Post A & P repair ,they don't tell you everything

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I am a 49 year old and 8 weeks post op after having both an Anterior and Posterior repair . I have found my recovery an extremely long road one which I don't feel I was really prepared for . Upon leaving the hospital post op I was given information on both repairs explaining the proceedure , complications and a very brief guide to returning to normal activities (pelvic exercises, dissolvable  stitches , when to resume sex and do not lift anything heavy) but they didn't tell me everything ! They didn't tell me any of the following : I would put on weight just by looking at a crumb of cake , I would be very emotional , my periods would be all over the place , I'd have to wear a sanitary towel all the time which just adds to the discomfort , the feeling as if I am carrying a tennis ball in my Virgina , dissolvable stitches which haven't dissolved , aches , pains , tiredness , the constant fear of constipation and many many more side effects .I had a check up with the consultant on Monday (5 days ago) and explained I felt as if I may have a bladder infection and my undissolved stitches were very uncomfortable ,I could feel a large swelling at the front of my virgina and I had been bleeding for 2 weeks on and off he proceeded to give me an internal examination . Well I walked out of his office with antibiotics for a suspected bladder infection , an antibiotic cream just in case I have a virginal infection and my stitches unremoved as he preferred if they remained as I was still healing  .But that's not all I left his office with , later that evening I felt incredibly sore from the examination and had to take the maximum pain relief every day since .I found it differcult to walk and sit upright , only today was I able to resume my daily walk . He also signed me off for another 4 weeks and has asked to see me again in 2 weeks time . I'm really fed up and just want to get well and start feeling better and I even want to return to work !!!! Anyone else experiencing similar unhappy times 

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  • Posted

    Hello helen. What you describe is typical of the problems you can endure whilst you're recovering. I can identify with most of them although if I'm honest I was well prepared by the consultant and nursing staff. I was off work for 13 weeks and even then my GP wanted to sign me off work for a bit longer. I have to say I didn't put on weight because I didn't feel well enough to eat. It's sad that patients are not been fully prepared for their surgery. If they were it would be easier to accept. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Helen sorry to hear all your troubles I have had Anterior and Posteria repair with TVT fitted and I am a new women 10 weeks post op and went back to work 3 days ago. I have aches in the groin and buttocks still but apart from that all is well I did bleed for 6 weeks and my stiches dissolved 8/9 weeks, swelling settled st 9 werks.
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    • Posted

      Hi cherrie , so the stitches don't always dissolve after 3 weeks , I'll have to wait a little bit longer , I think when they have gone I should feel a lot more comfortable . I have just got back from my walk and I am a little bit sore and really tired ,  Thank you for your reply 
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  • Posted

    Thank you for your reply Matron , I have found the discussions on this procedure via this site both reassuring and supportive . It just proves that while we all experience similar issues we all have a different recovery rate . After feeling so ill and miserable over the last week I finally manage a walk yesterday as mentioned in my original discussion , I came back feeling full of enthusiasm whilst planning my next route to walk . Someone did tell me that walking does help the recovery in mind and body and taking daily walks is something I am hoping I will continue during and after my recovery. On the subject of recovery there seems to be no hard and fast timescale from what I have read just 'how do I feel today ' a question I ask my self every morning , mid day and bedtime . On the whole apart from the last week I feel things are improving . When I look back to how incredibly uncomfortable I was just before a BM experiencing a bulging feeling that now seems to be easing . I have finally stopped bleeding yesterday after 2 weeks which I can only assume must have been just a long drawn out period which is a relief it's nothing ominous . Worrying if the procedure is a failure and that every discharge , bleed, ache and pain is something major  gone wrong Is probably a common experience shared by many post op ladies. What is 'normal' , the consultant said to me whilst giving me my week 7 examination that I was looking normal down there , that was very reassuring however it's not a normal I recognise at the moment . 
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  • Posted

    Hi helen12670 what a relief to hear the different experiences. I like you wasn't prepared for the recovery ups and downs. I was only told the posterior repair would be very painful ( consultant didn't tell me it would feel like someone had rammed a baseball bat into my back passage !). I had same op as you 12 days ago and have been trying to walk every day and do the exercises but it's hard when you feel like you have to wee all the time , can't feel the muscles properly and like you have the feeling of a ball in my vagina ! The stitches are still there of course and uncomfortable and it's so frustrating having to ask someone to do the simplest things for you. I too have found myself being a bit edgy, tearful and cross but feel better hearing that all of this is normal. I also have Crohn's disease and actually for the first time am grateful and bowel movements have not been a problem for me. In the past I have had my appendix removed, a hysterectomy, and a bowel resection but I think this is the worst operation of them all. I have also had a nagging fear that I may have problems with incontinence so every little "dribble" has had me in tears. I am sure this is everything getting back to normal but because I look ok everyone thinks I'm fine, I'm not !! Thanks to everyone who posts on here is great to find out nothing is normal and everything should be expected !
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    • Posted

      It was nearly a year ago I had my op. It took far longer than I'd imagined to make a full recovery. I was off work for 9 weeks, but not back full time until 4 months. Trying to do too much early on really put my recovery back.

      I lost my core strength and found everything such an effort.

      i am glad to say I am now pain free and everything is working fine. 

      I know it's cliche but things do get better, stay positive, take all the help that's offered, and  get better at asking for help! 

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    • Posted

      Hi nannylin, I'm so sorry to hear that you have had to undergo so many surgeries my heart goes out to you , brave lady ! Your right about Looking ok and everyone thinks your fine , when I do see people I always make an effect putting on my normal makeup and they say ' oh you look well ' what they don't see is me crying with the additional weight I've piled on and the days when I keep falling asleep because of the pain killers . However those days are a lot fewer now as I begin my week 9 post op . You mentioned about dribbling , I too experienced this right up to week 4 . Sometimes just before and after a wee , I was extremely upset as I had no control of it . I was shocked as I have never had any problems before the op so why would this happen . I continued with my pelvic floor exercises and made sure I didn't rush off the loo until that last bit of wee came out just a couple more minutes that's all it took. It will improve just give it time . One thing I have leant during this whole episode of my life is that this is not a recovery race , there is no prize to recover quickly . My employer are not going to thank me for going back too work too soon and then having to have additional time off because I rushed back . I have come to terms with the fact when I want a nap in the afternoon I can because I am recovering and it's not because I am lazy and when I want a good cry I will !!!!! We will get better. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Gardener Jo , you are so right about the core strength and everything being an effort . I seem to feel so much better in the mornings than the afternoon , with this in mind I have changed my daily walks to first thing after my breakfast when my energy is at its best . I think also as you go through this process you do become more positive as you can actually feel improvements . I decided today to hang some washing out , I know this could have been a bit to much as I still have my stitches in however I had a plan of action . I put a chair in front of the machine door and gently pulled each item out individually, I carried the empty basket out to the garden resting it on a chair next to the line and then returned to the kitchen and just collected about 3 items at a time ( depending on the weight) this little task made me feel normal . I also have a plan to get my husband to bring it in tonight ! 
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    • Posted

      Hi Helen you really don't know how much better you have made me feel ! Incontinence was a huge fear as you say especially as I was fine before. Actually I have been a bit better in that department today I just wish the stitch that's pulling would dissolve !

      You are so right about the weight going on I'm eating more cos I'm bored and not doing enough to burn it off. Anyway I have had my hair done today to make myself feel good. Thanks so much to everyone who posts on here it's so good to hear we all have the same worries and problems. Xx to all

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  • Posted

    Well today is not a good one so far , I thought I was doing so well now into week 9 post op . My day started off at 3am waking up thinking I needed a wee . I lay there for a moment trying to rise from my slumber , I felt uncomfortable below a bulging feeling more so than usual . After my wee I was still uncomfortable and had trouble going back to sleep . Once I finally got up I have found that I am very sore down there and feeling swollen , more than usual . I still have undisolved stitches , I upped my daily walking exercise to one hour yesterday , I was more active around the house yesterday on my feet more than I have been over the last week and I'm also wondering if the antibiotics I recently had to take for a bladder infection have given me thrush . Have all these factures culminated in my discomfort today , should I give my walk a miss today and rest . Anyone else out there had a similar soreness and a bulging feeling post op when you have been more active than normal . 
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    • Posted

      Hi Helen have you got any itching and discharge. I seem to remember this when I had thrush years ago. I hate this not knowing what is an acceptable post op feeling and what's not. I had a reasonable day yesterday and today seem to want to wee all the time, I'm sure it's not an infection cos I'm passing loads but it's uncomfortable. Listen to your body I think, it won't hurt to take things a bit easier today and see if that helps. Also how are your bowel movements I have noticed a heavy bulging feeling until I have emptied ( hasn't been too much of a prob I'm queen of poo with crohns haha). If no better tomorrow I would seek reassurance from a doctor it's better than worrying or risking a pelvic infection )which I'm sure it's not) Let me know how you are later x
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    • Posted

      Hi nannylin , your right I have no itching or discharge I think I'm just in panic mode today . I to have also have a further bulging uncomfortable feeling just before I have a bm , I called the hospital about this in week 3 post op and was told it was normal and will settle down . I still have this sensation not as bad as it was more uncomfortable if I haven't taken the stool softener  Movicol I will discuss this with the consultant and my other concerns as I have just received an appointment for a 2nd check up tonight that's a bit of luck !!!! I really do agree with you about not knowing what an acceptable post op feel or not is and many more question will I be asking him this evening I hope his given me a long appointment !!!! I'll keep you posted
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  • Posted

    Hi Helen,

    Sending you get well hugs! I can understand how you feel. I am sure things will improve in time. I have just had keyhole surgery for a uterus prolapse and i thought i would be better now but i am having good days and bad days and i am 4 weeks post op and i was told i should be fine in 2 weeks! I too have been worrying and will probably need a anterior and posterior repair in the future! It is not fun being a woman! But hang in there and you will get better. The human body is a remarkable and you will recover. Think positive!

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    • Posted

      Hi keep smiling , thank you for your reply it cheered me up . Well I had my last check up with the consultant last Wednesday , I didn't feel to bad that day . I reported to him that my stitches were still in and I felt a bit sore which I thought may be due to the amount of walking I had been doing and suspected Thrush : ( I also informed him I felt a bulging at the front of my Virginia not outside but nothing like I had even before the op . He instructed me to take a thrush remedy to clear that up and use sudocreme to ease the soreness. The bulge however he thought could be swelling from the stitches rubbing as a result of my increased walking and also some post op swelling . The next day I was in a lot of discomfort , probably the most uncomfortable days post op I've had so far . I was back on full pain relief and had to stop the daily walks . The consultant suggested half hour walk in the morning and a further half hour walk in the afternoon to reduce the effects of stitch irritation. I told him I was concerned about the bulge and he believes that the op was a success and that my main concern prior to the op was that I was uncomfortable sitting due to the prolapse and now that had improved . In his opinion he believed that things will have moved a bit inside which could explain a bulge , carry on with the pelvic floor exercises and this should improve , the stitches will come out eventually and quite firmally he said I can't operate on you again . I really hope I'm worrying about nothing but I can't stop getting upset about how I have been left , i ask my self is 9 weeks post op still too early to feel like it failed .I really never expected to go through this process by taking two steps forward and one step backwards as the weeks plod on , some times I just want to cry . I hope soon I will stop being so  self obsessed about how my bits are feeling and return to enjoying my life especially my husband . 
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    • Posted

      Hi Helen so sorry you are feeling so low. It must be awful after 9 weeks to still be so uncomfortable. I understand the obsession with how you feel, every itch, twinge and dribble sends me to the depths and I am only 3 weeks post op. I'm sending you hugs and hope you will feel much better soon. I have to admit I wish I had never had the op at the moment it's made me feel so lonely and isolated for some reason .
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    • Posted

      Hi nannylin, I too have wondered if I made the right choice but I keep telling my self it will get better even though I do have to say it a few times to make my self believe it  . After writing my last post I had a bloody good cry and decided to go and examine what the hell is making me feel so swollen and sore ..... Well I'm not surprised I am so uncomfortable I found one of the 'supposedly dissolvable ' stitches hiding on the 'bulge' and it hurt ,it is very tender and I'm guessing that's adding to any post op swelling and I I think that may be causing the bulge . No wonder I feel so rotten and it's that what is probably causing the discomfort at night stopping me from sleeping . I am so grateful for this forum it's really mad me feel like I'm not going through this on my own thank you everyone . I'm going to have another cry now before hubby gets home ! Who knows what tomorrow is going to bring us more highs and lows !!!! you will have some really good days , even finding the nasty stitch has in a strange way cheered me up a bit at least I know why I'm uncomfortable now . I hope you have a better day tomorrow and let me know how your getting on . 
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    • Posted

      Glad you had the courage to look. I have (apart from crohns) another auto immune problem called Lichen Sclorosis and Lichen Planus which attacks the genitals (and mouth) so I am constantly checking with the mirror. The LS has caused fusing of my labia and the LP causes sores in the vagina so I was very worried about this op. The gynaecologist said it would be ok but it has definitely made it worse and I have no idea which bit of my undercarriage is more sore. I see a dermatologist regularly and think I may need to bring my next appointment forward but will wait till my 6 week check. I am finding the restrictions of what I can and can't do very frustrating and as I can't go long without needing a wee I can't walk too far. I think a good cry is a good idea but would have been better is knowing more about what we were letting ourselves in for. Anyway let's hope we turn a corner soon and feel more like ourselves. Keep in touch x
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    • Posted

      Hi Helen,

      I know how you feel with all the worry etc. I am always feeling anxious and stressed but i keep saying to myself, i just need to give myself more time. You feel very alone and tearful because you feel your life is on hold and i relate to wanting to feel like a normal woman again. I had a sacrohysterpexy to put the uterus back to where it should be and i even feel a bit of swelling on my bits and mine was done laproscopically. So you will have swelling down there with what you have gone through. When you start with the pelvic floor exercises when the time is right for you it will help you. When the stiches come out you should feel alot more comfortable. Another big get well hug to you! You will get better eventually!

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    • Posted

      Hi keep smiling , thank you for your support . I will keep up the pelvic exercises and try and remember it's still early days  . I made a positive move to day informing work I will be returning in 3 weeks at the advice of my consultant and they have suggested I go back on reduced hours for a few weeks . I feel like I have a plan now to get my life back to normality . However I will be mind full of how much I take on , I have quite a stressful job and I feel I need to gradually get back to my old strong assertive self . Something 'they don't tell you' about this op is that your recovery is not just a physical one , your emotions are all over the place . The stress of worring if things have gone wrong with every ache or pain on a daily basis . I also think you are in shock post op as you try and understand what has happened to you . That first fear of exploring your virgina to see if your op has been a success and then not recognising what you find. I have lost count of the times I have asked my self 'was that there before' . I just hope that on my first day back when asked ' how are you ' I don't burst out in tears ; )  . 
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    • Posted

      Hi Helen,

      You are very right in saying that the mental trauma after post op is probably the most worst thing ever after gyno surgery. I think they need to incorparate councelling for this after the op. There are so many women that so alone and stressed after surgery and it is not always a topic you want to discuss with family and friends. As far as exploring your vagina after surgery it is never welcoming and then you worry more. I always try and say to myself who actually sees your under carriage anyway ! Husbands probably cannot even remember and millions of women are never happy with their bits who have not even had surgery! Vaginas come in all different shapes, sizes and colours and they are never all the same. 50% of women actually suffer with a prolapse of some degree so you can imagine that  can change alot of things down there anyway. And also women are never happy with other parts of their bodies such as their face, bum, thighs, breasts,etc and the list probably goes on and on. Please stop worrying Helen. You will eventually start excepting what has happened and you will getter better. A good trick to distract you from tears is to move your tip of your tongue around the roof of your mouth. It distracts you brain. I was told this trick when i wanted to be stong at a funeral and not cry too much! You can use this when you do not want to burst out into tears. But let those tears out at other times, it is all part of emotional healing. Time will heal Helen. Look forward to life and try to smile everyday! Lots of hugs Keepsmiling : )

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