Rectocele surgery recovery (tmi warning)

(53 Posts)
Peacefulmama Mon 02-Apr-18 21:15:50

Hi everyone,

Has anyone had rectocele repair surgery? If so, can you please share your experiences of recovery with me? I'm 6 days post-op for a straightforward repair, and have spent most of the last week laying flat in bed not wanting to jeopardise the recovery process. The bleeding stopped after just 3 days. But (tmi, sorry) I've just had diahorrea and when I wiped the surgery area, there was some fresh blood. About 4cm x 2cm on the tissue paper. I've put a towel back in and gone back to laying flat in bed, having a few more stinging pains than I was before but not constantly, just a few. Can anyone offer any reassurance based on their own experiences? I'm freaking the funk out that I've messed things up down there. Thanks in advance.

OP’s posts: |
MissTulipan Tue 03-Apr-18 17:45:48

Can’t offer any advice but I have recently been diagnosed with a rectocele, not severe enough for surgery (yet!?) but not helping the other issues I’m having (piles and fissure) so I will be watching this thread.
How are you feeling today? It’s still very early days. Bums are one of the most sensitive parts of the body my Gp told me.

picklemepopcorn Tue 03-Apr-18 17:49:40

I don't think you've wrecked anything- I had major constipation after my repair, so I wouldn't worry too much!

mineofuselessinformation Tue 03-Apr-18 17:51:14

It may be down to the diarrhoea (now constipation after this op is much worse, speaking from experience! blush)
Keep an eye on it and see if it settles. If it doesn't, or seems to be getting worse, give the ward a ring for advice.

mineofuselessinformation Thu 05-Apr-18 20:50:27

How are you now, OP?

Peacefulmama Thu 05-Apr-18 22:34:11

Hi, @mineofuselessinformation, thanks for asking. Tbh not great. I lay still after the diahorrea and the bleeding did stop after a few hrs. I was so relieved.

Yesterday, I felt well. Hadnt bled in a few days, not in any pain. Went for a gentle walk. Was so exhausted last night that I cried all over husband, who then asked if I was due on because I seemed emotional, and I snapped at him to not be so patronising.

This morning, at 6, I was woken up by pain and quite a bit of blood. I really fucking hope its my period arriving unusually early! Suddenly ptayi3my husband was right. I was literally laying in bed asleep all night so I surely can't have damaged myself while asleep? Plus, its the first time since the surgery that I feel pain in a place I can point to through my abdomen. Like, the whole area is now sore, swollen and uncomfortable. But some of the pain is a lot higher up than it was even yesterday.

I did see a surgeon for a check up today and he offered to look and see if ut was all ok but as the stitches are internal and I'm only 10 days post op, I wasnt ready for any finger inserting or anything touching the area! I also felt like it'd be too vulnerable to be examined while bleeding. I declined an examination but instead showed the surgeon a pic of the amount of blood lost in the past 4hrs, he didnt seem worried.

My new plan is assume this is a period and go very gently as a result. Everything in there feels newly tender and sensitive so I am hoping it eases in the next few days. If not, its back to the surgeon for another check up. I would grit my teeth and have an exam, if I was still bleeding when I went back.

How was your first period after rectocele repair surgery? Sorry for blathering but thanks for reading xX

OP’s posts: |
mineofuselessinformation Thu 05-Apr-18 22:48:16

I can't help you with periods as I had a hysterectomy as part of my first surgery - sorry.
What I do know is that everything will be incredibly tender and inflamed for at least a couple of weeks after surgery - you've been massively pulled around.
I can only imagine that a period would aggravate it all.
You need to be very careful to take it easy (as I'm sure you've been told - I was surprised to find that putting a towel on a high rack to dry really pulled, so I didn't do it for a while...)
Also recognise that a general anaesthetic can take a while to recover from. For me, it's around a fortnight.
It sounds like the walk was too much. Aim to just potter about for at least the next two weeks - and still be very cautious after that. Treat it as if you have had a hysterectomy (so at least six weeks recovery).
I found it very helpful to say 'I can't do that' rather than 'I don't think I can do it'.
Really draw a hard line to be sure your recovery is as good as it can be. After all, you don't want to do this all again!


TheProvincialLady Thu 05-Apr-18 22:59:39

I had a big repair last year - rectocele and enterocele and perenium repair and general pelvic floor sorting. The recovery was looong and I found that I really needed bed rest for several weeks, with only short periods up and about. Anything else left me in a lot of pain. I cried all the time from sheer exhaustion and pain and felt very stupid and feeble (I did have a few complications which slowed down my recovery though).

I got really worried that the operation wasn’t going to be a success, that I had damaged myself every time I went for a walk and ended up in pain, that my fanjo would never work again etc. I googled quite a bit and found that a lot of women go through the same feelings. And sure enough, after six weeks I really did start to feel much better and was back at work full time within 12 weeks, sex life resumed and pretty much all normal activity. And no pain! I am really pleased with how my quality of life has improved.

Do get any concerns you have re bleeding etc checked out - but otherwise, just be kind to yourself and don’t try to do too much. Do a lot less than you think you can to begin with, and don’t lift a damn thing if you can help it. You will be back to full strength in no time.

Peacefulmama Fri 06-Apr-18 08:26:10

Oh my god, thank you ladies so much for getting back to me woth your advice and kind words. I'm only 33 and nobody I know has gone through anything like this. My best mate thinks I have had a designer vagina op, even though I have explained what was really going on. Its really helpful to have people saying been there, dont that - or dont do that, which is obviously the mantra of choice.

I completely get the feeling that any little thing might mess it all up in there. I'm still bleeding today but I feel in less pain, which does make me think, yep its definitely a period. Am back on the painkillers, and feel really glad that I did so little yesterday as it has quite obviously helped. Just got my 4 yr old some rice crispies and put an empty milk carton out in the recycling and am now sat down having a rest. I've also emailed my boss to say recovery is taking longer than planned and I won't be in work till at least Thurs 12th next week - I had previously said I'd be back in on Monday but hell no that's clearly not happening. Thank you again for your support and sharing your experiences - its really helpful. Xx

OP’s posts: |
picklemepopcorn Fri 06-Apr-18 08:55:05

It sounds as though you weren't well advised on the recovery time. I was told six weeks, don't lift anything heavier than a kettle. Bed rest for the first two weeks, followed by gentle walking around the house before working up to going outside. Honestly, I was totally overwhelmed when I finally got out to the shops after about 4 weeks!

You know you shouldn't be driving yet?

Wh0Kn0wsWhereTheT1meG0es Fri 06-Apr-18 09:05:38

Same here, I was mainly in bed for two weeks, just short spells up and about, no lifting anything heavier than a half full kettle. 2-6 weeks gradually getting a bit more active but still no lifting, pushing, pulling, sono supermarket shopping, laundry etc. Didn't drive or go back to work (office job) for 6 weeks. 6-12 weeks gradually resuming daily activity such as shopping but still no heavy lifting or high impact exercise. I finally felt properly better at about 12 weeks, but still avoid very heavy lifting and high impact exercise as much as possible. 5 years on and all is well.

Peacefulmama Fri 06-Apr-18 10:44:39

I'm not driving anywhere yet, dont worry! And lifting stuff is still very restricted. A half- full kettle does sound about right.

I went private for my op as the NHS have been really unhelpful with the whole thing, and was simply told that I could drive again when I could do an emergency stop without pain. No idea when that'll be though, as I'm not sure how to find out if/when I'm ready to drive again! I was told recovery would involve a few days of bed rest, some light pottering round the house and then returning to light office work after 2 weeks. Load of rot. 12 days on and I still cant sit down without pain so I am either laying or standing a lot. And I now have my period which hurts like hell. Its going to be a longer journey back to normal than I thought.

OP’s posts: |
Wh0Kn0wsWhereTheT1meG0es Fri 06-Apr-18 11:19:44

I was still in some discomfort on my office chair after 6 weeks, I took a cushion to work. In fact I went back half days for the first week. At 2 weeks I could only sit on a dining chair at home for a couple of minutes, the rest of the time I was either lying down, pottering around or on the soda with my feet up. It does get better, I had mine in September and I remember feeling a huge wave of relief on Christmas Day when I had cooked the dinner and felt completely and utterly normal.

What I would say is that it's a good idea longer term to follow an exercise routine to both protect and strengthen your pelvic area. There is a really useful closed FB group called APOPS, Association for Pelvic Prolapse Support, which has lots of useful information and support. Also old prolapse threads on here (there were a whole series in General Health called Any Old Prolapse).

TheProvincialLady Fri 06-Apr-18 12:11:05

I agree, you have really been misadvised about recovery. The leaflet I was given was also stupidly optimistic but it still said six weeks off work. I also went privately and the consultant gave me a sick note for six weeks. I think should should consider getting in touch with him/her and requesting the same. My return to work was so phased that I did literally half a day the first week and was still exhausted (desk based role). Your GP will be able to help too.

It’s vital that you don’t overdo it now. Not to dismay you but you are very young to have the operation (I was young too but not as young as you). The risk of prolapse returning is very high in our age group because of the sheer number of years ahead of us, so you MUST recover properly and take permanent good care of your pelvic floor. Sorry for the lecture 😊😊

picklemepopcorn Fri 06-Apr-18 12:17:01

I went back to choir after 6 weeks. Believe it or not, I was exhausted, because singing uses pelvic floor muscles. Don't underestimate.

TTM11 Fri 28-Dec-18 03:15:52

I am currently close to 4 weeks post rectocele and enterocele surgery repair. I think I may be over doing it because I feel like something is still bulging up top, and when I squeeze my muscles it feels either swollen or like I'm gripping something like before but not as severe. I'm wondering if I over did it because I went for a quick drive and felt some sharp pains afterwards and a slight pop feeling inside? I currently can't get in for a follow up because the Dr is an hr away and my insurance will be changing in a few days, needing to find another GP to check me out. I'm able to walk around a lot faster now but the incident in speaking of happened about a week ago.. The next day or felt fine after taking my medicine and sleeping for 8-10hrs! I was wiped out! I do get exhausted after walking for a bit but I'm also trying to strength my insides at the same time? I still feel some leakage from time to time which I'm hoping everything is still in place... Your thoughts? Do I have to wait for an internal examination to really know for sure? My regular gyn dr didn't find the rectocele to begin as I had to seek out a specialist. Thanks!

Weenurse Fri 28-Dec-18 03:25:59

I have a spell I give my patients post surgery.
It goes- ‘no sex, exercise, lifting or straining. No sex toys, no suppositories , no tampons or enemas. Nothing up there front or back for the next 6 week. No taking out the bin, no mowing the lawns, no vacuuming or lifting heavy wet washing or small children for 6 weeks. Also no driving for 2 weeks.
People generally don’t think it will take that long, but it does,

Weenurse Fri 28-Dec-18 04:26:22


4swolfe Sat 29-Dec-18 00:56:27

I had rectocele repair one month ago and returned to work after 3 weeks. I had to go home with a catheter for a few days because I was unable to fully empty my bladder. Still have trouble sitting for long periods and have had to get a cushion for my car and office chair. I am only driving short distances and am following doctors orders to not lift, push, or pull anything. I still get very tired and sore by the end of the day. The pain seems to shift from the left side, right side, and tailbone. Some days are better than others but on bad days I get so frustrated and tired of being in pain and unable to do things. Ready to be rid of stitches, not have to wear a pad due to discharge, to be able to sit for longer than 30 minutes.
If anyone has any information about when they started to feel normal again it would help me a lot. Have my second follow up with doctor next week.

1viviana Mon 31-Dec-18 15:59:22

I had bladder lift and rectocele surgery done dec bottom opening hurts so bad especially if I have to go to bathroom of which I have not done yet(#2)...anybody else feel this?

1viviana Mon 31-Dec-18 16:00:52

What did you do for constipation..

4swolfe Tue 01-Jan-19 18:42:38

I am still taking stool softener with laxative in it. It was a week out and I took a heavier laxative to get it going. Peeing was a struggle in the beginning but after several catheters my bladder seemed to finally start cooperating. Still have days I’m in pain more than others. My surgery was November 26, 2018.

MrsLuther Tue 01-Jan-19 18:54:03

I had a rectocele repair a couple of years ago. Knocked me for six!

It took a lot out of me and recovery was worse than expected (felt feeble as a pp said) and I remember it hurt to fart!

Seaweed42 Tue 01-Jan-19 19:18:18

Try prune juice, eat 2 pears and drink a glass of warm water. When trying to do a #2 put your feet on a small box, like a wipes box, so that your knees are higher than your bum.
Don't strain but it is safe to clench and unclench your bum hole and that helps encourage it. Also while going, breath out as if blowing through a straw is supposed to help!
It takes a while to feel completely yourself again, like a few months if I remember rightly, but with each week you will feel much better.
I needed a cushion to sit on for a while and was really careful about lifting and I still am. Separate your shopping into smaller bags and make more trips rather than carry a heavy bag.
It does get sore and heavy again in the evening so rest as much as possible. I kept thinking the prolapse was back because it things seemed to swell up again a good few times the first year after I had the operation. And I could feel 'something' down there. But a few years on everything's fine now. Take heart things will get better, just be patient and take things really slowly to give the stitches as much time as possible to get settled in.

mineofuselessinformation Tue 01-Jan-19 20:21:37

Re the shopping - don't even think about it until the six week mark! Online shopping is your friend. Put in the notes that you are unable to lift much weight and will need the delivery put on your kitchen counter (or wherever) to unpack it.
Learning to say 'I cant' instead if 'I shouldn't' is a very important part of your recovery.

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