Cystocele and rectocele prolapse surgery. I am terrified.

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Hello. I am a woman, 44 years old with kids.  After my last delivery 13 years ago which was very hard, I did discover a lump in my vagina. I did not pay attention to it right away since it was not bothering me. This delivery caused it I am sure. The baby was big, stuck in the cord so he was slowly dying trying to come into the world. At 7 cm I have been told to push to save his life. I have been teared on purpose from front to back, a thing been put on his head to pull him out. The doctor did move the baby up and down, left and right then pulled as much as he could to pull him out. I felt all my inside coming down. 

My bladder prolapse have been discovered 2-3 years ago. Rectocele, this year. I am trying the pessary but it does not seem to work. I have to get the surgery which will be done by natural way. It will be pushed back up, fixed on pelvic, and my vagina will be taken the excess skin off. I will not be put asleep but will have the needle in the back which I had before, with a sedation.

The problem is: I am terrified. I am scared of dying during the surgery or after. That is if the stress does not kill me before.  I am over sensitive to any medication, drugs, alchool. The fear is so big that I don't have a date and I spend my days and nights thinking or dreaming about this. It gives me big anxiety and panic attacks. I am someone who was having those a bit all of my life because of an accident when I was young but now it is so strong that it stops me from living a normal life.

It will not be my first surgery. I had a few before. I don't know why I am so scared. Post traumatic shock after the last one I been told. It did go well but I had big panic attacks before and after. For 2 days.

 I am having trouble coping with those issues. Pressure, sex life affected, urge to urinate, difficulty with stools etc...  I am someone very active. I want that surgery but I am terrified. 

A lot of people tell me that it is nothing but I would like to hear from people who actually had it. I am not scared of the pain. I know it will hurt but it will eventually go away.

What are the risks of that surgery? Do I have good reasons to think that I will die? I don't know where to ask about that issue. I hope I am at the good place.

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  • Posted

    I'm sorry you are feeling so anxious.  Your doctor could tell you the risks much better but the ones I remember are the normal risk of anesthesia, the risk that it won't fix the problem, and the risk that it will make incontinence worse.  People have also had problems with the synthetic meshes, reacting to them or having pain problems.  My doctor said this was because the surgeries weren't done by someone who specialized in the surgery and they did it wrong, basically.  It's always a good idea to have a surgery done by someone who is experienced with that surgery and does a lot of them.  

    In terms of anxiety in general, for me getting more information about what it will be like helps me.  Pre-op I stumbled across a book about recovering from gynaecological surgery by Sue Croft.  Amazon has it in the U.K. and the US as an ebook.  I think it was 10 dollars.  It has a lot of information and I thought it was very helpful.  I've recommended it a lot here, but it really did help me.  She cover so the anatomy, how to go to the bathroom, explains prolapse, talks about the hospital stay, and also talks about the recovery.

    i had the surgery a little over a year ago and it helped a lot.  The recovery was slower than my doctor thought it should be but very normal by that book and based on posts here.  I planned ahead, let people know what to expect, got help, and slowly worked to get better.

    The discomfort of surgery is totally gone, bathroom issues much improved, sex is totally fine - no surgery issues now, and I am more active than I was before.  I was 41 when I had the surgery.  I have back pain issues so I am not running around and doing cartwheels, but then I wasn't doing them pre-op either.

    also, I think that the risk of death from anesthesia goes up the longer you have to under for the surgery.  This is a fairly short surgery.  About an hour, I think.  Unless you have an underlying risk, like a heart condition, I think you are at very low risk given your age.  Fwiw, my uncle went under anashesia in his 50s and had a heart attack on the table.  Turns out, being in the hospital with lots of doctors actively monitoring you is a pretty good place to have a heart attack, if you have to have one.  He was fine.  They took very good care of him.

    i hope this helps you feel a bit better, and do at least take a look at the description of the book.  It really helped me.

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  • Posted

    You need to settle down and realise you'll be fine and down the track you will wish you had it done long ago. It's a very commonly done surgery. You MUST have a Urogynaecologist perform it though. Most of your anaesthetic risks are already eliminated cause you're having a spinal one. Are they going to do sacrospinous fixation? It's a long road to full recovery but SO worth doing. Make sure your bowels are fully sorted before and especially for the 1st week, then ongoing until normal habits are formed. 

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    • Posted

      Good morning robyn,

      Thank you for your reply. No I am not having a sacrospinous fixation. The way she said, she is going to fix it to my pelvis. I don't have much details appart from that. The thing I don't understand is I have had many surgeries before. Why am i so terrified for this one? I should be happy that it will be fixed. 

      I don't understand myself sometimes.


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  • Posted

    Hi Sweetlov, 

    Please don't worry I know it's easy said than done . But believe me like you had fear dying , if ever had op .

    Other than giving birth to my sons one kidney infection never been in hospital . 

    Like you I was damaged inside through giving birth twins boys.  Same happen to me forceps was used my son was punched out as it was either lose him or save him . Rather save him as still would 27 yrs on .

    Anyway I had prolapse done 11 days ago , cervix / uterus and wall linning stitch back , I chose be knock out fully do not regret this .

    The only problem had with recovery was constipation never wish that pain on my worse enemy . Now fine with odd twinge tummy Back ache . By Friday hope be driving again . 

    After had done feel like new women . Hope all goes well hear if you need chat x

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  • Posted

    Dear Sweetlov, 

    You will NOT die from this surgery.  You tell yourself every day, "I will not die.  I will be fine and I will conquer this paralyzing anxiety."  Pray about it, or meditate and just know that this fear is not real.  Do not let it interfere with your daily life or having this much needed surgery.

    Absolutely only have the surgery done by uro/gynecologist under anesthesia.  

    Love from Texas,


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    • Posted

      Hello sherry. I love the way you are sure that I will not die. I indeed suffer from anxiety. You know, i know the fear is not the reality but for my brain it is. Just thinking about it and am going in a panic attack. I Will try what you said.

      I will go seek some help as well. 

      I am still scared that something will go wrong I don't know why. Is it just a fear or a sixth sense? I don't know. 

      Thank you so much!!

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  • Posted

    Hi Sweetlov I'd love to share with you my story that happened pretty much 12 months ago on the 22nd Sept 2016. I had repairs for Anterior and Posterior Prolapses as well as perineum repairs. The operation went well a couple of hours after returning from theatre I experienced pain in my hand then arm and chest. I was pretty drugged up still from the op the nurse pressed a buzzer and a swarm of doctors and nurses appeared. I was whisked down to the cath lab and had the first of three stents put in. They saved my life I was told if I hadnt of been where I was I would not have survived. The very best place to have a heart attack is in the hospital. I was told I had won lotto of life smile As I said this was 12 months ago I am extremely happy and healthy the best part is having had the repairs done I now can have a bowel motion without having to splint. I no longer have to try and get the pessary to hold up my innards which near the end wasnt helping so I was rubbing and experiencing pain. I dont have urine leakage and no lower back pain. After the operation recovery for me was slow but I was back at work after 8 weeks on light duties. My suggestion to you is to try not to worry and once this is all behind you the best advice I can give you is to rest rest rest and give your body time to heal. Stay on this forum the other ladies on here sharing made my recovery so much easier. All the best kind regards Kath from way down under in New Zealand

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    • Posted

      Hiya from Auckland NZ! What a lovely story to read. I remember when this happened, or you saying about it ages ago. Heart warming to read such success. What hospital were you in?
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    • Posted

      Hi Sweetlov I have had 21 operations in my life and would not hesitate to place myself in the care of doctors again. I was born with a cleft palate and cleft lip and have had 19 operations to repair my mouth 1 on my knee and then the last operation to repair the prolapses. No-one including me knew about the problems with my heart until it blocked that night. Please dont be frightened try to be brave these prolapse operations are done everyday thru out the World you will be fine. Look forward to the freedom of having a repaired self that is so very important. Having no problems with my prolapses no problems with bowels and bladder is wonderful. I take citalopram for anxiety and Im fine. 

      ​No I did not know I had problems with my heart Yes I had a heart attack as my heart blocked. Hospitals look after people they did not cause my heart to block, my body my genetics ie family history on both sides is what caused this. It was going to happen regardless if I had the operation I still consider myself to be blessed and lucky to be where I was when it happened. 

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    • Posted

      Having needed 3 stents into arteries, she clearly had major blockages in 3 arteries, but obviously had no idea.  The operation didn't cause any of what happened with her heart. Her story is pretty rare. She shared it as a happy survivor, and probably didn't think about the scare factor. I'm wondering why your team have decided on a spinal anaesthetic though as a general anaesthetic is way more common as it's major surgery. You haven't confirmed that a Urogynaecologist is doing your repairs?

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