibiotics which left me feeling like crap and constant thrush. I did feel that I would never get better and that having surgery was the worst thing I could have done...... but I think that may be partly down to the 'magic 6 weeks'. I was told by my surgeon (who was a brilliant urogynae specialist) that I would need 6 weeks off work and could resume marital relations after 6 weeks. Rubbish! Where they get this from I'll never know. I was literally counting the days to 6 weeks post op and when I got there I was so disappointed that I didn't feel back to normal and pretty much all of my stitches were still 'in situ' so work and other things were out of the question.
I returned to work after a 9 week break and to be honest should have left it at least a week longer. My employers were very nice and weren't rushing me to return but I thought I would go mad if I didn't. I had a phased return working part time for 2 weeks then full time for 4 days on the third week and 5 days full time thereafter. I have an office job and spend most of my day sitting at a desk. Even though my job was not physically demanding I was exhausted for about the first month back.
After about 12 weeks I felt human again and ready to resume normal relations. A healthy love life was very important to me and the thing I worried about most post surgery. I had read horror stories about people being sewn up too tight and bad pains because of scar tissue, especially with posterior repairs, so was obviously nervous. The good news was that although slightly painful the first few times the pain didn't last long and everything was fine. Now 7 months after surgery I don't have any pain at all and everything feels normal and the same or even better than before. Everybody is different. I think a lot depends on your age (I'm 40) and the skill of your surgeon.
I wouldn't like to go through the surgery again but now feel that it was all worth it. I am completely back to normal. I don't have lumps or bumps and nothing feels like it's hanging out. I don't wet myself anymore (my TVT has been well tested with a persistent cough) and I can poo straight!
Anyway, that's my story and I just wanted to assure you all that things do workout for a lot of people. If anybody has any questions, just ask!
Wishing you all a speedy recovery and a normal life post surgery x
misty thank you so much for posting such a positive story. I'm 4 weeks post anterior and posterior repair and I will be amazed if I'm ready to go back to work at the magic 6 week mark. Feels like my stitches are still very much in situ (and I'm happy for them to remain so for as long as possible), I've also been worried about painful sex so it's great to hear a success story. Thank you.
misty thanks from me too
I'm coming up 5 weeks post op and have been really fearful. As I said in a post a few days ago the recovery will be so much easier to get through if I feel positive about the eventual outcome, but I am so nervous of being too tight, painful etc... Anyway your post is lovely to read - I might take a screen shot of it to refer to on my down days
thrifty I hadn't really thought about the oil dissolving the stitches faster but now you've mentioned it I think I'll hold back a few more weeks. I've just been focusing on making the scar softer - based again on my huge fears of being too tight. And I guess you're right edwin having had so many procedures I'm swollen everywhere! How are you doing btw?
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