8 weeks post op. Abdominal discomfort

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Hi ladies. I’m 8 weeks post op rectocele and cystocele repair and generally doing pretty well but if I’m up sitting or on my feel for very long I get abdominal aching and feel bloated.

Not sure if I should still be feeling this at this stage but with Christmas and visitors for 12 days OJ’s d done more than before then. I find laying on the bed to rest is the best place .

I can now sit at the table to eat which is nice .

Today had a little discoloured blood stained discharge. Perhaps just from a suture but this seems to happen periodically when I’ve been on my feet too long.

Any guide to how long is expected to be “safe” to be active before resting.

I certainly couldn’t return to work and am not driving yet.

Thank you x

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25 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Paddiwhack. The best thing to do is just listen to your body in my experience. We are all different so heal at different rates. Two months is a short time for recovery from rectocele and cystocele so try to rest off your feet each day as long as you need to when possible. I was at least 3 months before I could sit at table it was so uncomfortable in the pelvic region, I had to keep moving around. A bit embarrassing if I was out! I'm now 7-8 months post op for rectocele and sacrospinous fixation for vault prolapse. I think I may still have the ssp stitch as sometimes they use a permanent or semi permanent one I believe. It catches me out sometimes if I move suddenly or sit too heavily. I can't stand for long periods, have to sit regularly and do such things as peeling veggies while I sit. I think the pinky discharge can go on for sometime too as the internal stitches take awhile to heal and dissolve. Take things easy and don't return to work or drive yet if you don't feel up to it. Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year. Poll X rolleyesrazz

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    • Posted

      Wow!!! That long and you still have pain??? I need a rectocele and perineum repair. So afraid it may not work or have nerve damage. So afraid to have sex because I feel nothing during sex. No pain or anything. Either I get it fixed or a remain alone for life👏🙏🙌😞

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    • Posted

      I'm almost 75 now and I believe healing takes much longer as we age. I have very weak muscles and ligaments now too. My view is that you should take the advice of your urogynaecologist if he/she advises a repair. No one can promise you that sex will be ok or better but if it's important to you, give it a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Good luck and my best wishes. Poll X rolleyeswink

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  • Posted

    The rectocele repair takes a little longer to recover from. Everyone recovers at different rate so best to listen to your own body and use that as indication of how much is too much. Take progress slowly gradually building up how much you do. I was just starting to feel a little more mobile around 8 weeks and although looking back and comparing to early weeks I felt a little more near normal I still was limited. I felt really good at 12 weeks post op and although I returned to work it was still a bit to early.

    It's one thing feeling great and near normal when you can control how much you do and rest when needed but quite another when at work and you can't just go sit down when you need too. Employers haven't got a clue about sagging insides and the need to rest when overdoing things.

    These repair ops are major surgery and take months for deeper tissues to recover properly, our pelvic floor takes the weight of our pelvic organs and as soon as we get up to walk about the pelvic floor takes that weight hence we feel it like a dragging sensation. It just needs time to heal properly. Even sitting comfortably can take weeks and again at work you need to be able to get up and take a break from sitting too long every hour for a little while.

    Please take care,

    Phyl x?

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    • Posted

      Hi Phyl

      Thank you very much for your lengthy reply.

      Today I have done a little work in the office then rested before a little in the kitchen.

      I guess partly I feel like people expect me to be getting on with it by now. I am just going to go at my own pace. Thank you and happy New Year x

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  • Posted

    Hi I an 8 weeks post surgery for rectocele and perineum repair today. I'm definitely not feeling back to my normal self with being achy and tired especially after doing too much. I think I might be reading too much but see that some people feel much better by 4-6 weeks. 

    ?I'm due back to work next week and I'm really worried as I have a very busy/stressful job. I have been driving for a couple of weeks but only on a handful of occasions. 

    ?I'm frustrated that this is all so slow!

     

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    • Posted

      Your GP should extend your medical note - it doesn't sound like you are ready to go back to work yet. 

        

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    • Posted

      I don't think you sound like you're ready to go back to work yet. Another 4 weeks in which you can gradually build up your strength and energy, (hopefully), should help you no end! Ask your GP for another 4 week sick note, tell him/her how you're feeling and what you can or can't do yet. If people recover from pelvic floor surgery in 4-6 weeks they are very lucky or foolhardy. If you want the repair to last, now is the time for healing properly not partly!  Best wishes and a Happy New Year. X Poll rolleyessmile

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    • Posted

      I agree with the others. Please don’t return to work when you know you are not ready. Have you seen your GP? Hope you gain more strength soon 
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  • Posted

    Hi Paddiwhack, I am now at 11 weeks post op and like many of us probably did too much over Christmas in terms of making beds, laundry and sitting with guests and am paying for it now. I was checked at 7 weeks (I wrote a separate thread on this) but also checked again at 9 weeks as I continued to be concerned about my slow recovery, ongoing discomfort with sitting, standing more than about 45 minutes etc and also that I could see lumps or bulges in the vagina which were getting increasingly larger and lower and was worried the prolapses has returned. I was told I should continue to rest, and that healing was taking longer. I have also atrophic vaginitis ....the skin is thinning and dry in the vagina despite local Vagifem pessaries, Oestrogen cream and HRT patches being used for the last 4-5 months and this thin skin is slowing my healing and causing my discomfort I think. I am holding on to the fact that I have good and comfortable control of bowels and bladder which was not the case with the Rectocele and Cystocele but I am very upset that I am still uncomfortable if I am active and there seems little hope at the moment that I will feel comfortable to enjoy or consider even engaging in intercourse. The consultant explained that the lumps I can see are the loose skin where it was stretched from the prolapses, he said if he had cut it away and made it tighter, smoother etc it would have made a near perfect permanent repair but sex would be impossible...... But sex doesn't seem possible anyway at anytime in the foreseeable future the way I am feeling with the soreness. I am due to see him again next week at 12 weeks but may push it back until a bit later as I think I still need more time to heal and each internal exam although ultimately reassuring gives several days of discomfort which I could do without at the moment. I think Paddiwhack we have had a lot done and whilst we are younger than some of the ladies who have had the op we also have the complications of the hormone issues of menopause and previously are used to being fit and active with busy lives. My consultant was clear that in my case time and rest are required. Through trial and error I have learned I can only be active for 1 to 2 hours (eg shopping, light housework) or can only sit for about 45 mins or so I then have to lie down ..... This isn't always practical and I end up carrying on and then suffer for it and it takes 2 or 3 days of intensive rest to get back on track. I wish I could offer more positive advice from my experience, but feeling quite low about it all at the moment. I hope you get the chance to rest and feel better soon.

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    • Posted

      Hi redhead ,

      Sorry to say this but at almost nearly two years post op I am still much the same haven't recovered to what i would consider normal or as much as I would have liked from A & P repairs.

      I still find I am limited as to how long I can be on my feet and how much I can do on a daily basis.

      I am 57 and started menopause around 5 years ago, still hot flushing and suffering very dry thin tissue lining inside vag... area. Left with tight painful scar tissue and possible nerve damage although nerve damage not diagnosed yet.

      I can walk for about 2 x20 min back and forth to swim pool and swim around 16 lengths in between go for coffee and manage 2 10 min... bus journeys and be home within about 3 hours. But by the time I'm home I am achy and sore and feel like I've just given birth and have huge scab down below. It always takes a day or two to recover, yet they tell us that swimming is gmso good for us and to at least Di a few walks a week to keep fit.

      In work I'm now mainly on a seat but have never managed more than my 2x 5 hours shifts a week and although recovering quicker from my shifts I still get achy down below.

      I have just done 3 x5 hour shifts over last 3 days and again feel like I've just given birth and all sore and raw especially around area where thin tight scar tissue is despite using my estriol topical cream on regular basis.

      I feel I should be much better recovered by now and although front repair is strong and holding up the back repair is weaker and now worried that if may fail again.

      Hope things get better for you,

      Take care x

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    • Posted

      Thank you Phyl for your reply. We are the same age and it does seem the Vaginal atrophy is affecting have everything feels down there. I took a break from contract work so I could concentrate on getting my prolapses sorted and recovery and had hoped I would feel able to look for work again early in the new year but I find sitting still uncomfortable and would struggle with any commuting to work. I can't regret the op as I couldn't cope with the impact it was having on my bowel and bladder, but I seem to have gained another set of problems! Have you been given any further options to improve things for you such as other treatments, exercises, procedures etc. I was going to ask my consultant about the Mona Lisa treatment some ladies have mentioned, but i realise that is not something that is available through the NHS or even funded by insurance but clutching at straws! The skin on the outside is getting tighter and more sore and I now worry that I have the overhealing of scar tissue also which I have had before following episiotomy and other scars which have gone keloid elsewhere over the years. Gosh we women go through it sometimes don't we? I had no idea this time last year when I was enjoying life to the full that my life would be turned upside down by prolapses and now the surgery. I hope I can start to do some exercise such as the swimming you do, although swimming is not something I have enjoyed before but I have to do something to keep mobile and flexible and avoid my weight creeping up which it is now and I can't imagine that weight gain is helpful in managing the discomfort. Thank you for sharing and I wish you well X 

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    • Posted

      Hi Redhead,

      Have never heard of mona lisa treatment, if not available on NHS it must be classed as cosmetic. My sister mentioned in past about getting scar tissue lasered (she has a granddaughter with downs syndrome who had to get throat tissue lasered), so assume that this treatment is similar.

      I feel like front has been tightened too much but at least not coming down again, my sister reckons it will gradually slacken off.

      I was very active before all this I always went hill walking and swimming, holidays were always active and I went to gym 3 or times a week.

      Now it's just swimming and short walks, it is still a struggle to keep weight down. Adjusted my diet to cut out many of the sweet things that going to gym allowed me to eat. But even though I eat a lot healthier still not really active enough.

      I know I should be in lower impact employment but let's face facts as an employer would you employ someone who has had two lots of pelvic floor repairs as my age who can't sit for too long or be on feet too long; employers want healthy people who can adjust to needs of business and not the other way around.

      Before and after 1st repair had been attending physiotherapist specialising in pelvic floor, she was very good and did strengthen up my pelvic floor muscles which I didn't realize were so lax and made sure I was doing the exercises properly didn't realize I had not been doing them properly for years).

      Swimming, walking and hill walking is about all I can do, she did show me some floor exercises to build core without causing any down pressure but only showed me once before signing me off so forgot how to do them almost right away, she also advised could maybe possibly try building up time on cross trainer once pelvic floor strong enough but that didn't work out I found it was touch down pressure. Advised not to do anything where both feet are off the ground, and only low impact exercise.

      But even walking long distance I can feel like it's sagging inside and causing down pressure. Only the swimming seems to pull it all in and up, but unfortunately the leg stretching causes pulling on the scar tissue around vag... opening and can be really painful, so I limit the swimming to what I can bare.

      I so wish I had taken the extra 3 months without pay, to allow deeper tissues to heal maybe I would not have had all this scar tissue problem as didn't have that after first repair.

      It is shocking that nobody talks openly about these problems that seem to almost always happen so sudden as soon as we women begin the menopause.

      You would think that our local clinics/GP 's could direct women approaching menopause years towards well women clinic to educate us in awareness of these possible issues and to prepare us - strengthening our pelvic floors and retraining or moving to low impact work, avoiding high impact exercise at the gym - before the pelvic floor fails.

      Surely prevention is better than cure.

      I am making sure my girls are pelvic floor aware of these issues.

      Hope things improve for you soon,

      Phyl x💕

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    • Posted

      Thank you Phyl for your sound advice. I read about the Mona Lisa or Diva treatment on the Atrophic Vaginitis forum on this site. I think it helps stimulate cell renewal and collagen production so helps thicken the vaginal walls and skin, but it needs to be repeated every 4 to 6 months. Some of the ladies on the other forum have had good results. I will continue to persist with the local HRT creams and pessaries and hope for the best. I also want to ensure my daughters are well informed but without frightenening them. Come what may, I am determined to start Aquacise and gentle swimming in February and maybe even restart Pilates with the necessary modifications and gradually start walking more ....... Your hill walks sound fun but maybe I will start with walking round the local woods and lakes!  Take care and let's make the most of what we have even if it's not all we would like! 💕

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    • Posted

      I have thought about pilates, but would need to find an instructor who has experiance in pelvic floor conditions and can advice on what to avoid.

      Good luck x

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    • Posted

      Hi Phyl

      That’s a long time post op for you to still be feeling so restricted isn’t it? I’m sorry you are still having issues. Unfortunately I am way b hi d you so can’t offer any useful advice. 

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    • Posted

      This is very interesting. I was considering trying to do some yoga at home then I can stick to what I am comfortable with?
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    • Posted

      Must admit that I would go back to GP but right now don't want any more re-referals and couldn't face anymore intervention. So just trying to get by as best I can just now.

      Really concerned at how little we women are informed about the true extent of how prolapse issues can change our life and how little advice and support we have after surgery. Can't understand why medical profession do not come clean and warn ladies that this surgery is major and will take a long time to recover from and require proper rest along with slow gradual progress.

      It is ridiculous that the gov... allows employers to bully and push people back to work far to early to point where repairs fail and damage the long term health of patients.

      When the economy goes down, womens issue always get pushed aside, even though as main carers their health is important to ensure strong families, strong communities and in turn a strong country.

      Phyl x

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    • Posted

      That's a good idea - there will need to be some modifications to some of the positions to protect your pelvic floor - there is good advice on protecting the pelvic floor during exercise in books/videos by Sue Croft, Michelle Kenway and Amy Stein. I was going to revisit them - I read them before surgery, again whilst in hospital  but need to refresh my memory - although I recall never lift more than one leg/foot off the ground in the bridge, no curling up/sit ups from lying completely flat to sitting up, no planks etc. I also remember my physio saying also that it is as important to learn how to relax the pelvic floor as to pull it up properly - she reckoned I had been squeezing up so much in Pilates/Barre classes and in general that I was at risk of having 'shortened weakened muscles' through over use! For sure lots of things not just this contributed to prolapse but worth bearing in mind as it is only natural to keep trying to suck everything up when you can feel it sliding down!

      I meant to ask you if you ( or anyone else) had heard of Hypopressive exercises which are also supposed to help support the pelvic floor. I only came across it as I was waiting for my surgery - but I understand it is popular in Spain for women.? I had one tutored session and did it on my own for a few weeks, you do feel your insides all lifting up when you l I thought I might give it a go again but only after I have consulted with surgeon as I am healing slowly and don't want to risk any of this.

      Do let us know how you get on with Yoga when you get back to it. I got on better with Pilates than Yoga - but both are great for flexibility and well being. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Phyl - there is some good advice in the books/videos by Sue Croft, Michelle Kenway and Amy Stein on what sorts of exercises are good to support the pelvic floor and what to avoid. Most Pilates instructors are pelvic floor aware - but there are some modifications that we would need to be aware of and not try and push it to the more advanced moves such as raising more than one leg/foot in the bridge/pilates 100, no roll ups/sit ups from lying flat, no plank. Whilst I was waiting for surgery, I did carry on with Pilates and found that whilst it was embarrassing to talk to the instructor(s), they were knowledgeable and took it in their stride - turned out one had had similar surgery, another was pregnant and very aware and all had come across it before - gave me hope, but I did only see female instructors and picked small classes and generally was lucky that mainly if not all female participants - they discreetly adjusted my exercises without anyone else being aware. I also found about Hypopressive exercises which are specifically for the pelvic floor and found a qualified trainer  - I didn't get to go very far with it as I went in for surgery. It's quite new to the UK - but more established in Spain and I think Australia, I am not sure about the US. There is information on the web and U tube about it too - I had never heard of it until recently.

      I hope to resume Pilates next month come what may, but will take consultant's advice on Hypopressives as although it is only 'breathing' or 'not breathing' exercises - it feels really dramatic and you can really feel everything lifting inside when you do it properly - but my surgery is still too recent to risk anything at the moment. Good luck with your Pilates instructor hunting - hope it goes well. Great for relaxation and flexibility. x

       

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      Thank you for extensive reply readhead , I already know of michelle and sue; Hypopressives sounds interesting will look that up.

      I know that I always have problem getting the breathing correct so will have to work on that.

      Every little bit helps.

      Take care,

      Phyl x

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    • Posted

      Hi Redhead sorry I’ve been a bit tired of late. More ME I think than post op.

      No I haven’t heard about Hypopressive, interesting. Mind you I live up in the mountains very rural on not exactly up to date! Although I had my surgery in Malaga.

      I hadn’t thought about Pilates but have no experience of either that or Yoga. I do have Sues book I downloaded which I find really useful. Which of the two would you recommend to a novice?

      When is your appointment? I hope you’re doing ok? I too am using HRT via creams and I take HRT tablets now. I feel much better since I started tablets two months ago. Even my hair is thicker now smile

      It’s a real challenge isn’t it 🙄

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    • Posted

      Hi Paddiwhack, hope you are feeling less tired this week. I prefer Pilates to Yoga but it's purely a personal preference. I just feel more at home and relaxed in Pilates which for me has more dynamic exercises with lots of different levels according to my level of flexibility, stamina etc. When I have tried Yoga in a class environment I found I was uncomfortable holding the poses and sometimes I felt foolish if I couldn't get into the pose or hold it without toppling over, so that put me off. Both are good though for core strength and stability so please don't be put off and give either or both a go! 

      I was was due to have 12 week check next week but have now delayed it until the end of the month, or may move it to later in Feb. This is because I don't feel a lot further forward with my healing. I have reasonably confident that the repairs to the prolapses are holding up as I can empty bladder and bowel well and I am not leaking when I cough or sneeze. However, the skin/tissues are still quite sore so sitting or driving or being a passenger in a car is uncomfortable. He advised ongoing rest and no exercise, no intercourse and no pelvic floor exercises using the Kegel 8 or Elvie internal devices until he checked me at 12 weeks (I still do unassisted pelvic floor exercises when I remember!). I want to wait until my tissues feel a little less sore and I can sit for longer etc before I submit to another internal examination! I am using the Estrogen cream, Vagifem pessaries, lidocaine and titanium dioxide creams as recommended to support thickening of skin and soothe as necessary. I thought I would be back at work and the gym by now but apparently not. 

      Hope you are progressing well and have the requisite patience with the long, long recovery time! Oh for those carefree days when I didn't have prolapses, was not menopausal ......

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