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Thought I would start a new thread with a "Facing Surgery" theme. But first, can't express my gratitude to all those who have written in on other threads about this subject and about bowel incontinence in general. I no longer feel alone! You all know what that means so I don’t need to describe. My story:

I truly think I have always had a “weakness” in this area but that aside, it got intensely worse after 1994 vaginal delivery of my daughter. Not sure if she was Frank or Complete breech but the results are the same, butt first with all parts of her body having to be delivered as opposed to popping out as in the “normal” delivery. Pre-delivery, I pushed for over 5 hours; needless to say I was exhausted. My daughter was never in any danger so they allowed me to push and push.. She was compromised at delivery, the cord was wrapped around her neck a few times and she did need to be resuscitated after delivery. She is fine now, very happy and healthy, THANK GOD!.

My second delivery in 1997 was a breeze.

Bowel incontinence slowly became worse and worse as the years passed. I stopped counting the number of PUBLIC events (as I call them). I learned to carry a change of clothes and shoes and a few pairs of underwear and in the last two years or so, started wearing full diapers.

The straw that broke the camels back happened Christmas 2006 at the mall when I didn’t make it to the bathroom at JC Penney and made a HUGE mess of myself and the bathroom stall. Had to buy a change of clothes (stupid me was over confident and didn’t bring my change bag) and wait in line to pay and then go back into the bathroom to change. I knew at that time that I had to finally tell a Dr about my problem. But, like almost ALL on this site, I still waited. Embarrassment, humiliation, pride, whatever you call it. Silly, I had a freakin bowel movement in my pants in JC Penney, what’s more humiliating then that. Funny how our minds work!

Finally this past October 2007 I made an appointment with my Gastro Dr (I see her regularly for GERD and IBS, oh yeah, I have IBS too, JOY) and floored her when I said, “please give me a colostomy”. She was aware of my incontinence problem but as most of you, I made light of it. I told her it was better and I had better control. I don’t have a clue why I did that other then pride. Why do we do that? Is having 4 public bowel movements a year better then having 2? Additionally, I was extremely emotional as this IBS-Incontinence combo is extremely depressing.

My Gastro Dr was wonderful! She ordered all the appropriate tests (including colonoscopy) to rule out a other reasons for the “urgency” issue (IBS). Thankfully I only have IBS with incontinence. She set me up with a surgeon and I met with him last week and he set me up with an ultrasound to determine exactly how extensive the damage is. That procedure concluded that I have tissue, muscle and nerve damage. I will be having a Sphincteroplasty. Going to also have a second opinion. I am lucky that there are two practices that perform this type of surgery in the city nearest my home. The first Dr is a general surgeon specializing in this type of surgery , he does only about 3 a year though. I have no idea if that is a lot or to few. The other practice specializes in Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery. It’s a practice that sprung from a need they were discovering from women who have these issues due to trauma to the area caused by child birth and delivery. I don’t know when that appointment is yet, my Gastro Dr is setting it up. But nonetheless I am having surgery.

I am disturbed by what I am reading about the prognosis of surgery. Seems it makes things better in about 2 thirds of folk but that % decreases with time. Studies seem to indicate that it can stop working as soon as 1.5 to 2 years after surgery.

Was hoping to start a **** to test the longevity of this procedure.

Anyone who has had surgery a few years ago care to share? I am not ruling out colostomy, I think that might be in my future.

Would love to hear from others!
Hi There,

I have had the same sort of public humiliating encounters, and my heart goes out to you. I just want to lift you up a little bit. Obviously you have researched this and read the other threads. Your stooling issues cannot get much worse than they are right now...I had surgery January 18th of last year. I had an amazing colorectal surgeon with a heart of gold. I am now 100% continent. I have finally reached the stage where my bottom is farthest from my mind now. I don't think about it every day anymore. My life is so much better now. Don't give up hope. I went into the surgery knowing that it couldn't be much worse, and hoping for the best. I think the skill of your surgeon is a very important factor to consider. I tell everyone that my dr. gave me my life back. Best wishes, and I hope everything goes well. Please chime in anytime if you need help with anything. Take care,

Kelley
Thanks Kelley,

I have read a many of your posts and you most of all have helped me with this issue. I thank you sooo much! You are so brave.

I am so ecstatic for you that you are continent; it brings tears to my eyes! I soo know how much that means to you.

I have a very strong faith in God and know that my situation is in his hands so whatever the outcome, I will be OK. I know God is helping me by leading me to you and these brave and honest (mostly) women and these blogs.

One other thing I neglected to mention was the fact that I have also begun to have panic attacks whenever I find myself in a situation where the restroom is far away or there might be a line. I also had to stop car pooling. I have a 39 mile commute to work and with gas prices, it was a huge help financially but had to stop.

Now I fully understand the anatomy of panic and why people become shut ins. It’s another horrible side affect of this disorder.

My Dr said maybe I could try anti-depressants, I had to laugh, so I take anti-depressants and then not care that I am pooping in public? And worst, one of the side affects of anti-depressants is, yup, diarrhea!

Think I am going to do a search on Panic Attacks in this **** to see what comes up.

Thanks Again

Beth
Beth,

I too understand panic attacks. I had one after my surgery from taking pain medication. I took multiple things and couldn't breath, and went into a full blown panic attack. I told my husband I was dyeing, and was shaking so badly. It was very scary indeed. I had 8 nice looking fireman around my bed in about 5 mins flat! :) I am so sorry you have to go through this, but things will get better. I went into it all prepared for the worst, and praying for the best. That is all you can do. I am glad that my experience has had an effect on so many people. Before others hopped into the thread, I also felt so alone and terrified. It is comforting to have others who truly understand what you are going through. I hope you have a happy holiday, and let us know of your progress.

Kelley
YAY! I am so happy I found you! What a blessing this message board is!

I am having an overlapping sphincteroplasty in 6 weeks. I have 2 toddlers at home and just moved to a new town in which I know no one except my husband. Our family and friends are all a minimum of 2 hours away. I really want to plan this right- and be well educated.

I realize that so many of the women posting had it much worse than I do- all kinds of "plastys"- mine is [U]just the sphincteroplasty[/U], so....

Can anyone tell me:
1. how long you were hospitalized
2. how long you were on prescription pain meds
3. what to watch out for
4. what you wish they told you
5. what you think about my colon-rectal surgeon saying that some people go home the same day

I read through the hundreds of posts on other threads...SO helpful!!!! I was just sometimes unsure as to what to expect with the sphincteroplasty, because as I said, so many women had much more complicated surgeries.

(I realized after my 4th degree tear during childbirth that I didn't have to suffer alone. I found a message board on another site that discussed it, and it really helped me get through some tough times, as you all understand. )

Thank you SO MUCH for anything you share and for taking the time to be on this site!

:D--JESSICA
[QUOTE=jesscotta;3370591]YAY! I am so happy I found you! What a blessing this message board is!

I am having an overlapping sphincteroplasty in 6 weeks. I have 2 toddlers at home and just moved to a new town in which I know no one except my husband. Our family and friends are all a minimum of 2 hours away. I really want to plan this right- and be well educated.

I realize that so many of the women posting had it much worse than I do- all kinds of "plastys"- mine is [U]just the sphincteroplasty[/U], so....

Can anyone tell me:
1. how long you were hospitalized
2. how long you were on prescription pain meds
3. what to watch out for
4. what you wish they told you
5. what you think about my colon-rectal surgeon saying that some people go home the same day

I read through the hundreds of posts on other threads...SO helpful!!!! I was just sometimes unsure as to what to expect with the sphincteroplasty, because as I said, so many women had much more complicated surgeries.

(I realized after my 4th degree tear during childbirth that I didn't have to suffer alone. I found a message board on another site that discussed it, and it really helped me get through some tough times, as you all understand. )

Thank you SO MUCH for anything you share and for taking the time to be on this site!

:D--JESSICA[/QUOTE]
I feel your pain. I was so scared before the surgery because I knew no one who could relate to what I was going through. Plus I also just recently moved and have no family or friends in the area to help me with my two toddlers as well. I suffered a 4th degree laceration during my first child's birth. I later had a second c-section. My first ob told me that I was fine and could have more children naturally. Man did she lie. I lived in New Orleans during hurricane Katerina and had my boy a week before the storm. My post-op appointment was with a doctor in Pennsylvania and it was there that I first was told how bad it really was. After two years of suffering with accidents and living my life in fear I went to a colorectal surgeon and got a ear full. I had both my internal and external sphincter, also my skin was gone down there so all my pelvic floor muscles were exposed. I just had a interior and exterior sphincteroplasty, with a y-v skin advancement and the rebuilding of my perennial bridge. I also had my walls of the vagina and rectum separated. So it was very extensive. That was Wednesday. I came home Friday after a two night stay. Most of the time it's one night, but I got to stay two. My surgeon was happy I stayed more that one night. I was sent home with three prescriptions for pain and have only used one that helps slow down your digestive track, so you don't have a BM. It feels like you are sitting on a sore butt. To me it is just like after the birth of my first child. I have to stay on a low residue diet for one week than switch to a high fiber diet to make sure everything works. I'm not allowed to lift for 6 weeks and no straining either. My boys are staying with their grandparents for the next three weeks. That is when the stitches come out. I'm having a harder time dealing with that than the pain I have. You also have to stay on your side, because sitting is uncomfortable. I hope this helps you feel better about the surgery. PS sitz baths work.
Hi,

To all on this thread. I just spoke to my surgeon yesterday. He had gotten the results of my ultrasound and the situation is a tad more severe then upon his physical examination. That is why he orders ultrasounds so he will know how to proceed with regards to the surgery. I will have an Overlapping Sphincteroplasty and something he called Parks Posterior Anal Repair or something like that on February 7th.

Sphincteroplasty (both interior and exterior) to give me some % of control. The ultrasound revealed that there is less muscle tissue to work with hence the not as great prognosis but I don’t have any control now so anything is better.
• Parks procedure to help the nerve damage. Apparently the nerve damage can not be repaired (word to other Mothers out there) but this procedure can “help” the situation.

I have an appointment with him next Tuesday (Jan 22) to discuss details about the surgery but he did tell me the following”

• Expect to be in the hospital for 4 to 6 days because:
o He leaves an open wound (for lack of a better term) and packs it. He can not expect me or my husband to repack so I will stay until he feels he can remove the packing.
o I will have a catheter until I have my first bm
o I will be on clear liquids for a few days until he wants me to have a bm
• I can not drive for minimum of two weeks
• No heavy lifting (same as kwroschel)

I will know more and ask more questions on Tuesday. I also want to ask him about the prep. He originally told me that the prep is the same as for when you have a colonoscopy. I have a sever problem with that, I have no sphincter control – duh! How is that going to work? I heard that you can ask the Dr to clean you out as part of the surgery. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

I will also have an appointment the following week for all the pre-op testing, that will be most likely with my GP.

Kwroschel – Oh my gosh, what an experience you have had. You too are soo strong. I am so glad (sort of) that I will be in the hospital for a few days anyway.

I thank and praise you all for your honesty, strength and sheer kindness and willingness to share!
Restroomsearch,
I had damage from the birth of my first child in 1998. I delivered another child in 2001, naturally and it went downhill from there. I had a overlapping sphincteroplasty, levatoroplasty and perinealoplasty in September. I also had nerve damage and was told that was not repairable. I was not told about this "parks" procedure. I also had a nerve test and an altrasound before my surgery. My surgeon wouldn't even consider surgery until these tests were done, because there is no way to see the extent of damage without these tests. Before my surgery, I did the bowel prep the day before (the same thing you take before a colonoscopy) and could only eat clear liquids the day before. Just stay very close to the bathroom, it will literally run out of you. I was in the hospital for 5 days. I also had an open wound with packing. While I was in the hospital, I could not eat anything. I could not even have ice chips, they had me wet my tongue with a sponge with water! I took immodium everyday to literally shut down my bowels so I would not go. I had a catheter the entire time I was in the hospital up until they day before I left. They changed the packing once or twice a day and they tried to get to me up the next day after surgery, but I could not even walk to the door. I was sick from the anesthesia, but that got better. I had a moriphine drip for pain, which was very helpful. It was very hard, but I am soo glad I was in the hospital for that period of time. I was off of work around 12-13 weeks. I can say that the surgury was a total success. I still have pain when I have a bm, but I think that is normal and will eventually go away.
Good luck with your surgery and please keep us posted. It is a hard and long road to recovery, but well worth it in the end.
take care,
Mindy
To All,

I am two days home from the hospital from my Overlapping Sphincteroplasty and Levatoroplasty surgeries. My Dr. wanted me to stay a day or two more to have the first bowel movement but on Monday (the 11th and my daughters 11th Birthday) I begged him to let me go home. He consented. The best decision I ever made. Hospitals are not what they used to be. Really no place to rest and recuperate.

Did basically a colonoscopy prep on Wednesday the 6th and clear liquids all day.

I had surgery on Thursday Feb. 7th, it lasted 2 hours. I did very well and felt quite good in recovery except for feeling remnants of the breathing tube which thankfully was taken out before I woke up. What a yucky taste and feeling in my mouth and throat.

Nothing by mouth that first day, wasn't even supposed to have ice chips but my aids took pity and brought them to me. What angels!

From what I can tell, I have stitches in two places and two wounds left open that were packed for the first 3 days. Gauze pads were placed over the rest of my butt (not packed it) and a large bandage was placed and tapped across my butt. It went from one hip to the other. The tape was a huge problem, I got a rash that itched like crazy after the bandage was removed, you can see where the tape was placed. It is better now but a word to those of you out there facing this or any surgery, bring hydrocortisone cream and use it when the bandages are removed. I have been using it since I got home and the rash and itching is going away. But it was VERY irritating.

Questions to ask and things to be aware of:

Walking being all hooked to the IV and Foley Catheter was a trip. Make sure you ask the Nurse for a clip to wear that you attach the tube to so the tube just doesn’t hang out of you while you walk. I had to ask, don’t know why they just didn’t offer!

After I had the Metamucil (fiber) to start my system up again, I started getting cramping and pain. This was also due to the fact that the anesthesia paralyzes your colon and it was starting back up again. It scared the crap out of me. I felt as if I was having an IBS attack and thought I was going to have a bowel movement. This was on Friday day after surgery. Everything was packed down there so how the heck was I going to poop? I had a panic attack big time which made the cramping and pain worse. Finally the Dr came in (the Dr on staff) and assured me that I could poop if I wanted to as my bowel was not packed just the two wounds. My aid and Nurse took me for a walk and the cramping and pain subsided and I calmed down. Try to walk as soon as you can, you feel so much better.

Regarding the catheter, you WILL get used to the feeling in a few hours.

Was given Toradol (Ibuprophen on Steroids from what I understand) in the IV for a two days and also the PCA Pain meds, it wasn’t morphine but something that started with a D. Can’t remember.

Huge milestone was the removal of the packing stuffed into the two open wounds. One was between my vagina and rectum and the other is on the back side of my rectum. My nurse and I decided she was going to give me my Toradol, then about an hour later, give me two Percocets and then about 45 minutes later do my sitz bath then she would pull them out. I got my Toradol, got my percocets but never got the sitz bath. She got super busy and I never saw her again for the rest of her shift. She left at 3 pm and low and behold a tall, young and attractive male nurse introduced myself and said he would help me with my sitz bath and taking my packing out. I DON”T THINK SO, I thought, but I did have him help me set up the bath then shooed him out, saying I knew what I was doing, which I did as will all who have had babies vaginally.

He only worked till 9 thank goodness and another Nurse that I knew and liked said she would help. But I had already decided I was going to pull the packing out myself. So I did, slowly, bit by bit during the bath. The one in the front was short, only about 12 to 14 inches long, the one at the back had more packing, I pulled out about 2.5 feet (laid on the floor when I stood up) but started feeling sick from the stress and pain so I called the nurse and she pulled out the rest. It was only a few more inches. The pain, was like tiny pin *****s the whole time it was coming put but it was much less pain then if it was pulled out w/o the warm soothing water from the sitz bath. I felt like I gave birth, it was very stressful and emotional.

Eating solid foods after 5 days was actually hard. I felt a tad sick at first but took my time and was able to nibble 4 or 5 bits out of each item. I had boneless chicken breast, rice and green beans. The next meals were better but I still have a tiny appetite. Its all good, I could lose a few pounds.

Dr let me go home as long as I promised to call him if I did not have a bowel movement in two days, I had one the day after I got home. It was soft and easy. Cleaning up is a tad painful but I have been finishing with *****-hazel pads and that has been working great. I leave a few clean ones there if I am super sore. Quite soothing.

I wounds are oozing quite a bit so I wear a very long pad. It also gets tickly and itchy when the ooze comes out so I wipe with tissue too. This was another thing the hospital didn’t tell me about, I had to ask for the mesh pants and pads. What’s up with that?

Being home has been GREAT, but I can tell its going to be quite awhile until I get back to normal speed. I tire very easily and sleep 15-17 or so hours a day. I walk every two hours for about 10 minutes in the house even in the middle of the night if I feel the gas cramps or my back hurts.

Milestones

[LIST]
[*]Surgery Thursday Feb. 7th
[*]Nothing by mouth after surgery through Friday morning
[*]Walked late Friday morning
[*]Clear liquids Friday through Sunday morning
[*]Dr. started me on Metamucil on Friday morning
[*]Foley Catheter removed late Saturday morning (this was a huge milestone)
[*]PCA pump (Pain Control After Surgery) removed late Saturday morning
[*]Packing removed from open wounds on Saturday evening (this was huge milestone for me)
[*]Started solid foods on Sunday noon.
[*]Begged to come home on Monday morning
[*]Came home at noon on Monday (the best day ever)
[*]First bowel movement on Tuesday morning at home
[/LIST]


That’s if for now, if anything else pops up I will let you know as I recover. Please feel free to ask any other questions (for those of you facing this).

My best to all

Beth
Hi!
I just got home from my trip to have an overlapping sphincteroplasty.

I honestly could not wait to get home & post on this site- to hopefully offer some peace of mind to those of you who are anticipating surgery.

This website- the posts re: sphincteroplasty- have been SO incredibly helpful to me. I was SO scared about the surgery.

A quick summary:

I had a 4th degree tear 3 years ago. Since then, pretty gross incontinence issues and a painful fissure. The fissure has gone away, and I went in for a sphincteroplasty on Friday.

Unlike the poor other women who had other "plastys" too, mine was only a sphincteroplasty- repairing the internal & external sphincter muscles.

I expected to be in excruciating pain like I was after the birth of my son when I suffered the tear. I was scared to death of the recovery.

THE SURGERY WAS FINE AND THE PAIN IS BEARABLE!!!!!!! I had surgery 3 days ago, and I am sitting, walking, etc... Yes, it hurts, but NOTHING like the initial injury. The pain meds (Vicodin) actually help. When I had the initial injury, the pain meds didn't even put a dent in the pain.

It was an outpatient procedure. I did a bowel prep the day before (gross!). I went in at 9:30 am, got an IV (and a shot in the abdomen- blood thinner). At 12:30 I was in the OR, at 1:40 I was in the recovery room. I went home at around 8:30 when they got the pain under control.

They gave me a choice of general or spinal anesthesia. I told the anesthesiologist that I preferred the spinal because I didn't want the tube down my throat- but that I was worried about time passing slowly during the surgery if I was aware of what was going on, or for the embarrassment factor. He promised me "happy drugs that would prevent embarrassment and make me sleepy", and he held true to his promise.

I felt great coming out of surgery. WHen the spinal wore off, it really started to hurt. I didn't underplay the level of pain I had- if they asked me on a scale of one to ten and I felt it was around 6, I said 7.... I have a tendency to think I'm being a whimp and not want to complain. Boy, am I glad I was honest! The pain meds HELP!!! I went home feeling comfortable, slept until I needed more meds, and fell back to sleep when they started working again.

Best of all, I have had 2 bowel movements that I COULD CONTROL for the first time in 3 years. I have been taking stool softeners, drinking lots of water, eating healthy/lots of fiber- I started to cry after my first post-op bowel movement, because it was the first time I could control my poop in years! Best of all, I didn't feel like I was ripping apart in the process.

I'm uncomfortable after the sphincteroplasty, but the first 3 days of recovery are a walk in the park compared to the recovery after the original tear.

I hope that those of you awaiting surgery will find some comfort in that.

I'll be checking back- thanks again for being there to talk to me about this!
Jessica
As of today, I am 14 days postop from a Total vaginal hysterectomy, Anterior/Posterior repair, and Overlapping anal sphinteroplasty. I'm very shocked to find the recovery so difficult. I truly expected to be up and about by now but unfortunately, it's still a work out just to go to the bathroom. I had a couple of good days last week where I walked about a 1/2 block in front of my house and back. I even ventured downstairs and made myself a bowl of cereal, twice. Yestereday, I graced the family with my presence at the Easter dinner table for all of 15 minutes and man was that a stretch for me.

This was all the result of three traumic births each of which resulted in 4th degree lacerations. The birth weights of my kids tell the story (please see my signature line.) My last birth was 17 years ago. I was persistent with all of my regular annual exams. I usually didn't complain about anything because I just thought everything I was dealing with was "normal" for the amount of trauma I had been through. A few years ago when I really did start to explain, I was dismissed and told it was "normal". It wasn't until we moved to Virginia and I was finally sent to the UroGYN did someone finally listen to me. This was back last October. I've been under constant care of my UroGYN regularly ever since.

I had my surgery on 3/10 and came home on 3/15. I was discharged with OxyContin and Percocet, as well at 800 mg. motrin, Surfac. I removed myself from the OxyContin and Percocet because I just have an issue with pain killers when I can just "handle" the pain. A couple of times especially after a BM, I've had to take something. My doctor informed me today that I I take the pain meds, the energy that would normally be directed to the pain would be directly to healing. So, I'm going to just take the Percocet about every 8 hours or so if I do have some pain.

I have seen my doc three times since being disharged from the hospital. Twice was for the pain in the perineal area where my doc ended up removing three of the stitches. This was a major relief. However, my doc is not happy with the cosmetic result. I could care a less what it looks like as long as it works! I was seen again today for bleeding and fatigue. But I was told that the wound is very "raw" and granulating. She said that each time they would touch it with a q-tip it would bleed. So the irritation from a BM would make it much more so. I went into the hospital anemic and came home anemic. So the fatigue is normal, or so I was told.

So i guess that's my story. Beleive it or not, that's more the short version but it's been a long day.

Blessings to all,
Hi,
I am not sure if there are still people adding to this thread, the last thread I could find was at the end of March.
I recently had an overlapping sphincteroplasty and RVF repair (rectovaginal fistula) and am still home recovering 5 1/2 weeks post-op. I had the surgery March 28 and my doc told me I'd probably be ok to go back to work after 2 weeks, so I didn't realize how serious the surgery was and how long the recovery process is b/c either he wasn't honest, or he didn't think it would take so long to heal. The wound in the perineal area is still open, so sitting is difficult, and standing for long periods of time is hard, too.
Does anyone have any experience with the wound opening up, and if so, how long did it take for it to close? It's strange b/c I went for my 4-week post-op appt. last Monday and the doc told me it was my last follow-up appt. I was shocked b/c I don't feel anywhere NEAR healed, and I would think that if I have an open, draining wound that he would want to see me until it closes. I have been reading a lot on line, and it seems that the recovery from this surgery is long and difficult.
The reason I had the surgery was because I had a vaginal delivery last April (my son just turned 1) and ended up with a fistula, which is basically a hole between the vagina and rectum. I also had a torn muscle from the 3rd degree tear, hence the sphincteroplasty. They did both repairs at the same time during the surgery.
Anyway, any help or input would be helpful!:)
Hi Spring08,

Yes, the recovery can be a long road. Funny though, at my 6 week post op appointment I was concerned that one of my wounds was still open, bleeding occasionally and draining. Dr said that is normal but it looked good. Seems not to long after that the bleeding and draining stopped. I would say w/in a week or so. So hang in there, watch for an odor, icky drainage and soreness/pain. Those are signs of infection. Continue to do sitz baths too. Once in awhile I even put some triple antibiotic oinment in the area if it was irritated. I would not do that though if your wound is open more then a dime or so. My husband kinda monitored the closing process for me and he said he noticed it healing from the inside and the outside wound closed last. See if you can see that progress. If not, or if you get an infection, call you Dr. You can even speak with you own GP Dr too for advice.

Good luck and hang in there girl! The day will come soon when you won't have to show your hinny to anyone but your GYN.
Hello! I am so glad to have found this message board! Before today I really thought I was the only one out here with this problem! My story is much like others I have read here tonight. 8 years ago I had a horrible delivery with my first child. I had a 4th degree laceration through my rectal muscle my OB did nothing to repair it. I went back to him many times to discuss my problems and he blew it off as "normal childbirth related problems". So, I have lived with fecal incontinence for far too long. I had my 3rd child last April, by cesarean, and had my tubes tied at the same time. Now that I'm done having children my doctor has recommended that I have either the overlapping sphincteroplasty, or a new procedure...a sacral nerve stimulator implant. I am very confused about which to choose. It seems that most of you have had success with the sphincteroplasty...is that right? I know that the recovery will be long and hard, but I keep thinking that anything is better than having to leave my classroom and make a mad dash to the bathroom only to discover that I once again need to change my panties. Any advice would be welcome! Thanks.:confused:
Hi Restroomsearch,

Thank you for your encouragement! I am now 6-weeks post-op and still can't sit for long periods of time, and standing for too long hurts, too. I had to stop the sitz baths because they irriate my urethra. I have had terrible air bubbles coming from my urethra since the surgery. I had them occasionally after the delivery of my son, but now they are constant and I find the baths make them worse. Has anyone ever had this??
The wound is still open, but it seems to slowly be closing. the first thing I do in the morning is look in there to see if it closed, it's ridiculous! Anyway...it's a long and frustrating experience, and everyone keeps telling me to be positive, but it is so hard when it seems SO long.
Indigolliys,
I would definitely recommend having surgery; it sounds like your incontinence is really bad. I had a rectovaginal fistula along with my torn muscle, which was horrifying because I was passing gas and loose stool through the vagina. Awful! I am not familiar with the nerve procedure you mentioned, however the woman who began the "I Survivied sphinceroplasty surgery" boards had nerve damage and had a sphincteroplasty, perinealplasty and something else, and she said she was just about 100% contienent afterwards. Maybe you should go for a second opinion and see what another docotor recommends?
I totally know about running from your classroom to the restroom; I too am a teacher and have had to deal w/that in the past. I had to go home early one day because I had diarrea and had gone through my vagina and it got all in my pants and everything, it was mortifying. No one should have to go through this! I still cannot return to work b/c my wound opened up after surgery and is still open, so I can't be running to the bathroom in the middle of a lesson to change my gauze or whatever. Plus I have pain still, so I can't imagine being on my feet all day. Anyway, I have heard the sphincteroplasty surgery is very helpful, and I have felt much better in the continence department. I just hope it lasts b/c I have read that for many women it lasts for a few years then breaks down or loosens up or whatever. I am more concerned that the fistula will open back up. It has been a nightmare!
Good luck to you and please continue the conversations. It is so nice to talk to some ladies who can relate. Everyone just looks at me like I'm crazy when I tell them what I'm going through, so I don't indulge too many people w/details!

Take care.

Spring
Restroomsearch,

If you're still around, I just had a quick question. Did you have leakage after BM's? I have leakage every day after my BM. It has definitely lessened as the wound has been closing, but I am concerned I will be left with this problem for a long time. I have read that in some of the posts that for some women the leakage stops, for others it continued. What was your experience?
Hi Spring08,

Yes I did and and still do have leakage. My Dr said that is normal and very common. It was allot worse right after surgery and now, almost 3.5 months post op, it is much much better. I have high hopes that it will go away completely.
Wow, you are 3.5 months out and still having leakage? Oh boy. Do you still have to wear gauze between your cheeks and/or a pad? I wear gauze every day and it's so annoying, especially when I go out in public. All I think about is if the gauze is still in place, and sometimes I can feel it slip out and I need to run to the bathroom so I don't ruin my underwear or feel uncomfortable from the drainage.
My doctor saw me last at 4 weeks out and said it was my last appointment w/him. Does this seems strange to you? I thought it was weird so I am going to make a voluntary appt. for this week (6 1/2 wks) just to make sure everything is healing ok. The part near my rectum is nearly closed, but I have this stingy part that is still open closer to the vagina and it drives me nuts. Bllllaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I just want to be normal again! :o(
Hello everybody!

I am new here and reading about your experiences gives me some hope. I am a straight male in my 40's, not gay, and I am going through something similar. I am only passing gas but it has made my life miserable for at least two years. Three separate doctors and my wife say is all in my head, but the names I am getting in my proffesion say otherwise. I feel I have to do something about this before it gets worse. I can no longer enjoy going with my familiy to a restaurant, cinema, travel or anything that includes having people close to me. My social life no longer exists and my proffesinal life is about to go doun the toilet, since I visit every toilet in town carrying wipes and talc powder. Pretty soon I'll be changing my own diapers before 50.
Are there any other alternatives to sphincteroplasty?
How much does a sphincteroplasty cost? (Just an around figure)
For all of you out there going through any stage of incontinence, my feelings are with you.
God bless you all.
Locoman.
Hola LocoMan,

I know that not being able to control gas is humiliating and socially limiting. Personally however, I would NOT go through this type of surgery if I did not have fecal incontinence. Have any of the doctors tested your sphincter muscles to see if it lacks tone for any reason? I had a sphincteroplasty 2 weeks ago and recovery is quite difficult. The procedure was covered by my insurance (with deductibles, co-pays, and max out-of-pocket totaling about 2K) because I had fecal incontinence and blood in stools due to hemorroids.

What set off this problem 2 years ago? Have you tried to change diet in any way? I've always had gas issues even pre obstetric trauma, but it got really uncontrollable with a shoddy sphincter. Also, the increased fiber that bulked up my stools (to make incontinence better) caused me to have a lot more gas.

Good luck and take care,
Kim
It was funny that right after I sent my post I had 2 days of leakage. I am finding out it happens primarily around my period. Those pesky hormones are causing all kinds of problems with my bowels and other things. I have been meaning to discuss with my GYN. I wear a panty liner all the time now due to the leakage, just got used to it and it helps. I have to wear it up further in the back of course and its the longest one you can buy. I also carry a package of wipes because we all know that t paper does not work unless you get it fairly quickly. I hear ya about being normal again. I would make another appointment with the Dr. Mine wanted to see me in 6 months or earlier if I felt I needed to but, I am just so tired of being poked at down there. Hang in there and keep us posted on your progress.

Beth
Oh no, I'm sorry you've been having leakage. I have mine primarily after BM's and it lasts about 2-3 hours. It's not a lot, but I find it mixed in with the other drainage. It's so frustrating! Do you think it will ever go away? I asked my dr. about it today but he didn't address it. Are they keeping a secret from me or something? Is this something I will have to live with now? It's annoying b/c I never had that type of leakage pre-surgery. I had a fistula that was repaired and the dr. suggested I have the muscle repaired at the same time b/c he felt that the tone was very poor (hence the sphincteroplasty). I wasn't having really bad incontinence issues, however, so I'm wondering if I should have just had the fistula repaired and foregone the sphincter repair part, especially if I'm going to be left with stool leakage for the rest of my life! Ugh.
I know what you mean about being tired of being poked down there. It gets old! Let's hope that in a year from now we'll all be "normal" again! ;)
Indigolillys, I had a sacral nerve stimulator implanted about 3 years ago for the same problem. The surgeon told me at the time it was not being done on a regular basis and hoped for a 50% improvement. I have had more like a 90% improvement. I did not want to go through surgery, and after reading many of the posts I see that people who have had surgery, still have many problems to deal with. I would definitely recommend trying the implant first and having surgery as a last resort. The procedure is simple, and done as an outpatient.
Good luck,
Clancey
Thank You Kim71:
My Dr. says long time constipation could play a part, but I think I know how it started. I was working in an office in front of a computer for many hours a day and I hated to go to the bathroom there, it was too small and a lot of people walked by all the time. Most of the time I waited all day to go at home usually at night. Then it was really hard to go at all.
Does anybody know a different treatment besides sphincteroplasty?
Thank you all.
LocoMan123
Hey everyone,

FYI: The moderators closed the thread "I Survived Sphincteroplasty Part 6."
So I started a thread with the same title "... 7".
If you have trouble finding it, click on my username and find my previous posts.

This thread's great, too. I just hope to continue previous conversations from the other thread as well.

LocoMan, I don't know what to advise you, because those of us who had sphincteroplasties had trauma to the sphincter muscles. Maybe there is another thread or you could begin one related to gas control, etc.

take care,
Kim
Kim,

I keep reading the posts and learning more, but you great to have helped people with your experience.

It seems like the sacral stimulator would be what I do NOT need (below), but I have lost some muscles around the sphincter and I have a larger opening than necessary. Sometimes, there is a rush to go and I have had some nasty times....still, I don't think I have a choice for the longterm. As I age, I'd feel so much worse if I didn't get a little better now! I am happy my children are far past the age to be carried!

I am scared mostly. I don't want to envision the multitude of things that could happen. I try to keep the faith...I pray that things will be alright.

Any words of advice? Would you be able to tell me how one would research the experience of the doctors out there?

Do you know of any supplements besides amino acids and/or spirulina that would help speed recovery?

Thanks!
tp mom





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