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Any Pelvic Organ Prolapse Surgery success stories?

(316 Posts)
littlecabbage Fri 10-Aug-18 21:21:00

I have a grade II cystocoele and a grade I rectocoele (following instrumental delivery during childbirth). I am going to see my GP soon to ask for referral to a women’s healh physio to help with my symptoms, but have been told I will need surgery at some point.

It’s very easy to find negative stories about surgical repairs breaking down, and how they become more and more difficult to repair each time, but I am hoping this is just because women are more likely to post when things have gone wrong and it is on their mind more.

Has anyone had surgery to improve/resolve POP and had (so far) a good outcome? How long ago did you have the surgery? How old were you? What type/grade of prolapse(s) did you have beforehand? Did you do pelvic floor physio before and/or after, and did that help? Do you do any high impact exercise now, or is that too risky? Are your symptoms completely resolved, or just improved?

Thanks for any info you are able to share.

Branleuse Sat 11-Aug-18 17:35:02

BeyondRadical - do you mean ehler danls?

tleaf Sat 11-Aug-18 18:21:08

Some time ago I read a thread about prolapse problems of all types. An electronic pelvic excerciser was recommended, the Kegel 8 and has since helped my condition and will hopefully avoid surgery.

TightropeWalk Sat 11-Aug-18 18:59:01

It’s absolute nonsense that subsequent deliveries do not worsen prolapse, and it angers me they say it’s the pregnancy not the deliveries 🙄 do they think we are morons that do not know our bodies? I argued this out with my obstetrician this time, and she agreed that of course every delivery could worsen the prolapse, the reason they prefer to avoid surgery is a) you are likely to have your prolapse repaired whether it’s grade 2 or worsens to grade 3 with a further delivery, and b) there’s a small risk of scar tissues or needing a repair through the front rather than vaginally and therefore ideally you want as little surgery as possible.
I fully researched my options. Luckily my last baby 2 weeks ago has not made the problem worse, but my delivery before that absolutely made things so much worse. It was horrific. And no it was not the pregnancy as I’m well aware exactly how it looked prior to the delivery... and exactly the function I had also...
I was offered a section in the end, due to the prolapse. But I instead chose to risk the prolapse as surgery is major.

BalloonSlayer Sat 11-Aug-18 19:15:13

The weight of pregnancy that causes the problems, not the delivery?

Oh really?

So putting on a stone and a half round the tummy (which lots of men do) causes untold trouble but heaving a 7lb lump through a tiny hole and being ripped from armpit to arsehole doesn't?

Branleuse Sat 11-Aug-18 19:19:53

i dont think putting on fat can compare to an actual baby displacing and pushing down on your pelvic floor from the inside, plus mens pelvises are smaller and the myscles dont take all the weight

Xmasbaby11 Sat 11-Aug-18 19:25:06

I've had 2 prolapse repair operations with key hole surgery, front and back uterus. It has made a huge difference as my uterus no longer pops out often. It does pop out occasionally but nowhere near as often.

I can no longer do strenuous exercise or lift anything heavy or it will weaken the repair.

No regrets!

I'm 42 now.

edwinbear Sat 11-Aug-18 19:26:15

An instrumental delivery with DC1 left me with a ‘moderate’ anterior and posterior prolapse in 2009. I was advised to wait until our family was complete before having it repaired so I struggled with it (a Kegal 8 helped a lot mind). DC2 was born in 2011, a very straightforward delivery, the prolapse caused no issues during delivery.

I had a repair at the start of 2013 (age 37) which required 7 weeks off work. My surgeon (thankfully) refuses to use mesh as he didn’t feel there was sufficient research into the long term effects. I’ve had no further issues at all, symptoms completely disappeared, however he told me no weight training and no running for life, which I have observed.

littlecabbage Sat 11-Aug-18 21:29:54

Thanks everyone for responding to this. I’m so sorry that you are going through this also. I can’t believe this issue is so common and yet talked about so little in real life. I really think we need to talk about it more to raise awareness and encourage new research into how to prevent/treat it.

I’m only 38 but was diagnosed with POP at the age of 31 following the birth of my first DC. I had to be induced, which led to such a sudden and intense labour that I couldn’t cope with the pain. So had epidural and ended up on my back in bed. This slowed labour and there were what seemed like hours of the midwife telling me to push whenever she could see a contraction, and me pushing as hard as I could. Then it ended up with an episiotomy and forceps delivery.

I believe the combination of crap position for delivery, being told to push hard for ages when my body was not necessarily past the transition stage, and the instrumental delivery caused my prolapse. I have had 3 more vaginal births since and don’t think births 2 and 3 worsened things at all. I feel slightly worse after this last birth, maybe as baby came out with arm up by head, but am hoping that I will go back to “normal” as I heal (only 6w post partum) and my hormones settle down. By “normal”, I mean how I was after healing following first birth, as can cope with that level of symptoms.

I’m glad there are now some positive stories on this thread

TightropeWalk that is depressing re your Mum and sister. Has a genetic weakness been looked into as a possibility?

GoatWoman I feel angry too. Not so much with vaginal deliveries in general, but with the way my first birth was handled. And I agree, it’s crap being limited with exercise. I’m thinking that it now has to be Pilates/Swimming/Cross Training type stuff? Some of you are saying they are back to runnng but I don’t think I dare risk that knowing what I know. The lady who did the recent POP webchat advises against it.

INeedAnAero flowers that sounds horrific. Sorry that you have been through that. I gather the outcome of this type of surgery is very surgeon-dependant, but have no idea how you research which are the best ones beforehand?

CornishFairing I tried to find the thread you mentioned, but couldn’t. I know what you mean about being in two minds about surgery. I really want to be “fixed” and feel normal down there, but don’t want the surgery failing and being in a worse position.

itsbritneybeyatch I’ve tried googling that laser treatment but there isn’t much info. Don’t know if that is because it isn’t generally considered effective for POP, or whether it’s just early days.

OhBergine Hooray for your mother’s story! Hope it works out just as well for you.

tleaf I’ve just bought a Kegel8 but have yet to start using it. Glad to hear a positive report of it.

Xmasbaby11 and edwinbear thanks for your positive stories. I understand that no heavy weights and no running are important, and I wonder if continuing PFEs and using an electronic toner would improve long term prognosis. Have you been advised about this?

BlackWatchBelle Sat 11-Aug-18 21:49:56

I had a stage 3 uterine prolapse a year after my son was born, a year after that I had a daughter and when she was 2 (over 4 years ago) I had a hysteropexy (mesh sling on the uterus) at John Radcliffe in Oxford. The surgery went brilliantly and I have had no issues since. The surgeon advised I had stage 1 bowel and bladder prolapse but the hysteropexy hitched them up.

I do not regret it for 1 second. Before I was in pain all the time, I had no relief and couldn't play with my kids properly. I don't know what the future holds but for now its all great.

edwinbear Sat 11-Aug-18 22:03:18

I fully intended to continue with PFE as recommended by my surgeon - I haven’t blush. This thread reminds me they are important, thank you. I’ve not used the Kegal 8 since either, I’ve just not had a need to, but it probably would be sensible.

In terms of exercise, I swim a lot, I also do spin classes, I’ve not done any Pilates as I don’t know enough about it. Sit ups, or anything which involves any degree of bearing down are out and I’d worry a bit about engaging the wrong muscles and pushing things back out.

The cross trainers in the gym are fine, as are the vibrating plate things, and the rowers, but mainly, I’m a swimmer - oh I also have my own scooter for when the DC are on theirs, that’s fine too grin. It took a bit of adjustment as I enjoyed weights but it’s a small price.

littlecabbage Sat 11-Aug-18 22:04:01

BlackWatchBelle thank you, that is good to hear and I hope your repair lasts indefinitely. Were you advised to continue any kind of pelvic physio? And not to run?

littlecabbage Sat 11-Aug-18 22:19:33

edwinbear I can see how it would be easy to lapse out of PFEs once symptoms resolved, but interesting to hear that your surgeon recommended them.

In terms of pilates, I've read on other threads about special Pilates classes run by pelvic physios, who modify anything not "pelvic floor friendly". I fancy trying that if I can find one.

BlackWatchBelle Sat 11-Aug-18 22:33:46

I was advised not to lift heavy weights and nothing else. All things moderately.

I did have a plan of pelvic floor exercises but to my shame I let it slip big time. I did invest in a Kegal 8 though and have stuck with it for about a year and the minor urine leakages I did suffer from have stopped.

Verbena87 Sat 11-Aug-18 23:53:49

goat I’ve got a pessary fitting coming up for stage 2 cystocele and slight uterine prolapse To use for exercise (am managing symptoms day-to-day with PFEs and electric stimulation with w kegel 8 type machine, so could be worth investigating?) - I’ll try and remember to come and report back here.

And yep, it’s shit. brewflowers

Verbena87 Sat 11-Aug-18 23:56:39

I also do exercise I'm not supposed to but I figure my overall health is also extremely important

@scientistic do you run? Prior to prolapse I used running to manage mental health issues and am dying to get back to it. Any tips for managing ‘inappropriate’ exercise with prolapse?

ccmms Sun 12-Aug-18 00:00:41

watching this thread with interest. Im on the waiting list for surgery for bladder prolapse, so hopefully get operated on within next 3/4 months.

SwimmingKaren Sun 12-Aug-18 00:01:55

Really stupid question here and apologies for the detail but how do you know if you have a prolapse? I’m not at the point of incontinence but have sometimes worried things don’t feel quite right etc post dc.

littlecabbage Sun 12-Aug-18 00:24:28

Hi SwimmingKaren, I've copied and pasted this from a Mumsnet webchat with Sherrie Palm, founder of Pelvic Organ Prolapse Support Organisation (APOPS):

The most pronounced symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in no particular order are: tissues bulging from the vagina (might feel like you are sitting on a ball), urinary incontinence, urine retention (gotta go, can’t pee, more common in advanced stages of POP), chronic constipation, fecal incontinence, pain with intercourse, lack of sexual sensation, rectal, vaginal, back, or pelvic pain (or any combo of them), rectal or vaginal pressure, and your tampons will push out.

For me, the main symptom is a bulge in my vagina and a feeling that things are lower than they ought to be.

littlecabbage Sun 12-Aug-18 00:25:27

Not a stupid question at all!

cravingcake Sun 12-Aug-18 03:29:36

I have a (so far anyway) positive story.

I was diagnosed with prolapse after my DS was born (forceps, episiotomy, 4th degree tear, shoulder dystocia). I then went on to have my DD just over 2years later, pregnancy with her made it worse, she was born by ELCS.

I had cystocele and rectocele surgery when DD was 10 months old. I don’t know what grade but my gynae told me it was very bad and the sort of thing he would see in his 70yo Ladies, not someone early 30’s. He also said no amount of pelvic floor exercises would fix it and surgery was my option. I was also told first fix is their best chance to sort it, subsequent surgeries can be more painful due to scar tissue. I also had to be prepared for them to perform a hysterectomy if my womb has prolapsed (it hadn’t thankfully). I did not and will never have mesh.

I’m now almost 5 years since surgery, I can still lift & carry my children although try not to. I have also recently taken up running to improve my overall health but I need to be careful - gentle jogging around the block and not training for a marathon.

Recovery was hard and I had to be very strict about lifting, things like online shopping so not having to lift heavy bags was suggested.

So nearly 7 years from first diagnosis and almost 5 years since surgery and I only have a tiny prolapse - I noticed this about a year or so after surrery so put it down to my body just resettling. It is very high up so doesn’t bother me.

littlecabbage Sun 12-Aug-18 05:47:18

Thanks cravingcake, that's the kind of story we like!

Caribbeanyesplease Sun 12-Aug-18 06:02:24

*I can no longer do strenuous exercise or lift anything heavy or it will weaken the repair. *

For 12 weeks afterwards, yes.

After 12 weeks the vast majority can resume full exercise / life routine, including weight lifting, running etc.

ALL are able to after 6 months.

If you are not able to exercise or lift anything heavy for life - then you have been given the wrong information or your operation was not a success.

Caribbeanyesplease Sun 12-Aug-18 06:03:34

The pessary is the choice for women 60 plus.

smellsofelderberries Sun 12-Aug-18 06:08:11

No surgery but might have one day. I have a small bladder prolapse (possible bowel too) but also have levator avulsion. My pelvic floor muscles were torn off my pubic bone during my daughter's delivery. There are wonderful things happening in research right now and in 5-10 years there will be much more options for us than there currently are, including (hopefully) using stem cells to replace mesh. If you had forceps there is a chance you could have an avulsion too, but I've heard in the U.K. it's hard to find a urogynacologist to diagnose. A good women's health physio should be able to tell if you have one through an internal examination.
I use a pessary and it's pretty great. I don't have symptoms for about 90% of the months and I'm really hoping with the pessary use and doing lots of physio I can avoid surgery for the next several years.
And to anyone who suspects they have issues, you need a urogynacologist, NOT a regular gynaecologist. Gynaecologists aren't trained to assess the pelvic floor.

smellsofelderberries Sun 12-Aug-18 06:12:13

@Caribbeanyesplease wrong wrong wrong. Only a women's urogynacologist and physio can tell them of their own personal restrictions post-surgery. For a lot of women, their prolapse will be due to muscle avulsion and therefore they will be at significant risk of surgery failing (bladder repairs have an 80% failure rate if the initial cause of the prolapse is because of avulsion).

And pessaries are for anyone who wants to avoid surgery, and in a lot of cases of newly post-partum woman can aid in prolapse grade reduction or even a mild prolapse resolving completely.

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