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Vaginal Repair of Rectocele
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wellnessmom4 posted:
Has anyone here had a vaginally repaired rectocele? If so, I would love to hear about your experience, especially questions to ask my GYN doc, things to beware of, etc. My GYN just told me last week (during my annual exam) that I have a rectocele and that she can repair it vaginally. It explains some rectal symptoms I've been having for about a year, but I would classify my symptoms as mild and wonder whether the risks of the surgery would be worth it at this time. Now that I've researched this a bit, it sounds like there are plenty of things that can wrong, and I've read numerous stories about rectal and vaginal pain (especially during intercourse) following this surgery. I do not want to trade one mildly irritating problem for a more major one, but I presume this rectocele is also not going to get better and will probably get worse as I age. Love to hear from you...
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff responded:
Dear wellnessmom4,

Hello and welcome! Your decision will be a very personal one that you may want to base on the advise of one (or more) doctors. I will be glad to share my story with some links included for further information, however I cannot tell you what the right decision for you would be.

I had a rectocele repaired vaginally about ten years ago. My primary care physician recommended a Pessary , but I felt that was a poor solution. I got a second opinion from an Ob/Gyn who recommended Surgical Repair of a Rectocele . Since mine was worsening, I did not feel I could leave things as they were, so I chose the surgery.

Since the surgery, I have zero pain during intercourse, but I do get intense cramps in the repaired area a few times a month that last 10-20 minutes. I have found that having sex actually seems to stop the cramp episodes.

I also needed every minute of those six weeks to recover fully afterwards. The hospital stay was easy for me, and I am very happy with the results. I would absolutely do it again.

I would suggest writing down any questions you may have for your doctor. Hopefully some of our other members will share their stories and experiences with you, too.

Best wishes with whatever you decide,

Byroney
 
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wellnessmom4 replied to Byroney_WebMD_Staff's response:
Thanks so much for the prompt reply. I see my Gyn doc again tomorrow and will ask more questions. If I elect to do this, it will be outpatient surgery (with 6 weeks of "take it easy"). I definitely want to ask her whether this surgery on the back wall of the vagina has the potential to affect the front side and bladder area. I'm good there so far and don't want to start trouble! I've read that placement of a catheter is often common with this surgery; I don't really understand that since she'd be working on the opposite wall of the vagina. ?? She said she would suture up the back vaginal wall to reinforce the herniated area (no mention of using mesh) and could also repair a small area at the vaginal opening that has thinned and bleeds quite easily now (probably thanks to an episiotomy repair many years ago). I'm a bit concerned that having that area sutured might make it even more easily irritated by intercourse, but she seems to think it'd be better than leaving it as-is. Don't know about that. Right now I have no pain during intercourse and definitely don't want to acquire any from this surgery. I'm also a bit afraid that once I start prolapse surgery, I head down the path of so many women who just seem to require surgery after surgery, but then, when things start to prolapse, what choice do you have (other than blaming your huge-headed babies whom you delivered vaginally)? :)
 
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff replied to wellnessmom4's response:
Dear welnessmom4,

I sure hear you about thse huge-headed babies! It sounds like you and your doctor have had a good discussion and you're carefully weighing your options.

Best wishes on whatever route you decide upon and know we'll be cheering you on,

Byroney
 
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rcmcmamam responded:
I just had a vaginal recotele repair and mid urethral sling on 2/18/11 and my recovery has been much better than I expected. I was referred to a Urologist for my stress incontinence (who performed the urehtral sling....told recovery was about 4 days and not bad) and my OB did the rectocele repair and I was told that the recovery would be 6 weeks with a minimum of 2-3 at home. Was told the first week would be the worst (that I would really be hating life....which wan't the case). I was told to expect to be in bed for the first week and loaded with pain killers and stool softener and that I would only want to be out of bed for eating and going to the bathroom. I must say, I was only in bed for about 3-4 days and the pain wasn't that bad (I did spend 1 night in the hospital, so 2 of those days were in the hospital). I stopped taking my pain pills 4 days after surgery and I have been up and around with little pain since day 4. Remember pain pills are constipating...so you will want to compensate with stool softeners and laxatives.

I would strongly recommend getting a doughnut shaped travel pillow that is comfortable, since I am still sitting on that when in a 90 degree sitting position...otherwise I am sitting on my side hips or laying down. Sitting for more than 15 minutes in one position is still uncomfortable and sneezing, coughing and laughing are also not comfortable because it causes strain in the rear and I am afraid I will blow a stitch (which is probably unlikely, but still causes me some concern...lol.

I would also make sure you have over the counter stool softeners and a few bottles magnesium citrate at home prior to surgery...maybe some pads too, I needed the pads already for the urethral sling so you may want to ask you doctor about that. I have been taking my stool sofeners regularly and when I am concerned about bowel movements I will also drink 1/2 bottle of magnesium citrate just to be extra careful. You MUST make sure your stools are very soft. I would also buy a healthy supply of cottonelle wipes...I am still using those. I also purchased some hemeroid witch hazel pads to use when I am feeling extra sensitive down there. I will lay those on top of the pad before I pull up my pants and wear them for an hour or so.

When I went in for my post op (day 5 after surgery) my OBs office said they have never seen someone come in recovering this well as far as high spirits and ease of getting around, so I don't know that everyone would be like this, but I am very pleased with my decision, so far. I almost didn't do it, but you should consider that (a) no one is getting any younger and (b) the sooner you fix it the smaller the repair. So depending on how bad yours is, it may be better to fix it sooner than later.

Those were my deciding factors. I am 37 yrs old and so far have no regrets about the procedure. Of course, I know I am only 9 days into recovery....so I will continue to post how things have gone for me.

Don't get scared of the procedure from what you read on the internet. Listen to your doctor...you never know that what you are reading is the same exact procedure you are having done.

Questions I asked pre-op (be sure to write down all your questions, so you don't forget):
What are the recovery restrictions?
Are there Lifetime restirctions?
Likelyhood of future repairs?
Could I re-herniate?
Can I go up/down stairs post-op?
How long will I be in the hospital?
What type of medication will I be on post-op?
What should I expect after the surgery in the first 6 weeks?
What should I expect after full recovery?
Do I need a doughnut to sit on?
Will he be cleanign up any other scar tissue in my vaginal area while he is in there (may as well take care of as much as possible)?

I should also mention that my doctor did not insert any mesh. He cut the muscle and sewed it back tighter to repair the rectocele.

I hope you find this post helpful. Good luck to you and write back if I can give you any other information.
 
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wellnessmom4 replied to rcmcmamam's response:
Wow - great info! Thanks, ladies, and keep that helpful stuff coming. As my gyn does this procedure, it is outpatient - in early in the morning and out early afternoon. No overnight stay. No catheter use. Plan to be off work for a week. She made this procedure sound NEARLY like a breeze and said this area typically heals up beautifully - I hope it all goes that smoothly, but I'm old enough to know that what seems like a breeze to a surgeon may not seem like a breeze to the patient. It did occur to me, as you pointed out, that if I put off having this repaired, the repairs later may be more extensive. And yes, she intends to fix another area while she's there.

Can I ask exactly what your doctor checked and/or measured pre-op in preparation for your surgery? My gyn seems to need nothing further beyond what she determined during the pelvic exam. Said if I decide to do the surgery to just call the office and tell them I'm ready to schedule it.
 
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Glock_Girl replied to rcmcmamam's response:
RC! OMG - I am scheduled to have both a rectocele repair and a urethral sling this coming MONDAY - 3/21/11 - and after reading a bunch online today (yeah, guess I should have freaked myself out online earlier, huh??) I am ready to call and cancel the damn thing! Not the sling, but the rectocele repair - you seem to be opposite of all the "horror stories"!

I am 44 yrs old, overweight - just plain no time for the gym any longer - I have one 7 yr old son (who must have done a number on my nether-regions, the little sweet peach); a business that operates 24/7/365 that I run with my husband; horses, critters in the barn, etc. I am spending this weekend PREPARING the homestead for my absence since I know I will be in no shape to do much of anything. (BTW - having sex again will be the last thing on my mind - he can just feel sorry for me for awhile; the guy is squeamish about his own rear-end, so at least I can get some sympathy. I didn't get much after childbirth!)

Since I know my husband will be itching to get me BACK TO WORK - do you - or anyone else here - have any other suggestions/comments?


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