6 weeks after posterior/anterior prolapse & bladder repair surgery - an update and reflection

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Well, hello there. Catchy title, hey?!

So, I thought I'd take the opportunity to give a little back to this forum after all the fabulous help that was given to me in my time of need. Hopefully someone may find even just a little bit of it helpful.

My surgeon has confirmed at 37, I'm on the younger side for a posterior/anterior prolapse and bladder repair (I got him to throw a mirena coil in for good measure). That being said, after revealing to my girlfriends what I had done, I'm convinced many others in my age bracket, post childbirth, could probably have a conversation with their specialists...

Strangely, I chose not to do any research about my surgery prior to going to hospital. In a way I'm glad I didn't. I have learnt everyone's experiences are different. Ladies, out of the goodness of their own heart tell you about their experiences (just as I am now) in an effort to make you (and ourselves!) feel somewhat normal. This is great, though I have since been concerned I was never given a hormonal cream, and that I was discharged after only one day...

After the surgery, you are going to be uncomfortable. For me, having birthed my two children vaginally, I put the experience on par. Honestly, I actually found it a little worse. I'm not saying that to alarm you - just prepare you more than I was. I was not expecting to actually feel a vagina full of stitches through all the swelling. But, that was just me.

Let's talk about poo, or bowel motions. GET YOURSELF SOME MOVICOL, or stool softeners. Did you read that? If not, read it again. This is something I can not stress enough - and is probably the one consistent thing across all recovery experiences I have read. You do not want to get constipated. If, however, you do - try not to freak out, you won't be constipated forever. In my case, I was so constipated and in so much pain I was vomiting on the toilet. I ultimately had to manually evacuate my own stool. Seriously. It then caused all manner of bleeding which in turn caused me to freak out. By some insane magic, I didn't undo any of my stitches. I called the hospital and their instruction was to lay in bed with a couple of pillows under my knees and don't move. My specialist saw me the next day and reassured me all was still in place. Get some Movicol.

Rest. Initially I had no choice; I couldn't walk for more than 5 minutes without feeling nauseous. I'm assured this was my reaction to the anaesthetic. By the middle of week 2, I could walk 200m. I honestly slept for Australia in those first couple of weeks. I've been told that is how the body heals. Makes sense. I found standing for 'long' periods uncomfortable. It has been very easy to sense when I've done too much; I either get shooting pains in my rectum, or a fresh bright red blood bleed. Also, take your doctor or nurses advice when they tell you no lifting for 6 weeks. I thought he was kidding. Nope, deadly serious. And, you don't want a repeat of the surgery anytime soon, so heed the warning. My physiotherapist has instructed me no crazy gym activity, no skipping, jumping, running, sit ups etc for another 6 weeks. She is adamant the pelvic floor needs some TLC and, in the grand scheme of things, all that stuff can wait. I'm starting to agree with her.

What else can I tell you? I honestly feel fabulous now compared to 6 weeks ago. I am significantly less sore, less swollen. I can cough and sneeze without secretly peeing my pants (that in itself makes the whole thing worth it!). No, I'm still not lifting or carrying heavy stuff. My house is tidy, but certainly not as clean as I would like it - and you know what? That's okay.

Oh, and I got a urinary tract infection at about week 3. It was uncomfortable but apparently expected. A dose of antibiotics and I was right as rain.

If you're ever in doubt, search this forum for what is concerning you, I promise someone else has most likely posted a similar question and some very kind people have taken the time to respond. Take what you need from that. If you're still worried call or go and see a medical professional for peace of mind.

I hope this little memoir is even just slightly helpful to someone. To all the lovely ladies who cared and took the time to respond to my crazy questions, thank you.

5 likes, 9 replies


9 Replies

  • Posted

    Brilliant post Annalou! What a great sense of humour you have! Fair cheered me up although you made me laugh so much I was slightly worried I might have done some damage lol! Think you should think about writing a book! I am 5 weeks post op after an anterior repair and have been very lucky as I had internal dissolvable stitches which made a huge difference to my recovery! Only problem with that is you think you can do much more than you should so I had a couple of setbacks (urine infection and tiredness!) But we'll on the mend now and ready to go on a wee holiday to Jersey before I go back to work on 24th August. Thank you!!! Xx
  • Posted

    Hey Annilou, 

    Thank you so very much for taking the time to give us your input!! Please keep us updated as time passes. Don't forget about us : ) Im a mess but scared to have surgery.

    Did you have mesh? What did they do in your procedure?? Please let us know.


    • Posted

      Hi Roxigrl

      Honestly, if you need it, seriously think about having the surgery. Like childbirth, you get over it. Like childbirth, you forget!

      My procedure was a tidy bundle: anterior prolapse repair; bladder repair with monarch tape; removal and replacement of mirena coil and finished off with posterior repair. I don't believe I have any mesh - but I could be wrong - I just forgot to ask.

      I returned to work today after 7 weeks R&R. Surprisingly it wasn't too bad.

      I feel pretty blessed. All in all I've had a good experience and have discussed my experience with some close girlfriends going through similar symptoms. I'm lucky to live in a first world country with excellent healthcare where I can have these things fixed. We don't have to live with the discomfort, pain or embarrassment; so why should we?

      Look after yourself. No doubt you'll make the right decision for you xx

  • Posted

    Dear Annilou your feedback will be a great help and comfort to other women going through this difficult time. I am sure that your positive attitude has helped you through and I hope you continue to get strong. Take it steady won't you, keep the strain off your pelvic floor, exercise, get a squatyy potty (No I don't own the brand but they really do work and help you poo better, overuse of laxatives are a major cause of further weakening in the pelvic floor), watch your weight, and maintain good posture. all these things will help to ensure that your surgery remains successful. Good luck and warm wishes for Yorkshire England!
  • Posted

    Thanks so much for this.  I just went through the surgery... I'm also 37 years old, delivered 2 kids vaginally... it's really great to read I'm not alone in thinking this was tougher than I thought!  I just thought I would logically walk away totally ok after day 2 (!), and learning that's not really going to happen, not yet anyway.  For me the worst part is exactly as you said -- number 2!  I am literally writhing in pain every morning... it feels like there is so much gas (to start) and no way 'out'.  Literally.  It is SO painful to just sit on the toilet - somehow this position just angles everything towards the 'out' door but it is sealed shut.  My body is torn apart with these spasms... yet nothing comes out.  For 2 days I've had to have a 'lavage' (no idea what it's called in english but the nurse basically squirts some gel/ water up there and in 10 min presto, you run to the toilet and problem is solved... not gracefully, but it's solved.)  I think what makes me anxious is that my doc has made everything a bit too tight all around and now it's not really getting through as it should. The doc predicts there's a hematoma somewhere in there, that is blocking things a bit -- but that it will clear up itsself in a few weeks.  I'm seriously going to deal with this agony for WEEKS?  I'm eating around 10 prunes, and 6 apricots, and drinking insane amounts of water... any other advice?  Thanks so much again for your honesty and your help smile 
    • Posted

      Judy 12037 - be careful! That is a lot of prunes and apricots! Water is great in moderation. Just be careful you don't end up with really bad tummy aches on the dried fruit.

      I'm hoping your nurse has suggested the following (and please note, I'm not a medical professional - just another woman who has been through similar things as you're going through!):

      - stool softeners (ask a pharmacist)

      - glycerin suppositories (again, ask your pharmacist). They might save you regular trips to your nurse - I'd just worry it could make you more uncomfortable?

      - light walking - I find it really helps get my bowels moving!

      - warm lemon water first thing in the morning

      - gently massage your tummy while lying down in a clockwise direction.

      You poor thing - there is nothing worse. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  • Posted

    It is early days yet, try to relax, you are doing all the right things of fibre and water. No suar, or juice drinks just water. A Magnesium Citrate supplement helps to get things going if you have constipation too, and squatting, even if you have to squat in the shower rather than on a toilet it doesn't matter, your body is healing and it will take time. 

    Good luck Annilou, take it easy, rest, rest and more rest, you will recover much quicker if you don't fight it, sleep is your body switching off to the trauma and concentrating on the healing, thats just what you need tight now. 

  • Posted

    Hi Annilou,

    Best description of what happens to many of us.  I too am 6 weeks, 2 days post op but am 71 years old.

    The common thread is the constipation.  We don't have Movicol in North America - we do have a product that is close but does not work as well.  And we can't import it - silly laws as usual.  So I am still using a mild laxative 3 times a week - surgeon said possibly another 6 weeks of this until my colon can work as normally as it ever has (can't have colonoscopies because of the twists and turns in there).

    Like you, she said recovery is 3 months so 6 weeks is half way.

    The leaking has stopped although I could NOT do Kegel's until Saturday and now at least 3 times a day.  Both the surgeon and my urologist said these could do more damage than help if started too soon.  And definitely NOT while sitting on the toilet.

    And the best of all is if you are worried call or go and see a medical professional for peace of mind.  AMEN.

    Thanks Annilou.



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