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Recent rectocele repair, lots of pain, help Recent rectocele repair, lots of pain, help

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Unread 04-12-2006, 05:52 PM
Recent rectocele repair, lots of pain, help

I was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday, following Monday's rectocele repair. I was told that the discomfort would feel much like having gone through a vaginal birth. Not quite -- I wasn't expecting to have this much pain at all. I also had to be sent home with a Foley as my bladder muscles still aren't functioning on their own. My doctor wrote a prescription for pain medication for the next couple of days and I'm taking them as prescribed, but I will be in need of another prescription when I see him on Friday to remove the catheter. Is this normal? I'm worried that I'm going to see my doctor on Friday and that I'm going to still be in this amount of pain without having it relieved. Am I wrong to ask my doctor for pain relief at that time? Also, I'm taking the stool softener and don't know what's a normal expectancy for a BM following surgery. I'm feeling very full, but am terrified of straining and causing further complications or causing some kind of damage to the affected areas. Any help is appreciated.
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Unread 04-13-2006, 12:01 AM
Recent rectocele repair, lots of pain, help

Hi I had a rectocele and cystocele (A&P) repair at the same time as my TVH. I think most of the pain was attributable to the rectocele repair, as far as discomfort with sitting is concerned. A couple of things helped a lot: one was sitting on a donut pillow. I had two, one inflatable and one solid foam. I preferred the solid foam one, and sat on it everywhere I went for a good six weeks.

The other thing that helped a lot was using a bidet, or a squirt bottle full of warm water (depending on where I was), on my perineal area after using the bathroom. It relieved a lot of pain and itching there. I was also allowed to spray the area occasionally with Dermoplast spray (in fact, they gave it to me at the hospital) -- check with your DR to see if you can use it. It's a light, cooling spray containing a topical anesthetic. I've seen it at major drugstores and pharmacies as well as medical supply stores.

I also went home with a Foley for a week after my surgery, because there was so much swelling (this often happens with vaginal surgeries) that the urethra was pinched shut so urine couldn't flow on its own. Plus my bladder would spasm if I tried to urinate on my own in the hospital, and it hurt -- bad -- REAL bad as the bladder filled up and couldn't empty. I loved having the Foley - I didn't have to get up all night long to use the bathroom!

Pain medication is a bit tricky following rectocele surgery, because most of the pain meds that are prescribed after these surgeries are constipating, and that's the last thing we want. I tend to try to go very light on the narcotics after surgery and stick with the anti-inflammatories. You might ask your DR about something like Toradol, or Celebrex (or equivalent), or even prescription Motrin. I took stool softeners after every meal, which helped. Other things that helped me were drinking tons of water, taking lots of walks, drinking warm prune juice, eating bran muffins, drinking black coffee and eating ice cream. Still, it was day five post op before I had that first BM.

I'm kind of surprised you have to go back in to have your Foley removed. The nurse at the hospital showed me how to do it myself -- it was a piece of cake. Once it came out, at one week, I had to keep a log of how often I went to the bathroom. At first, I had to go about every 15-20 minutes; after a few days, I could go a couple of hours during the day and only got up once or twice a night. After a few weeks, I was totally back on a normal schedule (a few times a day, and zero to one time during the night, only because I do drink tea pretty late in the evening).

I hope this helps... good luck with your recovery!
Unread 04-13-2006, 07:44 AM
Recent rectocele repair, lots of pain, help

Hi Pinkdolphin

Gosh sweetie, I feel your pain. The posterior repair I had last month was MUCH worse than I ever expected. I thought it might feel like the episiotomy I’d had, or the tear I had. – Not even close! The surgeon said he had to do more muscle repair than what he’d expected. Anything stronger than Darvocet makees me itch like crazy, so I rarely opt for the heavier pain medicines – but I definitely needed the stronger meds this time and even then, I still hurt something awful.

I had to come home with a foley also. Like (((Surferbabe))) mentioned, it was quite easy for me to remove at home but they had me to come to the office shortly after to check my residual urine. (Where you empty your bladder on your own, then they use a catheter to drain and measure any amount still in there.) < Or sometimes they check with a bladder scan. My residual urine was right on the border of needing the foley put back in, so they let me decide which way I wanted to go with it and I opted to try without. The uro nurse told me to drink normal amounts of water while the bladder was recovering, but to increase liquids when I could- to help avoid constipation. I was also told to “double void” (empty bladder and then try to go again right away) to achieve better emptying and better chances of avoiding a urinary tract infection.

Like you, I was still in a lot of pain at this visit. I have never asked for more pain meds at any post op visit before this one, but they refilled my Rx without hesitation. The stool softener (Colace) dose they suggested was more than what’s on the bottle (they had me using the previous prescription dose) – so you might ask your doctor what his/her suggestions are for dosing and frequency. If I felt I was not getting sufficient results with the stool softeners I was told to use small amounts of Milk of Magnesia. Matter of fact – they told me to go home and take a full dose that day, to get things moving. Now that I’m not using the stronger meds the stool softener is sufficient.
The hospital gave me Dermaplast spray like (((Linda))) mentioned above, and it did help. I also used some cleansing pads after using the restroom. There are a few different types, so you might ask your doctor about those too.

Good luck at your visit. Hope you feel better soon.

Gentle s,
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Unread 04-13-2006, 07:58 AM
Recent rectocele repair, lots of pain, help

I had a lot of pain with my rectocele repair as well. Those first few days were quite a challenge to get through! I found that actually resting in bed rather than walking around helped a lot and kept the swelling down. Ice packs helped too. The nurses told me not to wait until I was hurting to take the pain medication, but instead to take it right away to stay on top of the pain.

I had to go back in to have my catheter removed after 10 days, but that may be because I'd had a punctured bladder. I probably could have done it myself, but am not sure I would have wanted to.

For the first couple weeks I was on stool softeners with a laxative, but then after that just the softeners which I take to this day.

It was four weeks before I could sit at all, but I improved rapidly after that. If you think you need more pain medication, ask for it. Good luck!
Unread 04-13-2006, 08:17 AM
Recent rectocele repair, lots of pain, help

Ice packs helped too
Oh yes! They sure did. I found one I really liked. It' the "ACE resuable cold compress - with the Soft Touch Fabric" - The soft fabric was very nice. I liked it so much I got a second one, so I could always have one cold.

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