Should I have surgery?

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Hi ladies 

I’m 49 years old and have lost 8st over the past 14 months. As a result of this I have a anterior, posterior prolapse and my uterus is dipping.  They aren’t massive but they are effecting my quality of life. Having a poo is awkward,  i don’t always empty my bladder well. I have a consistent bulky feeling all day. Sex is effected and I feel less of a woman. 

I’ve been having Physio for 3 months and have built the strength up in my pelvic floor. This has helped slightly. My gynaecologist has now offered me a surgical repair and maybe a hysterectomy if my uterus drops down whilst I’m under anaesthetic. 

Is surgery the right option for me? I’m I too young for this surgery? Should I wait until I’m older, the prolapse is bigger? If I have the operation now how long will it last and will it be successful if it needs repeating when I’m older? 

Id really appreciate people’s opinions and experiences please.   

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    I am really glad I had the surgery, but my rectocele was very large and surgery was very clearly indicated.  I had the surgery when I was 41.  The recovery was slow.  I dont know if it is easier if the prolapse is milder.  My surgeon was bizzarely optimistic, to the point of cluelessness, about recovery.  She made it seem like I could do most things at 2 weeks and everything at 6.  Not even close.

    i read a book by Sue Croft about recovering from Gynaecological surgery that I found very helpful.  I think it really prepared me for surgery, and what to expect recovering.  Maybe if you read it, it would give you an idea if it was worth it at this point.

    Its a tough decision, I’m sure.  Oh, if the prolapse is mild its possible that a pessary could help with your symptoms wothout surgery.

    best of luck to you

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  • Posted

    Thank you Dorryc. A lot of ladies on the forum talk about a long recovery too. How long ago was your surgery? My surgeon doesn’t recommend the pessary for me.  Was your surgery successful? 

    Louise99

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    • Posted

      My surgery was over a year ago.  I think it took me about 14 weeks to feel like my surgery wasnt limiting me (at that point it was my back!) and I could start doing my gentle Physical therapy for my back and walking a more normal amount.  Before then I still had to rest a lot more and would get vaginal pain from lifting a jug of milk (which I wouldnt even try, early on.  Too heavy) and early on I would get vaginal pain even from walking.

      I consider the aurgery a success because it alleviated my symptoms a great deal.  I am still having some difficulties but its nothing like before.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply DorryC. It’s very useful talking to people with similar problems. I’m not worried about the surgery or the recovery. Just want to be no worse than I am now after surgery. 
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    • Posted

      My surgery definitely improved symptoms.  I dont think the repair lasts forever but Im not sure how long they last.  10 years was a number I heard somewhere but I am hoping it will last longer.  Your surgeon would know best if its better to do early.  I think they have less to work with on subsequent repairs bc of scar tissue etc, but I guess its probably also harder if the fascia tears more as things progress.

      There had been talk of people getting gynae repairs and ending up in pain. My urogyn said it was bc they were being done by people who didnt specialize in it and basically they didnt do the repair well.  Thats why people say to be sure your repair is done by a urogynaecologist.  I dont know if you are in the US or UK.  I am in the US and I think what you want here is someone board certified in “Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstrictive Surgery”.  As with any surgery, you want it done by someone who has done the surgery hundreds of times and does them regularly.

      Hope that helps!

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  • Posted

    Hi loulou99, I had a similar dilemma with regard to surgery now or wait until later when the condition is worse. I am 57, fit and active diagnosed with second degree Rectocele and Cystocele. Similar to yourself I also had 3 months of physio and did my best with the pelvic floor exercises, investing in various apps and devices. I was also prescribed local oestrogen to help restore the tissues in the vagina as although late for many, my hormone levels had dropped and I am now finally in the menopause. There was some improvement to tone but the prolapsed remained visible, uncomfortable at best to painful at worst. My exercise routine which had previously included a whole variety of gym classes, lots of walking and energy levels plummeted. My days revolved around recovering from whatever daily activity I had to do ......cleaning, rest, shopping rest, work in office, or long drives, or standing up at a pop concert would have to be top and tailed by lying with my bum in the air to reduce the pressure. Overuse of painkillers to try and grin and bear it led to Gastritis and through all of this it remained difficult to empty my bladder and bowel and to add to the list faeces would get stuck in the prolapse and then emerge without warning at anytime....... I was effectively incontinent and permanently stressed as it would only be when I went to the loo that I would find I had soiled myself. Some women manage sex with similar prolapses, I couldn't when the prolapses were hanging low and if they were a little higher, it was uncomfortable or painful and anyway pleasurable sensation was impossible. Towards the end of my 6 months of hell, I was offered a ring pessary. This made an enormous difference for a few weeks I felt me again, the pressure and pain went, I could engage in more normal activities and no longer needed to rest between activities. I wished I had been offered it months earlier. It gave me a glimpse of my pre prolapse life which I wanted back! It would be possible to have a ring pessary long term, i could have learned to insert and remove it myself or have it checked every 6 months but after 4 weeks I did decide to have surgery. The prolapses were still there, just pulled up and in the last few days I could feel that things were starting to draw down again, maybe as a consequence of the normal life I had started to enjoy. I weighed up that I was probably better able to cope with surgery and recovery at 57 rather than later in life and having had a glimpse of life with the prolapse lifted with the ring and want it back so much. I also at the moment have support in place to help with the recovery which might not be the case next year or in later years. Sue Croft's book is very good so recommend you read this. My urogynaecologist warned me similar to you that my uterus was dipping too and under the anaesthetic if required it would also need sorting. However I was offered sacropinious fixation. I had the surgery only 6 days ago, anterior and posterior repair plus sacropinious fixation (womb had gone south too, maybe why last few days pre op I felt the ring wasn't working). Too early to say if in the long term surgery was the right decision but I could not continue living my half life dominated my prolapses. I think from others tha have had similar surgery it is about 12 weeks before hopefully you feel back to normal although most activities can be resumed with care from about 6 to 8 weeks so I am looking ahead to 2018 and being able to the vivacious redhead I once was, back working, exercising, living life. Good luck with your decision and take time to decide what is right for you. Xxx

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    • Posted

      Hi Redhead1960

      you have been through so much. I hope you have a swift recovery from your operation. Thank you for sharing your experience with me it has helped me think about my own situation. X

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  • Posted

    I think that having repairs earlier the better, rather than waiting for them to be worse. But make sure you're having the surgery, especially because of the prolapses, being done by a Urogynaecologist. They have 3 more years further training in these repairs, than a Gynaecologist. 

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