BACK TO work post op 3 week

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Hi all, 

I had my pelvic floor repair for posterior and anterior small prolapse 3 weeks ago I have a conference call at 9am to discuss my phases return to work.  I am nervous about what to suggest is reasonable I find it very uncomfortable when I stand for more than 1.5 hours tops and can’t sit upright for long on chairs. My job is stressful manager position but office based 30 min drive awake but have to

Carry around laptop etc. 

I feel bad having time off work any advice of suggested return hours? 

Thanks in advance 

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Where do you live? Did you get a 3 week work release from your surgeon? If youre still uncomfortable I'd check back in with your surgeon or GP. Im a stay at home mom, but ive seen many ladies on this forum talk about getting a standard 6 weeks off and then successfully requesting another 6 weeks off.

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  • Posted

    I’m in California, so I don’t know what your work rules are. My MD took me off work for 6 weeks with lifting restrictions. My job is also sitting for long periods of time with a laptop. Just the computer tote was more than my weight restictions. I felt bad for my coworkers having to cover for me, but they were super supportive. I found that a very frank discussion of what my surgery entailed left very few questions about my recovery. (Yes, I actually told them that my vagina was being cut open, rectocele tissue removed, and a new vaginal wall created). Don’t risk a failed recovery. Talk to your surgeon about more time off.

    Best of luck.

    Regards, Susan 

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  • Posted

    Thank you ladies I love in the UK I have a phased return certificate for the next 2 weeks just not sure how to say what I can md cannot do. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Jennifer. Try to contact your surgeon again for more specifics on your limitations 

      , as well as express your need for more time to recover. In the meantime, state factually what you’re able to do. Lifting is a big no no. 8lbs is about one gallon of milk. Sorry, I’m bad with metric conversions. State you cannot sit in a chair for longer than +/- 20 min at a time, can’t walk or stand for more than +/-15 min, must be able to lie down with feet elevated, etc. from other, it seems there is an issue with insurance coverage if you drive before 6 weeks, so verify with your auto insurance, and list your restrictions for that as well. Are you able to telecommute? Perhaps you can use your laptop from home while in bed recuperating? The US has the American Disability Act (ADA) which prohibits employers from forcing employees back to work before they are medically cleared. It seems like your surgeon needs to be your advocate.

      Best wishes, Susan

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  • Posted

    I think 3 weeks sounds much too soon to be returning to work, my physio told me at least 6 wks and up to 12. If you really need to return can't you work from home in your role? I'd probably suggest short hours allowing yourself plenty of time to get ready and get to work, 10am until you physically and mentally feel you have done enough. I was given a 4 week sick note immediately, don't understand why every hospital seems to do things differently.

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  • Posted

    Jennifer I’m in the uk and 6 weeks post op anterior repair. I’m seeing GP today to request another 2 weeks off as no way i could stand or sit for too long let alone stay awake for a 12 hour shift. My surgeon signed me off for the full 6 weeks without me even asking. This is my second surgery and I did too much last time. You really dont want to go through this twice!
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  • Posted

    Hi Jennifer sorry if this is too late for your 9am call. Just seen this. I have had a similar op to you and also work in HR. A phased return to work can adjust what hours you can work, where you work ( eg from home) or adjust the types of tasks you are able to do as you recover. It would be quite reasonable for you to only work 3-4 hours in the first few days of returning to work, or work from home etc. and build up your hours and duties over the 2 to 3 weeks of your phased return. A responsible employer would not want to risk your recovery and you will undoubtedly need to gradually return to work over a period of weeks. I recall a different op I had a couple of years ago, I was 2 weeks off work then the following week I worked only 3 days out of 5 the following week and only for 3-4 hours and gradually built up my hours and days working over the following 3 to 4 weeks until I could do everything as normal. If you can work from home for an hour or so and get used to conference calls, working through emails etc. before biting the bullet and driving into work and sitting or standing at work. You may need to ask others to carry your lap top for you etc. If there is an occupational health dept at your work or a professional HR department, you may find it easier to talk to them rather than your manager about what reasonable adjustments are required to support your recovery and eventually a safe return to work.  Hope this helps.
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