D.M. asks from Hillsborough, NJ on January 30, 2009
Advice on Cystocele/rectocele/uterine Prolapse Repair
My situation is this: as a result of a traumatic birth experience (forceps, monster episiotomy, big baby), I now have a grade 3 cystocele, rectocele, and uterine prolapse that is getting worse every month that goes by. I just saw a urogynecologist who recommended a surgical repair. He is recommending the abdominal surgery (like a c-section) versus the transvaginal approach. This surgery would involve a partial hysterectomy. My understanding is that the recovery is extensive and very restrictive (couldn't lift more than 5 lbs for 6 weeks). Has anyone else gone through this? How did you decide what to do? How was the recovery? Are you glad you had hte surgery?
N.H. answers from New York on February 15, 2009
D., I have seen many women pre and post prolapse repair surgeries. I am a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor issues. This is a tough surgery with lengthy recovery. There is pain and weakness post surgery involved. Some of the women I have treated postn surgery have slept on the 1st floor of their homes to avoid daily stairs. It sounds the MD is chosing abdominal surgery b/c there are several things involved here or maybe he/she is not as confident with the transvaginal approach. If you go seek a 2nd opinion I would find someone who has specialized in the transvaginal approach to see if they too think the abdominal way is better for you. My other concern is your young age and perhaps needing more repair in the future??
Have you tried any conservative treatment like Pessary, physical therapy? The physical therapy will not put things back where they belong, but can strengthen the proper muscles and make you feel better!
M.B. answers from Rochester on February 01, 2009
Good luck! sorry to hear you have to have such radical treatment; surgery is never fun! Glad to hear your children are okay after the birth(s).
One word about 5 lbs. You will be AMAZED what you cannot do. If you are overweight, you need to take this into consideration, also, and move very slowly.
But, most of all, from a friend who had to have the T.V. surgery instead of hysterectomy: 5 lbs means a CAR DOOR, or a BATHROOM DOOR at work, or ... well, a LOT of things. You will find out just how handicapped INaccessable things really are. Be very careful about your lifting, should you decide to go through with this. You CAN'T forget and lift your baby when they get hurt. Diapering will be impossible, even on the floor. A LOT of things.
I'm not trying to tell you not to get the surgery: that is your decision.
I'm just advising you make sure you know what 5 lbs really is.
A dinner plate is usually 1.5 lbs with food. To carry to the table: a pot of rice is more than 5 lbs. A lot of stuff like this - in EVERY aspect of your life. Diaper pails are out. Garbage is out. Some books are out. Many, many things people take for granted are out.
R.C. answers from New York on January 31, 2009
Sorry you are having this problem....although I have not experence this...I tend to think anyone facing surgery should go to another doctor for a second opinion...maybe even a third opinion before deciding on the surgery...and during that process gather your support group amoung family and friends for the help you will need if you decide to have it done.
Get organized, make a list of what your needs might be during the time of pre-surgery, the surgery, hospital stay and home recovery. Show the list to family and friends asking what they would be willing to take on, fit into their own time and for how long in order to help you. Mark down who's on first, who's on second so there isn't any confusion when the time comes and let them all know the date of the surgery as soon as you find out...or if you decide not to have the surgery...
Don't be hurt if several can't lend a helping hand or not sure...it just might be bad timing for them...but at least then you'll know where you stand and then can hire people where it's needed...such as a housecleaner, baby sitter for the children etc.
Good luck...sending healing hugs...
M.T. answers from New York on January 31, 2009
I'm sorry that you need to go through surgery. I would suggest going for a 2nd surgical opinion, preferably with a surgeon who is known for favoring the transvaginal approach so that you can find out if you could be a candidate for this less invasive means of surgery. Good luck
B.S. answers from Buffalo on January 31, 2009
I'm on the same boat at you actually. I'm seeing a specialist monday but my gynocologist already informed me I'd need to have all repairs done abdominally as for multiple reasons, one being there is an increased risk of damaging the bladder if it is done transvaginally. I had c-sections for both of my pregnancies and the recovery wasn't too bad, I'd love to know if I can expect a more extensive recovery than that so I'm glad you are asking questions! You definately won't be able to pick up your children for a while so make sure you have some extra help lined up. I will definately let you know if I find out anymore information this week. I hope it all works out well for you!
R.Y. answers from New York on February 01, 2009
I am not familiar with this surgery you are considering but I am still recovering from my second c-section which got badly infected. My daughter is just over a month old I I have spent 15 of the last 35 days in the hospital. All I can advise you is make sure you have enough help (maybe more than you think you need) lined up whether it is freinds, relatives or paid help. As a mom it is furstrating to see things that need to be done and not be able to do them. It is also hard for the kids (and even sometimes adults!) to understand you are there but can't do certian things. Whatever you decide, good luck.