Newbie going in for surgery on Monday, any advice?

Posted , 9 users are following.

I've just found this board and have been reading previous posts for a while, it's so interesting to read your experiences - both good and bad - so that I can prepare myself.

I'm having an anterior and posterior vaginal repair and a TVT-O to hopefully sort out stress incontinence.  I'm 40 and have had these lovely issues since giving birth 2 years ago to my third child. 

I'd really like to know if there's anything I should think of taking in my case.  I'd bought some pyjamas and was then told I'd need a nightie because of the catheter....what did you wish someone had advised you to take?

Secondly,I know everyone is different, but what I'd like to know is how early you felt comfortable going out after the op? 

My surgery was supposed to be last Friday so I wasn't too worried about things we'd booked for 4 weeks post surgery.  Now I'm faced with going out just a fortnight after surgery (to see a singer an hours drive away) and a comedian (about half an hour away).  I'm thinking realistically how comfortable I'll be being in a car, if I have to queue at all, toilet trips, etc...after reading posts on this board I think I'm being a little optimistic, even though I'd just be sitting?

I've also got a holiday booked (it's been booked before I got my surgery date).  I'm supposed to be going to Egypt with my 2 oldest (13 and 10) 6 and a half weeks after surgery.  It's all paid for, so I can only hope that I'm well enough to lay on a beach for a week and let the kids wheel the suitcases, but it may be wishful thinking. 

Also, as I've got an active 2 year old I wondered if any of the other mums on here with little ones have any advice on how to protect yourself against knocks etc - I know I can't lift him etc, but if he wants to cuddle up with me on a night time, am I best off resting a cushion on me so he doesn't catch me?  Any advice gratefully received.

As it's been a really long 2 years trying to cope with this, and then asking for surgery, I know it's not going to be plain sailing - any general advice for a newbie would be really appreciated, thankyou.

 

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  • Posted

    Hi there, welcome to this group of caring and experienced "sisters"!  I am exactly 4 weeks post op today and I can tell you that I am still not ready to sit in a car for an hour, even half an hour.  All people recover in different speeds, so remember you just might be speedy.  The average of what I have learned though is that recovery is always longer than we are told by doctors!  This is the first morning in four weeks that I have not wakened with pain and discomfort and it is such a relief!  Actually no need to take much to hospital except personal things, tooth paste etc. and comfortable clothes to wear home.  You will probably only be there for a few days and in that time, the docs and nurses will be checking you constantly so the hospital gown is the best.   You will need some pads for when you go home, for sure and some help with your little ones.  My advice is to take as much help as you can get because you only get to recover once and the better you do that, the better chance of long term "fix".  I wish you all the best and if you would like to private chat or even a telephone call, please let me know as I'd be happy to share more of my experience!
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  • Posted

    Welcome indeed CB smile

    you could be a really quick recoverer let's hope.

    To add to Barbs comment I would say

    1: absolutely no bending! I have bought a cheap grabber from my local chemist and it's been invaluable. All the bending that you do without thinking is gonna make you very uncomfortable afterwards.

    2: Stay in your pj's; that way people will remember you're recovering

    slowly.

    3: listen to your body; if it hurts, stop it at once. Dont strain oh and use a

    little step for your loo, it helps bm's hugely.

    4: Put your legs up fully, not just with a stool at your feet. It aids good

    circulation

    5: find things that help you pass the time to encourage you to sit; good

    books, netflix, craft stuff. That way you won't be looking at housework

    and be tempted away from resting. Either that or leave your glasses off

    so you can't see the dust mount up hahahaha

    6:don't be surprised at how tired you get. The body is using all its energy on healing. There's very little surplus.

    7: we're here so don't hesitate to ask any questions or have a rant....

    Be well sister!

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  • Posted

    I know you posted here to get advice yourself but I'm wondering if you can help me, I've just had prolapse identified by gp, things have been right since my daughter was born nearly 4 years ago, things are getting worse and life is pretty tough, I don't know one prolapse from another or what anterior or other terms mean, I don't know what sort of prolapse I have. I'm waiting for my first hospital appointment in 6 weeks or so! So how did you get to where youmum are now, I don't know what to expect, I'm very nervous about it all as well as completely freaked out about what's going on down below, it does not feel right! Sorry I can't help you with your concerns.
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    • Posted

      Hi Sharon, you have come to the right place, with women either waiting for surgery or recovering from it.  This is the place not to be shy because we all are talking the same area of the body, so jump in with questions!  My bladder prolapse started 5 years ago and progressed to it being a bulge into my vagina, one that I had to actually push back to go pee.  It never hurt but it was a complete annoyance!  When my gyne checked me, she said I had two options...either a pessary which it an inserted device that can hold things in place but is not a fix...or this surgery.  My doc is wonderful...but, she told me it will be about 4-6 weeks recovery which, at 4 weeks, I can tell you I am nowhere near recovered!  Thank goodness I don't go for a check up until 8 weeks because it would hurt too much!! Hopefully, there is enough time for more healing before she has to check things out😳!  As for the surgery, she made two incisions, one on either side of the vagina, pulled the loose skin up and took it out then stitched it all back up, thus the resulting pain in recovery!  There you have it!  When you wake up there will be a catheter in place so you can pee and you will be given pain meds.  Hopefully in a few days, you can go home and that's when real recovery starts.  Give it good time and be ever so kind to yourself!  You can do this!  And we are all here in support.
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Hope it all goes well for you. It really is hard to understand how it will feel until it's done. I am usually very active and unrealistically thought I would be fit and well and back to work after two weeks. How wrong I was!! I'm almost 4 weeks post op after posterior rectocele repair and rectal plication. I've never had to rest so much in all my life. I tried yesterday to do a little light housework but the achyness and stinging feeling I feel down below is unreal. My head says I will be fine but my body says different. I have rested today and I can now feel a difference with the achyness. It's crazy because I normally have no illness (i'm usually too busy with work and my autistic son), so this is hard to cope with. I would say just rest, rest and more rest which I know is easier said than done, particularly when you have a young family. Just do what your body tells you. Try and take as much help from people as possible too, even though that may not be easy. Fingers crossed, you may be very lucky and sail through things but I know just by the number of people on here giving advice which is brilliant that it really is advisable to take things as easy as possible. I hope it all goes well, do let us know how you are doing. Take care

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  • Posted

    Hello.

    I wish I'd found this site before I had my op. As the others have said we are all different and recover at different rates but it really is a case of rest,rest and rest.I thought I'd be up and running after a week or two but that wasn't the case at all. I doubt very much whether you will be up to going to concerts two weeks post op and I'm not sure I'd be wanting to go all the way to Egypt with a young family. If you have travel insurance you may be covered to cancel the holiday without losing money,worth an ask.Obviousy you wiil have to wait and see how you feel,you may be one of the lucky ones who does recover quickly but after reading all the various posts on here I wouldn't bank on it. I am now 14 weeks post op and still getting there. If I do too much,like I did yesterday I know all about it.

    I hope it all goes well for you and there are a lot of us out here who are there behind you for any advice or support that you need,as I said I would have been far better informed as to what can occur if I'd found this site before surgery.

    Good luck

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    • Posted

      Hi rosie,

      I agree 100%. I wish I had known about this site before. Every single person I have seen on here is saying the same. It's so reassuring to know you aren't alone. I too unrealistically thought a couple of weeks in and I would be fine, but how wrong I was! You definitely need to liosten to your body. I was too scared to even go on a short outing because of how I felt and I'm usually running here there and everywhere without a second thought. I still don't want to plan too far ahead which can feel frustrating but I just know how my body feels. Thanks so much to people like yourself for all the advice and support.

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    • Posted

      Aww thanks. My inspiration on here has been LadyPink,her advice is brilliant and she has a way about her that just brightened my days for me when I was feeling very low. Matron also hands out very sound advice,I am so thankful I stumbled across these lovely ladies,quite by accident. I have been waiting for weeks to be checked over by the hospital,who informed me when I was discharged that they don't do follow up outpatients appointments,to see my GP,which I did but she said I needed to be checked over properly. Have just received an appointment for the 2nd April,which will be 18 weeks post op. Fortunately for me I got referred to the Gynae physios and had a thorough examination Monday just gone,who assured me that all is well and healed down there,although getting it on with the hubby still isn't perfect but am sure all will be well with a bit more time and patience.
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    • Posted

      So glad you are on the mend. I've got an appointment on May 14th which will be about 14 weeks post op. I just wish it had been explained in more detail exactly what had been done with regards to where all the stitches are and the changes to how it should even look now let alone how it feels. I know it feels a bit different but I had a peek and it still looks like I have extra bits if you know what I mean in places I didn't think I should ha! Don't think I will be getting it on with hubby for some time yet, just as well he is so patient ha! I'm sure things will get better with time so fingers crossed.
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    • Posted

      That seems to be a recurring theme here from all us ladies,just how patient our hubbies are. Mine has been wonderful. The physios advice the other day was to go home and try,we'd only tried once before and it was a complete no no. Had another try last night,it was pretty painful,don't think I'll be doing that again for a while wink
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    • Posted

      Did your consultant put you on oestrogen? I always had a problem with excess discharge which now seems much drier. Consultant told me I would be going on oestrogen at my 6 week appointment. I still have stitches at my entrance & both of us are feeling the pressure as my consultant said in front of my hubby that he could give me an orgasm but couldn't stick anything in before 6wk check up unless he wanted to feel barbed wire haha so hubby is now scared.
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  • Posted

    Hi

    I am 5 wks post op & also have three kids, my youngest being 2. My advice clear & soften your bowels as much as possible prior to the op with lactulose. Also bring a urine sample with you unless you can pee on demand. I was fasting & couldn't pee and was delayed by two hours until my blood test confirmed I wasn't pregnant even though I told them husband had snip.

    As others said toddler step for after op. My consultant also recommended salt baths 1-3 daily with saxa table salt which I find great. I also needed ice packs for down below after op so ask for them to help swelling.

    Unfortunately I had bowel & bladder issues after the op. I had to wear a catherer for three weeks & lack of bowel movements but high fibre/laxatives caused contraction like pains. As for being in a car It was very uncomfortable for me as every little bump hurt my stitches. I also feel very drained after a two hour outing.

    As for kid's, I never realised how much bending I do around them. Was really upset to realise I can never lift them up again without causing a prolapse again. I really miss lifting my baby up & we had to buy her a single bed as I couldn't lift her in or out of cot. Also had to get a lighter buggy as my phil & ted was too heavy to lift in & out. Any questions just ask, I found the advice from others great on this site.

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    • Posted

      Interesting about the advice for salt baths. I was advised no baths for 6 weeks ,showers only and definitely no salt ones. Wish these consultants would all consult the same information before they had out differing advice
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    • Posted

      I took his advice as I was also told it by midwifes after birth of all my children. I really feel it helped stitches dissolve. Consultants seem to make it up as they go along. I was also told to go for a walk everyday but I know other's on this site were told to rest.
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    • Posted

      yes thinking back when I had my children we were told to have salt baths. I agree with you that they seem to make it up as they go along. I was told I should be healed within 6 weeks,well I wasn't.Only been feeling better for the past couple of weeks and I'm 14 weeks post op now.
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    • Posted

      I was told I would be driving within two weeks & organised family to do school run for that time. Day after surgery was told you were a lot worse than I thought so no driving for 6wks due to stitching. I would be lost without my mum. I wish they had set rules, do & don't's before the op so you know what to expect. The info I was given was very vague.

      I am 5 wks post op & only today feel like myself & that's cause I have been resting all day.

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    • Posted

      And this is why this site is so valuable because we get the real goods from women who have been through it!  Most of us don't know what to ask prior to the surgery and so little information is given back to us.  Docs should refer women to sites like this!
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    • Posted

      I agree, they just don't give you enough information and the advice they have given doesn't feel very realistic. First I was told 6 months to completely recover. Then I was told 6-8 weeks off work, then the day after surgery was told 12 weeks off work and long term never to do heavy lifting etc.
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    • Posted

      Yeah I think I would have delayed the op for another few years as initially was told not to lift anything over 15lbs for first 6 wks then after was told nothing over 20lbs for life when I was discharging. I have a 2 yr old that I cant lift now and didn't realise the simple thing's like lifting her into a trolley or lifting shopping.
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    • Posted

      I was told by the physio at the hospital no more heavy lifting ever again. That has knocked me for six as I've always been very strong even though I'm only 5 feet tall. I've always carried the compost bags and big pots around the garden,plus running up and down with a full wheelbarrow and to be told I can't do that anymore is very disheartening. Plus my gorgeous granddaughter is coming back from Mexico in 2 months time and she'll only be 17 months old and it will be awful not to be able to pick her up and hug her 
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