6 Week Post Op Check

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Hi Ladies

?I had a posterior repair, D&C, Polyp removed and coil fitted 6 weeks ago and have seen my consultant today. I thought I would share with you that my repair is 'anatomically perfect'. I was so tempted to do one of my typical self-deprecating jokes and reply with 'shame you can't say the same for the rest of my body! I am known well for this sort of humour don't worry.

?Which is sort of the point of sharing my experience with you all on here....

?I work for an NHS Commissioning Organisation and being a patient has been an eye-opening and levelling experience for me about where we have shaved the edges of corners people sometimes still need.

?My surgeon, who I picked because he is a nationally recognised regional specialist in urogynaecology, (one of the perks of working in the NHS is you have this sort of knowledge), has clearly done an excellent piece of work. He was very pleased with himself, I could tell.

However, his interest in my general state of health and well-being was not a topic of conversation he was keen to pursue.?He is  a surgeon, he has done his job and this is where patients get caught in a revolving door if they need reassurance I think. If you have a good relationship with your GP it is probably a much easier conversation to have, but I am registered with a large practice and see a diffrent doctor every time I go.

?So, I am healing well and the pain I still have is in the normal range. So, how do I go about negotiating a return to work when the surgeon says 'go' but negotiate phased return and my body says 'not ready'.

?I still get tired very easily. I can't sit for long periods. 20 minutes is the maximum I can drive and I am still taking codeine, albeit in smaller quantities. Nevertheless, this still impacts on my concentration and ability to focus.

?I know from this briliant forum that it is still early days for the sort of repair I have had, so any tips on how to assertively handle a conversation with a GP I don't know would be really helpful. It is so important to get the right outcome for such a surgical success story from a personal, professional and economic perspective. Isn't it??

Helen

?xx

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  • Posted

    Glad to here you are coming along OK Helen.  Appreciate your comments/experience as we can all learn from earn others.  I too have booked with a VERY reputatable surgeron  who has done hundreds of my type of surgery.  I have complete confidence in his skill but NOT in my decision to go with uterus removal at 73 very healthy yrs old.  A NP  I consulted with (my GP would not be a good cpnsult) told me my uterus does "nothing" for me??????  She also, wisely told me, that I must find  my own comfort zone with uternine removal.  That is what I am attempting to do

     but not finding the info I need to accomplish that. Will keep on researching and hoping to resolve my uncerrtainy of my decision.   take xare and heal well...

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  • Posted

    Helen,

    Great to hear your op has gone so well.

    I had an anterior repair & hysterectomy & went back to an easy part-time job after 4 weeks. This was too early. I should have listened to my body & stayed home longer. I now need a rectoenterocele & perineorrhapy 3 years later. I don't think going back to work caused this further prolapse but it didn't help.

    It's difficult getting help from consultants I had to ring the secretary again yesterday as I have been waiting for an answer to a question for a month & I'm a private patient! My GP won't help he just says I must speak to the consultant.

    If you don't feel ready to go back then don't. Give yourself another couple of weeks then see how you feel, perhaps organise a phased return to work if that's possible. In my experience GPs don't seem that clued up on pelvic floor problems or maybe that's just mine!

    Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi Helen

    Well done for being such a perfect specimen (haha). I also work for the NHS and didn't feel ready to return to work at 6 weeks so I went to Occ Health. They were really helpful and agreed a plan that meant I would signed off an extra a week's and that when I return, I will be doing non clinical until I get to to 12 weeks post op. My gp have me an extended sick note and I've worked out hours with my manager. I feel a lot happier returning to work knowing I won't have to do physical stuff.

    So if I were you, I'd contact OH.

    Good luck,

    Love Sue x

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    • Posted

      Hi Sue

      That is also very good advice. I think the CCG's sickness/absence policy triggers an occ health appointment after a certain number of weeks, so I will have a look into this.

      Hope you are doing well.

      xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Helen,

    ​Great news that you have had a successful procedure, and as you say – it would have been better if the surgeon had been equally as interested in continuing success. Surely he should support with your gradually phased back to work and also, the most important part – your after care, and how you change how you use your pelvic floor. I spoke with a top UK surgeon many years ago and he said rather matter-of-factly ‘Many women come back 2 or 3 times for the same operation’. I asked him if there could be anything done about this, because clearly the surgery had mended the problem, but the same weakness was happening again and again. He didn’t seem concerned about this because I suppose he knew he could ‘fix’ it again.

    Your return to work must be gentle and you will have to be firm and possibly forceful about what you are happy with doing. So many times we hear employers pushing their staff to do more, but please have firm guidelines that you will and won’t accept, this is for your own health and wellbeing. After all, your employer isn’t going to suffer if you suffer a prolapse!

    Following your surgery if you fail to change anything in your life, the exact same pelvic problem could well happen again – I so wish surgeons would say that to their patients and recommend them onto a Physiotherapist! If we know we can make an informed decision, and we respect the views and advice of our health provider so it is even more important that they focus on after care.

    So, in my book, and I’m sure in many others’ on here, aftercare is as vital as good surgery. Making sure you strengthen up your pelvic floor. Rehabilitate slowly, but with steely determination because if you don’t you could be the 1:3 who has a repeat procedure. Work on improving your posture, watch your weight and do your pelvic floor exercises. Any exercising should be low impact to give your pelvic floor the best possible chance. If you suffer constipation do all you can to correct it naturally (toilet stool helps), it is your pelvic floors best chance of supporting you onwards for the rest of your life.

    Then your surgeon can be rightly pleased with himself! Good luck Helen, keep strong!

    S

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    • Posted

      Thank you Stephanie. I have been increasing my pelvic floor exercises using the Squeezy app and am now up to 3 sets of 8 (long and short) each day. I am thinking about moving on to perhaps an exercise DVD. Is there anything you would recommend?

      Helen

      Xx

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    • Posted

      Anything by Michelle Kenway that is 'Safe exercies for the pelvic floor'. There are quite a few freebie films on You Tube, also check out Tasha Mulligan the author of a DVD Hab-it. She is a semi pro athlete and had a prolpase. Since that pelvic floor problems have become her focus. Some of Tashas YT films are poor sound quality (bucket on head!) but the information is priceless. Look at your posture, Tasha has a good YT one for that, and also supplement with Vitamin D. Keep strong, and keep getting stronger! All the best S

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  • Posted

    'Anatomically perfect' or not, (and how good does that sound) 6 weeks is far too early to consider a return to work. I would consider which of the GPs you have seen, you consider the most empathic. Also check out the practice website if you can't remember names, and then make an appointment for the one you think you will be most comfortable with. Any GP should be sympathetic to a request for more time to recover from major surgery. In Education, any long term absence is followed by an Occupational Health Assessment, to see what supports should be put in place to facilitate a return to work, so as Sue says, contact them when you feel ready for a phased return. Your GP can specify on the sick note that this is needed. Good luck and long may you stay anatomically perfect!

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    • Posted

      Thank you Moira. Comforting words here and feeling much more prepared for holding my nerve about the return to normal duties. I really wouldn't want to have this surgery again, despite it being 'anatomically perfect!'

      Helen

      Xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Helen. My surgeon told me I would need 3 months off work and he even wrote a letter to my boss (who thought id be aback after 6 wks) to clarify this which I thought was a great thing for him to do. If you go to gp just tell him you don't feel ready to return. Explain your symptoms and they should give you more time to recover. Your work would be where you ask for return to work as a phased return but I'd wait until you feel much more ready. Don't rush back. Your health is more important. Good luck. Xx

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    • Posted

      Thank you Fi. Did you had the same surgery as me I wonder? I do also wonder, but I think my job makes me cynical, if surgeons want to tick a box at 6 weeks to protect their outcome statistics. The 'anatomically perfect surgical procedure' box can definitely be ticked in my case, but not the return to full working order, energy or even aroma!!

      Xx

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    • Posted

      Helen I had a total hut erecting (ovaries also removed), an A&P repair and a tvt. But he said even with the repair alone he'd have recommended the 12weeks. I was actually off about 21 weeks but that was including 6 weeks holidays as I work in a school so I was lucky to have the extra time to heal. Great timing in the date of op. I was going to go back just before summer hols but didn't feel ready. This has been my first week back and I'm exhausted. Had a bit tenderness by end of day but on the whole I'm fine.

      I think you are right about the ticking of those a boxes. They don't always think about the recovery and how it impacts of people's jobs when pressurised into returning sooner than they should.

      Don't be one of those pushes to return too soon. Good luck. Xx

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    • Posted

      I kinda worked that out Fi. Hut erecting might well have been a welcome alternative! Or maybe your recovery felt like you had being erecting huts! Endless comedy opportunities 😂

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