3wks post for triple prolapse. Does heating pad make bottom worse?

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I’m 3 wks post-op and my dr instructions say to sit on a heating pad for 20 min several times a day to relax the muscles and help void. First if all, it’s extremely painful to sit for 20 min. Has anyone been told to use a heating pad and does it help with pain, muscle spasms, constipation? I am off work another 3 wks but think the pace of healing is horribly slow. If I walk faster than a snail, I pay for it. My Dr told me to resume using the estrace vaginal cream 3 x a wk, and to use finger to insert cream with if applicator is too big. Well, it feels like a freak show inside and so tight I dont want to insert the tube for fear of it catching in the stitching! Also I was told to immediately start my kegal exercises and not wait. Has anyone had issues inserting or using the hormone cream and/or Kegals so soon after surgery and had any issues? I have a lot of pressure if I’m up more than 20-25 minutes. Is this normal? Sorry for all the questions but my few post op instructions don’t seem to mesh with any others. My daughters baby is due in 5 weeks. I was hoping to help her with that. How much help will I be at 8 weeks? 

I had no idea this was going to be so rough. 

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  • Posted

    Three weeks is very early days, after a triple prolapse repair (what did you actually have done) you will still be very swollen. 

    We are all different and the advice we have is unique to our procedure. I can only say what my experience was!

    I had a vaginal hysterectomy, sacrospinous fixation, posterior and anterior repair in May. At three weeks there is no way I would have wanted to put anything 'up or inside' me! Everything was so tight, the stitches were still spikey and  I was just about ready to take a quick peep with a mirror! Saying this I wasn't really in any pain, maybe due to all the swelling. 

    I did find a hot water bottle comforting for my back, possible back ache from the fixation. 

    To avoid constipation I took two sachets of Movicol for about six weeks, had dried prunes and flaxseed daily too; that definitely helped. I have the flax seed everyday still. 

    I was advised no pelvic floor exercises for six weeks, the priority at that early stage was healing, those muscles can wait. 

    As for helping you daughter, by eight weeks your healing should be getting there. Do you have a follow up date?  I've been told I still shouldn't lift anything more than 10lbs, I avoided all heavy housework, hoovering, bending, stretching for about three months and haven't mown the lawn yet!

    Emotional support, cooking meals, light cleaning, possibly ironing, letting your daughter sleep,shopping (I started driving after six weeks) but not lifting the bags will all be hugely helpful. 

    I didn't find 'listen to your body' very helpful with regards to activity. I wasn't in pain, but I did religiously do as I was told. Rested, slept if tired, did no housework, bending stretching, loading and unloading washing for st least six weeks. I am very lucky in that my husband is no longer working, he was away from day six for a week, but I went and stayed with one sister for three days and then my other sister came to stay until he was home. 

    I was waited on and well cared for, as I said I was so grateful and very lucky. 

    If at all worried, or needing  more advice about what you can and can't do, ring your doctor or surgeon. Where are you, in the U.K or elsewhere?

    You are at such an early stage, the key to a good recovery is patience, I am not a patient patient! I now realise that I had major surgery, when it's all inside that's so hard to appreciate, I started walking right from day one, pacing the hospital corridors, and built up very slowly adding an extra loop each day. At five months I don't think I am completely healed internally, but have been back at work since week eight and started gentle cycling and swimming after about ten weeks. 

    It is a much longer healing process than I'd imagined, the surgery was the easy bit. 

    Good luck with your recovery, and congratulations on soon having a grandchild! 😃

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    • Posted

      I had Rectocele, cystocele and enterocele surgery. I’m from the USA. I’m reading a lot of interesting and helpful input on this sight! I am so thankful I found this!

      I have no idea how much walking is good or bad. I have a step counter I wear and I’m at about 2500 steps a day.  Those are in short spurts of maybe 250 to 300 steps before I have to lay back down because of the pressure . I don’t know what normal or expected is. 

       Thank you for all your information! I really appreciate it! I had no idea what to expect and so far it’s been a huge challenge. 

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  • Posted

    Oh for goodness sake! These Dr's give you instructions, and half the time haven't a clue. Don't sit on a heat pack for 20 mins, of course it will hurt, you've got loads of stitches and probably a cut perineum if you've had a posterior repair. Movicol/laxido, every day without fail, no straining or your repair might fail, mine did.

    You won't be able to do a lot for your daughter, you will be still recovering yourself.

    Don't be lifting babies and bending changing nappies etc. If she has a straightforward birth, she will cope, age is more on her side, and you've had major surgery, healing is hard. You are going back to work early in the healing process.

    For now rest as much as you can, and look after youself.

    it takes up to a year to get anywhere near normal..x.


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    • Posted

      Yes I have a  cut perineum. I am giving up on the heat. Too difficult to sit after all my procedures. 

       I had no idea the recovery was going to be this long. I have been waiting 15 years to have this done, hoping the procedures in surgery would be more advanced and success rate would improve.  I’m hoping next week will be a bit better. 

       Thank you for the response. 

       I have not started driving yet because I simply can’t set yet. I honestly don’t see how people can drive this early. But everyone is different. I’m learning that from reading the blogs. 

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    • Posted

      It's ages, and you don't get enough information beforehand. There have been ladies on here who have been sent home the same or the next day, not in UK. 

      It's difficult and very painful surgery, I was given no instructions at all by my surgeon apart from to see him in six weeks. Physio came in the same day and said do Kegals as soon as possible. Until I found this site, I had no idea what to do or what was normal, and couldn't understand why I had so much pain. I didn't even know  the back had been cut right down into the perineum and was too scared to look. 

      Constipation is your enemy avoid at all costs! I sat on the loo in tears daredn't strain, couldn't sit on any chair for long. Can't believe a Dr told you to sit for twenty mins several times a day, keep off the stitches for as much as you can. That take months to dissolve the deep internal ones, and the nerve pain isn't great as you found out.

      Just take your time and rest. Don't worry about driving or anything else just for now.

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  • Posted

    I'm so sorry to read your story. I'm now almost 8 weeks post op for anterior & posterior prolapse repairs plus perineum reconstruction & I certainly wouldn't feel yet like helping out with a baby. You really mustn't lift ANYTHING for quite a time. The recovery for this operation is painfully slow,  both physically and emotionally, though obviously we all heal & progress at different rates.  At 3 weeks I was still having an afternoon nap, only walking very short distances, not doing anything around the house & I only lifted a 4 pint bottle of milk at 7 weeks. My husband has been brilliant doing everything ( with a little supervision!!) I couldn't do the PF exercises for several weeks as I was too sore but am ok now. Please don't get constipated. I take 2 sachets of Movicol daily.  I only use a heat pad for my back, not heard of sitting on it. Do keep reading the forum, I've found it invaluable as I was given very little advice by my doctor. The ladies on here have real experiences to share & reassure you. Take care. Best wishes Carol x

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    • Posted

       My husband has been wonderful doing all the cooking cleaning and shopping. I don’t eat that much so I always have something I can find to eat. 

      I  had never heard of movical until I read this forum.   I would assume it’s a stool softener? 

       I find the most frequent response is patients get very little directions or information from the doctors for aftercare. That’s very frustrating for me. But I’m very thankful to find this forum. 

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  • Posted

    Sitting for 20minutes at 3 weeks?  Yikes.  I couldn’t have done it.  I would just lay down and put it under my bum. Tuck it between your legs if that helps.

    tight pelvic floor muscles can cause incomplete evacuation which causes constipation.  If you are really having that, though, all the advice I have read and have been given for myself say to stop doing kegels (which irritate a pelvic floor in spasm) and to do diaphragmatic breathing to help relax the pelvic floor.  I can email a link to you if you were interested.  I’ve had a lot of problems with this myself.

    i wouldn’t have been able to help with a new baby at 8 weeks.  You are still doing a lot of healing.  I read in Sue Crofts book that it takes 12 weeks for “maximum fibrosis” which I interpreted as you are still actively working on physically making tissue and healing the repair until then.

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    • Posted

      Oh, it’s also totally normal to still need stool softener at 3 weeks.  Just make sure it is a stool softener, not a stimulant laxative.  I believe there are issues using stimulant laxatives long term.
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    • Posted

       The stool softeners twice a day seem to keep the constipation at day along with eating fresh fruits and vegetables and avoiding foods that cause constipation. So I no longer feel the the pelvic floor spasms like I did the first five days after surgery. That was horrific. I woke up from recovery at a level 10 pain and it took an hour to get the pain under control. At that point I wondered, what have I done to myself . 

       I stayed in the hospital overnight, but things got so out of control the next day I went back to the emergency room. My pelvic spasms were horrific.   I’m kind of thinking that maybe I should’ve been in the hospital for another day.  I had to stop the pain medications because they were causing chronic constipation. So I was in a lot of pain where as I read a lot of people don’t have pain that significant after surgery.  

       Thank you for telling me about Sue Crofts book. I will look that up. 

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    • Posted

      The active ingredient in Movicol is the same as the active ingredient in Miralax.  Just different names in the US and UK.

      i bought Sue Crofts book on recovering from gynaecological surgery at Amazon.  It was an ebook and $10.

      if you want the links about pelvic floor spasms, and what to do (and not do) let me know.  Mine was just constantly clenched for ages, pre-op, and didn’t ever release until I had PT.  It’s  been better post op but not perfect and I am back on PT to try to get things back to normal.

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