I just had a partial hysterectomy/cystocele/rectocele..what to expect in upcoming weeks and months?

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Hi. I am 38 years old and was experiencing major prolapse issues since my last childs' birth 3 years ago. My dr told me I had cystocele and rectocele. He suggested removing the uterus (kept tubes and ovaries). Well, my surgery was just this past Friday Oct 7th, just 4 days ago. The surgery was extensive, once he got in there they had more work than they had anticipated, and I was under for almost 4.5 hours. They tied up my bladder, used a mesh at rectum, /'d removed the uterus. I haven't even had my post-op appt yet so I haven't even gotten the full details of what was done from my dr. He gave the basic rundown to my husband when I was in recovery but not the full details.

I am very newly post-op so I have soooo many questions and concerns, most of which will dissolve as time passes and certain concerns diminish or disappear as I recover each day, but here are some of my major questions to you who have been through this:

-did you gain any weight while in recovery? This is very important to me. I have always been very physically fit and rather slim, and extremely active. All of a sudden sitting/laying around for weeks and then not being able to exercise frankly scares me to death! (By the way, my dr says that the reason my prolapse occurred, or happened as quickly with me being rather young for this, is because I am so active and all of the heavy lifting and activities I do caused it to prolapse quicker and to such an extreme...so I am REALLY looking forward to being back to normal with everything tucked up high and tight for the rest of my lifetime, and not hindering my physical ability any longer!)

-this extreme bloat!? My whole midsection which was rather slim is extended to almost double the size I was. I look like I'm about 6 months pregnant! I'm swollen in my legs and feet, face, neck, hands, fingers, etc. I know a lot of this has to do with the anesthetic as well as the inflammation from surgery. How long before it goes away?

- what is a good gauge for how much I should be laying, sitting, standing, and walking in these early days & weeks. Today I stood/ walked around putting away light weight things for over 2 hours at one time- but there were other small walks/ standing too-(shuffling papers, putting away some light laundry, etc) and felt really tired and sore afterward so I'm scared of tearing something up or not healing something. I know I'm not supposed to do any of that just yet, but how harmful is it really? I go very slow and only lift light light things. I just cannot sit still when I see something that needs done.

-how well did your incisions heal and how quickly? (I had the robotic/ laparoscopic surgery, so 5 tiny incisions)

-what's your honest opinion about getting back to working out? I was hoping to start lightly working out again beginning of November but maybe that is wishful thinking?

We have a trip planned for Nov 18 which is exactly 6 weeks from the surgery. It's only a 4-day trip to Boston, -'d we'll be flying, but it will involve a lot of walking and such.

Thanks so much for reading this, all responses are appreciated!

-Caroline

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  • Posted

    I rested completely for one week , done very light house chores (making tea, sandwiches, picking up light things with a grabber ) the second week, had to resume caring for my three kids the third week , and was very sore if I was standing or walking for more than a few minutes. Be careful if you're on painkillers that you don't do too much, research the types of exercise that will be suitable for somebody who's had this type of surgery.I've changed my gym membership to swim only as most of the gym equipment I like to use is unsuitable. Please take it easy you had much more extensive surgery than me , and a few pounds weight gain might not be as bad as a failed surgery.good luck with your recovery

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    • Posted

      Thanks Kate. I'm not worried about the weight gained really, i just want to know how much. I just wondered what others had experienced so I knew what to expect. It was like getting pregnant, I obviously knew I'd gain weight, but having an idea and grip on common knowledge makes it easier for me to process and prepare, so I have a plan for when I'm completely healed. Lol no worries there.

      And yes I will rest and worry about exercise later smile I certainly don't want any surgery complications, I only have the time in my life to do this ONCE!

      Thanks,

      Caroline

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  • Posted

    I am three months post-opI have bladder prolapse done with mesh I'm telling you right now The first two weeks you should not lift anything I am just starting to feel myself after 3 months I am a very small woman I looked like I was 9 months pregnant Finally after 3 months I'm starting to look normal During that time I was only allowed to walk A little at a time Per the doctor No running no jumping no lifting I had my internal exam last week And he said everything was fabulous I cannot do anything He said if I want I could run a marathon I was very depressed for the first couple of months Because as you I am a very active person But I had to sit still Your body will let you know if you're doing too much Your bottom half feels like it's going to fall out After an hour of walking or moving around I had to lay down with my feet up So I wouldn't really take it easy I'm retired thank God I don't have a job Because I would have lost it I do not see how anyone can go to work after this type of surgery They don't tell you how bad it is the recovery I was under the assumption I would be up and about in a couple of weeks That's a lie Good luck to you if you please follow those instructions you will not have another prolapse But you really have to practically do nothing I'm glad that I'm older I have no young children at home I'm retired it's just me and my husband Thank God for him Because I don't know what I would have done without him by myself Good luck to you sweetie

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    • Posted

      I completely agree with dianelou and kate.   You must rest or the surgery will fail.  We as patients are not given enough information regarding the do's and dont's during recovery.  I was one of them, and I had to have a second surgery 5 months after the first.  The ladies on this site will guide you.  Good luck, i'll be praying for you.  Dorothyx

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    • Posted

      Hi Dianelou~

      Thanks for your comment. Your three weeks after synopsis of what you did activity-wise is helpful. It sounds like my plan- although I'm doing some of what you did on week 2 now, at 4 days post-op! (And did at like the day after surgery)...but, I do counteract that light activity with laying down and sleeping, .for hours at a time, -around the clock. I do hope to continue to rest and take naps even at weeks 3-6. I will hold off on any exercise until I'm cleared by the dr, and even then I will get specific list of do's and don'ts. How old are you if you don't mind me asking😬?

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    • Posted

      Thank you Dorothy,

      I agree they are very vague about the dos and don'ts. My doctor seemed to think I'd bounce right back quicker than most of his patients getting this surgery because of my age and fitness level going in. But he still didn't give me a real list of guidelines. Just said that I should listen to my body. Ugh if I hear that advice one more time I'll go crazy! Because for me, it's seeing things that need done, moving around and doing things because I'm listening to my OCD brain telling me it needs done and THEN I can relax. Ha! It's not until a while later that my body starts speaking up. So I over-do, I'm afraid, so then I make up for it by over- resting 😳

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    • Posted

      I'm 60, also forgot I was told to do the kegel n pelvic floor excercises so I've been doing since day 1 a must!!!!

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  • Posted

    Hi Caroline, I am the same age as you and had similar surgery to you back in Feb this year (I'm now 8+ months post op).

    i had all my surgery done vaginally so had no incisions, I had anterior and posterior prolapse repair and partial hysterectomy (still have ovaries).

    My initial concerns were the same, I have 2 children and a busy house, love excercise and not used to sitting about so I was dreading the whole recovery part.

    I did take it steady for the 1st 4 weeks, I was scared of lifting as didn't want to in do want to un do the work!  I could still feel a bulge for months and had discharge for months but once I reached the 12 week post op mark everything settled down. I was back to cycling and power walking and quite quickly got back into everything.

    once I'd reached the 6 month mark things had improved even more, I honestly feel like a new women and so glad I had it done. I did put some weight on but that was my own fault (I was greeedy and ate too much chocolate) I have just dieted for 8 weeks and have lost the stone I gained and feel great smile 

    Rest and take care , I'm sure you'll be fine and back on your feet in no time. 

    I did start taking short steady walks early on but be careful and listen to your body. I did find and still sometimes do if I over do it I feel heavy down there.

    Good luck I'm sure you'll be feeling back to normal by Xmas xxx

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    • Posted

      Hi jill2310 sorry it took me so long to get back to you! I have been super busy since getting back to work!

      Thanks for your message and encouragement. It is going really well as far as healing and getting back to normal! I'll be 6 weeks post operation this Friday. I feel as though nothing even happened almost. Other than some days feeling a bit more tired during the day and definitely at the end of the day (my body is still healing inside, but I feel fine so I question my lack of energy and then it's like oh yeah I did just have a major surgery, of course I'm tired my body is still repairing iteself...) lol!

      I am back to running but not back to lifting at the gym yet. I feel great running for the most part. I plan to get back into lifting and classes at the gym right after thanksgiving.

      How long did it take you to feel ok doing that stuff? I worry I will be a bit weak from taking time off but otherwise hopefully I'm fine.

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  • Posted

    Hi Caroline,

    I'm so glad I going your discussion. It was like I wrote all of the above! We are so alike. I'm only 32 and I had my surgery 2 weeks ago. I had partial hysterectomy, sacropolopexy, bladder sling and front wall repair. I feel so well, no discomfort at all just a little tired. I'm a very fit and healthy person and I have 3 young kids, 5,2 and 9 months. My hubby is off work and taking care of us.

    I haven't been doing a lot but I can't stand being in bed with my feet up all day long! I have been standing up for an hour or so at a time and just walking around the house doing light duties.

    I'm interested to hear how you are recovering so far. I feel a little disheartened tonight as I feel heavy down there but hoping that a restful day tomorrow will make up for it. I'm so scared of my surgery failing! I just want to gay back to my active lifestyle and praying I can run again!!

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    • Posted

      Hi! I'm recovering great. I will be 6 weeks post on Friday. How about you?

      I've started running again and it is going well. I have not started back to the gym or lifting since the surgery yet- -hopefully after the surgery.

      As far as how I feel: I'm still more tired and lack the energy I had, but I'm guessing that's just my body working on healing instead of giving me energy, so I'm tired and a bit drained feeling a lot. It gets me down sometimes until I remember that I just had surgery. (Because honestly that's how good I feel otherwise, I don't feel anything else abnormal so I barely remember on a minute to minute basis that I just had a MAJOR reprative surgery, and am technically still in the recovery stage) I feel like a bit of a blob some days, like I've lost muscle tone, then some days I can almost see my ab tone again and I feel like I'm doing ok, so the ups and downs and not feeling on top of my game with that has been a source of a little depression for me also.

      Overall I'm happy I did it. I think it's our human nature to just expect everything to be perfect and not appreciate when things feel normal and right. So what I'm saying is, I'm now "normal and right" down there, and I don't even notice it! I have to stop and think about it to appreciate it! It seems like we always tend to just focus on what isn't right. In my case those negative things are just due to the surgery in general (having to stop exercising, lack of energy/ tired, feeling like a blob cuz I'm healing from the inside out...etc!) but I don't have any negative symptoms directly linked to the surgery area itself or why they fixed, no. Any longer, anyway. A couple of weeks ago I was still really sore down there and a wide range of other symptoms but guess what? They are gone now and I can't even remember them! Praise God!

      Thanks too, for your message and encouragement. I hope you feel ok too...3 kiddos is a lot to take care of and to be healthy for, right????

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    • Posted

      I meant to say hopefully I can start lifting and back to the gym after Thanksgiving, not after surgery!

      (See? Tired, recovery brain still...)

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