To repair a rectocele or not..

Posted , 7 users are following.

I am new to this forum, I joined after having a posterior vaginal repair for a rectocele on Friday just gone. I just wanted to share my experience as I feel it may help someone who may be wondering if it is worth going through the surgery. 

I am 54 years old, I have had two natural childbirths ( over 35 years ago) with no major issues. I had a vaginal hysterectomy in 2004 because of endometriosis. I have chronic asthma which causes me to cough very hard and deep putting a great strain on my 'nether regions' 

I started to notice something odd in the undercarriage a few months ago, my bladder, which had been super strong since my hysterectomy, was no longer as good as it used to be, I would also feel something 'pop' in my vagina whenever I coughed, so I started holding myself whenever a coughing fir occured. Things got worse in the bowel department too and I started to get badly constipated too, it just didn't feel right, when I strained, it felt like it was coming forward into my vagina rather than going down into the loo, if I put my fingers in, I could feel it bulging and I had to push it back to be able to actually go. I visited Dr Google.. (and cleared my search history !) and up popped rectocele! It fit my symptoms perfectly, a brief trip to my GP and an internal confirmed it. She referred my to the same Gynae who did my hysterectomy and I had my repair done on Friday, one overnight stay and home on Saturday with pain killers and strict instructions to rest as much as possible for 4 weeks, then 2 weeks of light household duties - IE: dusting, NO hoovering, standing for long periods of time etc. 

So today is Wednesday, I am sore down below, but nothing major, no worse than when I had my children and had an episiotomy, I have mild cramping in my stomach and do feel tired. I am taking paracetamol and ibuprofen which are helping with the discomfort, and lactulose. I still hold myself when coughing, that is normal, it hurts my stitches! but there is no popping sensation! And Joy of Joy... I can go to the toilet!!!! no strain! no pain, no feeling that I haven't voided completely.. I had forgotten how great it felt to have a good proper poo! I almost cried with relief.

I read so many websites about this repair and wondered if it was worth the aggravation of surgery, should I just poke up with the problem and accept it as part of my life, I know I am only on day 5 of my recovery but By God the difference is incredible already. If you are in doubt about having it done, get yourself a damn good gynae - ask for stitches, not mesh - and go for it, and be prepared to rest to recover. 

Sorry to waffle on, but I am so happy to be seeing an improvement already, just wanted to share it... back to resting now, hubby has put the kettle on again  biggrin

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  • Posted

    There is some useful information on the Genitourinary home page. Click on Pinned Post and it will give you post op advice. There are a lot of ladies on this forum who have had this surgery and it's obvious everyone heals at different rates.
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  • Posted

    Pearl I had Rectocele repair back in March (10 weeks ago) and like you noticed the difference straight away using the bathroom. I also had a recital plication which really has helped emptying my bowel.

    I am glad you are making good progress and remember it's early days. Rest and more rest for the next few weeks.

    I didn't start to drive until almost 8 weeks as I was really sore, what I hadn't realised which was causing the soreness, was that I had complications with an abscess which thankfully emergency a&e found and treated

    Back on road to recovery now swimming, walking and light housework and feeling good. (Still another 2 weeks until i can Hoover)

    Was signed off for 12 weeks but doctor has now extended it to 14 weeks off work to catch up my recovery from the complications, so this time next month I should be back to the grindstone and working can't wait!

    So keep up your recovery and try to take it easy listen to your body,

    Take care and keep us informed with your progress

    Mik x

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    • Posted

      It lovely to read a doctor willing to give a patient a sensible time off work. I was off for 13 weeks but my GP would have been happy to extend that. The longer you stay off the better chance you have of a successful recovery.
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    • Posted

      So sorry you had complications, I will keep an eye on the soreness! I am lucky enough to be retired, so resting is something I can do :-) I had a very stressful job in the city and had a TIA in 2007, my husband and I decided that it was a warning to slow down so I took early retirement after that, he retires this year and we are going to follow our dream of travelling Europe in our motorhome for a year or two, so I have no pressure on me to return to work. 
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    • Posted

      I have nothing but praise for the care and treatment I've received throughout my journey from diagnosis to the op itself and all the aftercare that I have received. The NHS are amazing! We are so very lucky.
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    • Posted

      We are luck Beetlebugmik and I like you have nothing but praise for the NHS. I know people may say I'm biased but on a personal level my family have benefited as well. Our surgery and aftercare would cost thousands of pounds if we had to pay. I'm so pleased you have done so well following your operation x
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  • Posted

    Hi Pearl174,

    So pleased that everything has gone well for you, thank you for such a positive post.

    I'm a similar age to you, I had an anterior repair & hysterectomy in 2013 & have been struggling with a rectocele since then. The thing that really worries me is bowel control post op. I know you must not get constipated but I've got a real fear of losing control of my bowel. I know it's silly but I can't get this out of my head!

    My AR may need re-doing as there is a small bulge there again. I seem to have been backward and forward to the doctors so much in the last 5 years they are starting to get fed up with me!

    I really hope you continue to improve, take it easy & let us know how you get on. 🙂

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    • Posted

      But darling what is exactly your worry? Cos I have a rectocele and I can't say I have complete control of my bowel ( the stool softener makes me run to the toilet some times 😬)... Maybe you are speaking about possible incontinence after surgery? But the gyn doesn't touch the anus in the op, right? Can you further explain it to me? Hugs my dear!!!!!
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    • Posted

      You need to talk to a Urogynaecologist about your concerns because I think you are worrying unnecessarily. Yes you'll be prescribed stool softeners and probably Lactulose or similar but you can control your bowels by altering the doseage very easily. I can't think of any reason why it should be a problem.
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    • Posted

      Hi,

      Yes it's after the surgery that I worry about. I've been told my pelvic floor is weak so I have been doing my exercises but I can't get it out of my head that I might be left incontinent! Silly I know 😕 Thanks for the hugs, much appreciated. X

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    • Posted

      It's not silly it's normal you are worried. But think that incontinence is related to sphincters, and as far as I know the only thing that the gyn does with the anus is to put his finger inside in order to see the extension of the rectocele (am I right Matron?) you can see videos in YouTube of this op. Lack of info is a source of anxiety. Why don't you ask your gyn about the impact on sphincters? That's the best and direct info you can have!! 😊🌼
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    • Posted

      I'm going to start a list of my many questions! I think all of my problems are as a result of the difficult birth of my last child (although many years ago) I was badly torn internally & externally. There are no records as apparently they are not kept so I don't know how extensive the damage was. Obviously I healed & managed ok at the time it's only now that problems are occurring. I was told that if your sphincter muscles are damaged there may be nothing you can do when they weaken later in life. I know I'm over thinking all this so I'll stop now & go to bed. Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings. X
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    • Posted

      Hi imonadoctor,

      I too suffered damage when I had my first child , they cut me just as I tore, it was a mess of lumpy stitching.

      However it did heal and never gave me any problems, that said it was many years ago.

      The first I had any real problems at posterior end wa's while I was waiting for my hysterectomy and anterior repair. I was using a pessary to hold repair up and was having difficulty going to toilet with ring in and I remember at the time mentioning to physio that I felt then that the pessary was causing a kink in the wall.

      Anyway it all seemed to sort itself or so I thought until recently when back wall of vag... did prolapse.

      I often wonder if pessary did cause that weakness in the wall!

      Phyl x☺

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    • Posted

      I don't know if a pessary would do that. I think a lot problems come to light when you reach the menopause, hormones have a lot to answer for!

      We all take our bodies for granted until something goes wrong then it takes over your life.

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    • Posted

      Your definitely right about prolapse taking over your life. I have went from 10 stone to 12 stone in just over 4 years despite regularly walking, swimming and cycling.

      Even once back at work you spend your time working or trying to recover from and never ever quite get back to normal activity you are always having to watch you don't o erdo things and are constantly restricted.

      I had been looking forward for years to helping with grandchildren, only managed to help with the first one as she was born before all this started. The 4 younger ones I can't lift to cuddle and can barely help. You can't have the same fun with them either, can't run or play tennis anything where you are running around or jumping about.

      Can swim and cycle with older granddaughter but the rest are too young for cycling as yet.

      Don't even know if I will manage back cycling this time.

      It's so hard to get some quality of life if you work a couple of days and then have to spend the next five trying to recover!

      Sorry, a bit down today. Feeling how unfair life can be.

      I look at least 10 years younger than I actually am, and although bloated cab often hide it well, I always have a great complexion as I rarely wear make-up and get lots of fresh air so I always look health. As you know prolapse and pain are not always a visable problem and therfore sometimes people expect so much more than we can cope with.

      That's me done today with my bout of feeling sorry for myself!

      Phyl x😢😢😢

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    • Posted

      I'm sure you are a fantastic grandmother Phyl 😀.

      I always feel I look 10 years older although I try & dress well, keep my hair nice etc but even so I get the "down" days too.

      Keep in touch.

      X

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    • Posted

      Thanks Hijadeonagro for your empathy. I'm not usually the type to give in to anything. I've always took this problem as it came with determination to beat it. Think the hormone change is telling me to slow down this time, and I'm not liking it at all.

      Hope all is going well for you,

      Healing hugs x💖

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    • Posted

      Yes I can tell you are a determined woman, so am I but this problem is more difficult to beat than I thought... The fight is very long way... Today feeling like if I had prolapse again and a bit pain... What a 💩 ...
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