July 29, 2008,
B.P. asks from Arlington, TX on July 04, 2008
What Should I Expect from "Bladder Sling" Outpatient Surgery?
I am having outpatient bladder sling surger this week. The way my doctor described it soulnds very minimally invasive and like it's no big deal. All of my friends and family, however, are making a much bigger deal of this. They are saying I won't be able to drive for a month and I won't be able to lift anything over 5 pounds for 6 months. I'm supposed to help with a baby shower late in July and my friends are now saying I will be no help at all and will need to stay still the whole time. What is going on? My doctor said the surgery takes less than an hour and I will have 2 small scars. He says he does many of these every year and I should plan to be down for a few days. I'm now very confused and wondering who is telling me the truth? Have my friends misunderstood what I'm having done? Does my doctor not understand the complexities of the after-care for this surgery? I wasn't nervous, but I am now. Please give me your advice if you've had this surgery. Thanks!
So What Happened?™
I had the bladder sling surgery yesterday. At the same time, they did laporascopic exploratory surgery to find out if it was my last remaining ovary causing a major amount of pain during intercourse. We were pretty sure it was and it would have to come out. I was nervous about starting Hormone Replacement Therapy at age 43, but had agreed to do what was necessary to stop the pain.
The bladder sling surgery has been almost nothing. I have two tiny sets of stitches and almost no pain at all there. I was in recovery for 6 hours because I could not urinate on my own. Finally, I was able to do it and was released yesterday afternoon. I have had no problem at all with urination since.
The exploratory surgery found that it was not my ovary causing the pain at all. I had old scar tissue from a previous surgery that had attached fat to my bowels, causing a great amount of pain occasional during normal vaginal intercourse and sometimes just doing nothing, like sitting. They "clipped" it and fixed the problem. That part of the surgery was done through my belly button and it is very sore. My belly is quite swollen and all of the internal organs in that area feel like they've been bounced around. I have taken about 3 pain pills in the last 24 hours for the pain, and I can tell I'm going to be fine.
I am allowed to drive, and did today. I went and got a prescription filled and got some lunch. The hardest part is getting in and out of the truck. It's going to be hard to remember not to lift stuff eventually, but for now, I'm taking it very easy. My husband seems to think I'm a little cranky, but hey I figure he would be, too, if they had been cutting inside of his private areas yesterday. I'm just achey, but I'll be fine. Thanks for all the great feedback from all the mamas out there. You guys rock!!!
K.G. answers from Dallas on July 05, 2008
Had it done a year and half ago only problem didn't have it done 10 years earlier. Don't lift heavy items for a couple of weeks and take it easy for the first week. My Dr didn't want me to drive for ten days but that was mostly because I drive a standard. Go for it-didn't need anything but tyleno for the first few days.
S.S. answers from Dallas on July 06, 2008
I had the surgery in November. After the catheter was removed I went home, but the problem was that I wasn't able to pee. things were too swollen inside. They put the catheter back in for a few days & all was well. MAKE SURE YOU ARE WELL ABLE TO PEE (A FEW TIMES) BEFORE LEAVING THE HOSPITAL. Other than that i was fine, driving & going about the buiseness of daily life. Get back in touch w/me if you need more information or want to discuss this further.
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M.H. answers from Dallas on July 05, 2008
sounds to me like your friends and family are confusing conventional abdominal surgery with outpatient laproscopic (sp?) surgery. Your doctor is probably telling you the truth. He is telling you about the downtime and information regarding the laproscopic procedure and your loved ones are thinking you are having full blown abdominal surgery.
The after effects they are worried about are from the healing time and recovery from having your abdomen opened up and closed back up, which is probably how they used to do this type of surgery. But if he is doing it laproscopically, there is no need to open you up, there are only a couple of small incisions and you will recover much more quickly from those small incisions and the procedure than you would from the older surgery method.
I wouldn't worry, they are misunderstanding.
Although I will warn you. Sometimes there are complications that require them to go in abdominally. if that happens, you will be down and out like your family says, but its unlikely, as they've gotten so much better with these procedures over the years.
C.J. answers from Dallas on July 04, 2008
My mom just had this done last summer and it was sort of a bigger deal than we all thought it would be. She had a very hard time doing anything for a couple of weeks. She is very active so did not follow doctors orders and that probably made it worse. She also had an allergic reaction to the stiching they used to hold the bladder up. She had lots of discharge which was very unusual and itching. It did finally all heal and clear up, but it took about 5 months. Hopefully your surgery will have not complications and you will be fully recovered in couple of weeks. Just remember take it easy even if you feel good don't overdue it.
L.S. answers from Dallas on July 05, 2008
I think there are a couple of reasons for all the confusion. I work in gynecological surgery at a large hospital here in Fort Worth. We have over 10 types of bladder slings. Many of them are very similar, however there are some that differ greatly. Depending on which sling is used, your recovery period could greatly change. I suggest calling your doctors office and telling them you would like a little more information on the exact procedure you are having. They will be more than happy to help you. It is a good possibility your friends are not familiar with the type of sling you will have done since every year there are more improved models released. Good luck, everything will be fine; this is a very routine procedure.
T.T. answers from Dallas on July 05, 2008
I have a good friend who had one done just a couple of weeks ago. She had it on a Wednesday and was back to work the following Monday (and she's a nurse). She got tired easier and has to watch what she lifts (nothing over 20 lbs), but other than that she is doing just fine.
I had mine done w/a hysterectomy, so I can't give you much help, but I do know that the urologist gave me the green light much earlier than my ob/gyn, so the recovery is definitely not 6 weeks!!
I think you are going to LOVE the outcome, good luck!
N.S. answers from Abilene on July 05, 2008
My mother had this surgery and it was day surgery. That evening when they released her, we went to a ball game. Now granted she sat on a pillow, but as she says "I can be unconfortable at a ball game and enjoy an activity or sit at home and be uncomfortable and miss the ball game? My nephew was playing footbal. The only difficulty she had was relearning how to pass urine again. Since the angle of her bladder was different she had to find "her angle" to go. She did limit her lifting and didn't vacuumn, but otherwise she was "good to go" She went back to work the next week. If you are careful and don't do any "heavy" lifting, you can pretty much do whatever you want to. Hope this helps.
P.T. answers from Dallas on July 05, 2008
My understanding is that the "old" way of doing it was similar to a c section incision, where you would definitely have a long recovery time. But with medical advances they have figured out how to do it with just the two small incisions and a much shorter, easier recovery! Good luck.
T.P. answers from Dallas on July 07, 2008
B., I just talked to my doctor about this surgery last week. I have heard many people say it isn't worth it because it doesn't last. She told me that it is true, the surgery doesn't last the rest of my life but there are several reasons. First, as people age, their organs get thinner and looser and it is hard to "attach" something to something that is already sagging. Second, she told me that most people do not understand that from now on, they will never be able to lift over 15 pounds without it effecting the repair. She told me that unless the problem is effecting my life that I might want to wait until I get through the "lifting my grandbabies" stage. (I am a very hands on Nanna!) She told me it was inevitable that I would have to have the surgery. My mother and aunts have had the surgery at least twice and they think the younger I am when I have it, the more successful it will be. They encourage me to have the surgery now. I would be interested in receiving the feedback you receive. I will send you my email address in a private message. God Bless You.