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Bowel Disorders Message Board

Bowel Disorders Board Index

Hi Mitzee,

Good luck tomorrow. I hope you will join our ongoing discussions when you are up to it following your surgery. Your activities will surely not be your "usual routine" in the first week or 2 after surgery. You may be able to slowly manage the stairs, but driving at day 7 does seem too optimistic. I know you are out of time to prepare for this recovery, but finding some alternatives to driving and arranging some support for yourself for the first few weeks would be my top priorities at this point. As for the immediate post op period, sitz baths, pain killers, lots and lots of gauze, a small hand held mirror, a soft squeeze bottle for gently cleaning. A hand held shower head is a good thing to use. Plus, reading materials, plenty of your favorite beverages and easily digestible foods and soups. It might be handy to have on hand both Immodium and Milk of Mag, just in case you have diarrhea or constipation. Did your dr say how long you would be on a liquid diet? In addition to what you are having done, I also had perinealplasty. Will that be a part of your surgery? If not (and I have no idea if these procedures are inherently linked or can be done separately), perhaps your recovery will be a bit speedier than some of ours. It does sound as if you should anticipate more down time than your dr is telling you. Just to give you perspective, at day 7, I was still in the hospital. I could barely walk, let alone drive. When I got home (I spent 8 nights total in the hospital), I went straight to bed and basically stayed there for the next 2 weeks. I wish you the best and hope your recovery is an easy one.

Hello all,

Zearl, welcome to the discussion. This board is very supportive, and we all benefit from hearing each others' stories.

Kathleen, well, I am so very envious of you! That's terrific that you feel so great. I, too, am a healthy 40 year old whose only health issue is this incontince related to childbirth trauma. However, in addition to the sphincteroplasty, I had the perinealplasty and levatorplasty. My recovery has not been so speedy nor smooth as yours.

I am 8 weeks post op. For the past 2-3 weeks, I have been experiencing leaking after bm's just as I did before the surgery. I have have a couple of non-leaking days earlier this week, but then back to the nightmare. Has anyone's dr ever discussed the possibility of the repair coming undone during the recovery? I am just guessing as to what could be causing this?? Of course, I do NOT want this to be the case, but I am desperately trying to understand what is happening. I'm back to the dr in a few days. Hopefully we will have some answers.

Kelley, how are you? Diarrhea under control?

Take care everyone,
Hi everyone,

First of all--what an idiot I am--I posted a huge long post to everyone the other day--took about 30 mins to write it all with some great info and forgot to click post before closing out and lost it all!! I was so mad, and I feel bad because everyone seems to be more down than before. Cheer up. I know how hard this is for everyone. I cried almost every day before surgery, and had major ups and downs through the whole process. I wouldn't leak one day, and instead I would convince myself that I was ok and didn't need the surgery. The next day I would leak horrible and just cry and feel sorry for myself. I think that having this surgery was the best thing I could have done for myself. I went into the surgery knowing full well that I might not have a 100% improvement, but finally convinced myself that if I just continued on the way I was, that there would surely not be any improvement. I know this is scary, but we all deserve to live normal lives free from this horrible problem. All I can do is provide a little bit of hope for you all that you can get better. I know that everyone has not had the same success as I have, but you need to be as positive as you can and be prepared for the worst, and hope for the absolute best. This is how I went into surgery. I knew I was trying to fix the problem the best that I could, and I prayed a lot that things would go well. For me, I have a completely normal life now. No leaking or smearing, or incomplete evacuation at all. I am however having major issues with other parts of my health and I feel the same desperation as you all in that area of my life. I was at the hospital yesterday all day having tests done and am now on 5 different medications to help with major pain that I have from an auto-immune connective tissue disease. I too get down all the time about my health on my bad days, and feel great on my good days and try to convince myself that I don't have a chronic disease. It is a very normal coping mechanism. What you need is the support to lift you back up. When I was going through all of this Decav, I also had an 18 month old son who would cry at the bottom of the stairs..."MOMMA" for me when I was on bed-rest. I know how you feel. I couldn't pick him up for 5 weeks, but did a lot of snuggling in bed and reading books with him, and playing dinosaurs. I actually think I spent more time with all my kids because they thought it was fun to have movie night in mommas bed, and breakfast, lunch and dinner in bed with mommy! It is hard, but you will be better soon.

As far as the urgency goes, Yu will have that for a while, but it does get better, and now 4 months post op, I can hold all urges without any difficulty. I too sometimes have some problems even at my stage. I forgot to take my fiber for 3 days because I was out of my routine and I had a 3 hour (no kidding) experience on the toilet with constipation the other day. It was awful. I made myself bleed again, and it is a constant reminder that my life has changed and includes fiber on a daily basis. For those of you who are experiencing some leaking, szsv, I think that eliminating the miralax is a good idea--That is what I wrote in my earlier deleted post. I think you are doing fiber overload and may see some improvement after experimenting with that a little. I know I felt like I had to take what the dr. told me too in the beginning, but I soon learned that my body was mine, and maybe a little tweaking here and there from the dr.s orders would be best for me. I had good success when I did that. I would not recommend taking any laxatives unless you have not had a BM or feel pressure, fullness and bloating. I would stick with regulating your diet and fiber intake as well as lots of water. Also, if you feel like you are getting in trouble with constipation or not going, Milk of magnesium is very gentle and worked for me to get things started without giving me major diarrhea. On the other hand, a 1/2 dose of immodium may be in order if the opposite is occurring.

Everyone, hang in there--Give yourselves time to heal. It is a long process with bumps in the road, little setbacks, and lots of revisions. Play around with your diets and fiber, and most of all, think positive! You had this surgery in hopes of getting better, and if you didn't go ahead with it---your daily problems probably would not have improved. I think of you all often and know how hard it is.

Lisa--:angel: praying for you

Hugs to all,
Mitzee, My incision began opening around day 10, post op and continued along almost the entire incision line. Mine healed a little faster than Kelley’s, but there is still one very small fragile area that is not completely healed. I also had the ridge you described (right after the incision closed up again). It was very hard and I worried about that, but it has softened up a lot and is just a flat incision line now. Most of my stitches dissolved but a few had to be removed by the dr (ouch!!). Keep taking it easy. I still find that I am exhausted so much quicker than I was before the surgery. As far as the yeast, I am taking daily probiotics and eating Activia yogurt just to see if my overall condition can be improved, even though I am not aware of a particular yeast problem in the intestines. Your dr can probably give you samples. I did have to give myself 2 treatments for vaginal yeast infections. With all the antibiotics, it’s almost impossible to avoid yeast. I don’t remember how long ago your surgery was, but I know that I was passing all kinds of mucous and gooky stuff from everywhere down there for awhile, eventually it subsided…waiting and hoping for a normal life…

Suzan, I am interested in your flax seed. What was the reason you were eating them? Was it responsible for the 3-4 daily bm’s? Did you grind the seeds yourself?

Robinlake, It was 8 weeks before I picked up my 35 pound child. I am going to be doing a search for Tanalbit. What is it? Have you tried biofeedback therapy? It has not been an answer for me, but since you don’t have incontinence of stool, maybe it would be worth investigating, especially since you seem undecided about repeating the surgery Another lady, robyns, who has gone through all of this has had more success with it than I.

Lisa, I am so glad you are feeling better! There was a lot of mucous, drainage, goop of all sorts from everywhere down there. Change your gauze often. I used so much gauze! My understanding is that the sitz baths are for cleanliness and to stimulate circulation, and thus healing. I did them after every bm, and at least 4 times a day in the beginning. My diet was liberalized beginning around day 9, post op. From then, I gradually added fiber until I was eating a “high fiber” diet with 25 g fiber by around 4 weeks post op. I hope you find the right formula to prevent constipation/impaction without getting diarrhea.

Take care all, JJ
Jou Jou,

My CFS doc recommended I use ground up flax seed for my digestive problems quite a while before I had my surgery. I grind the flax seed in a coffee grinder. The doc recommended I get the flax seed from Heintzman Farms in Onoka, SD. I bought a "kit" that included the grinder. But you can get it at any health food store I found out. The last time I was in to see the doc and mentioned my gas problems (3 weeks post op), he said I should cut back on the flax seed because it can CAUSE gas!!! Go figure. The issue I was trying to address in the first place could have been causing the problem to be worse. I have since stopped using it and just using Citrucel, but plan to switch to Benefiber since Kelly says it causes less gas for her. I'm very interested in the Tanalbit and plan to look into that. I have the same social issues about walking with someone or going to yoga class, or about ANY group situation. I'm always afraid I'll have gas. It has really limited my outside the house activities.

Day before yesterday I had 2 BMs then the 3rd was diarrhea. Took an imodium and ended up constipated yesterday. After the doc exam, however, I was able to go to the bathroom. Then, today, I had 2 BMs and again the third one was diarrhea. I took another imodium, but I can't figure out what is going on. I haven't changed anything in my routine for a couple of weeks and no new meds. Has anyone else encountered routine diarrhea? I just barely made it to the bathroom. Thank goodness I was at home. My mornings seem to be occupied with going to the bathroom since the surgery. I really hope I can get down to 1 BM a day so I'm not stuck at home everyday in the morning. Also, don't want anyone coming over in the morning with this happening. I just hope the diarrhea is a very temporary thing.

Hi all, Iím so glad we can all share and help each other.

Robin, my hospital stay was 8 days. I was on a morphine drip most of the time. The last few days I had Darvocet. My rectum and vagina were packed with gauze until about day 4 (itís a bit of a blur). The foley catheter was removed the same day as the packing and then I began to get out of bed to shower and for very brief walks in the hall. I was told before hand that the stay would be about a week. At the time of discharge, I had very, very tentative bowel control. Thanks for the info about Tanalbit. I am going to give it a try.

Lisa, My dr told me at my 2 week appt that I could drive, but that was not realistic. I couldnít even sit due to the open incision. If you try to drive any time soon, make sure you are just going for a very short distance. When I began to drive around week 4, I had to sit on one cheek while keeping my weight off my bottom. It really affected my ability to look over my shoulder, and I didnít feel I was really safe or would have great reaction times. Also, the odd posture caused me to have sciatic nerve pain. I never was told to do the water irrigation until just this week. It was just recommended to help me with the leaking. I cannot imagine using an enema in those early weeks!

Suzan, thanks for the info on the flax seeds. I had bought some several weeks ago but never used them as I wasnít quite sure what to do with them. Based on your experience, I may postpone that experiment. I hope you get your diarrhea under control. I know that is so difficult.

Take care everyone, JJ
I hope someone can give me some insight. I had a baby 9 months ago and suffered a 4th degree tear. My sutures didn't heal properly and had to be taken out---ouch! Anyway, I am having a sphincteroplasty done in 2 weeks and I am very concerned/scared to have this surgery. I am not having any bowel issues now unless it's diarrhea. My biggest issue is GAS! I work as a nurse and I am constantly taking GAS X before I go to work. My preop forms are telling me to have a clear liquid diet the day before my surgery and then I am doing the Go-lytely bowel prep the day before. If someone could reply and let me know how their surgery was and how long the recovery was. I would GREATLY appreciate it. I am taking 1 month off work and I'm hoping that is enough. Also, my doctor didn't really explain the risks of the surgery. If I could get info in regards to that it would be great.
Thanks in advance.
Hi Linds77,

You will get a lot of help from this board. I did not find it until after my surgery. I am 6 weeks post-op. I had a rectocele fixed, plus perinium repair and sphinctoplasty. I am an empty nester, so I didn't have the baby issues you are talking about, but several people on the board have small children. I agree with Mitzee that 4 weeks is probably too short for recovery, especially if there are any problems, such as the wound opening, as it has for some of the members here.

I had leakage problems and difficulty controlling gas before the surgery. The doc said I had one of the worst rectoceles he had seen, so surgery was recommended. I did very little research before the surgery, blindly trusting the doc (recommended by my primary care doc).

I have been having problems with urgency and worse problems retaining gas since the surgery. (BTW read as many of the old postings as possible. You will get tons of info.) I was using Miralax, Citrucel and ground up flax seed to keep my BMs soft, but that overloaded my system and I was having difficulty making it to the bathroom. I cut back to just the Citrucel, but was having intermittant diarrhea, so day before yesterday I cut out the Citrucel and today the urgency was not as bad as it has been. The gas is a big issue for me. I cannot hold it. I'm doing Kegels 3 times a day in hopes of gaining control. I am slightly better than right after the surgery, but still not anywhere NEAR what I think is acceptable.

I was told the recovery would be 6 weeks, initially. Then after the surgery the doc said it would take about 3 mos. to fully heal. I was driving after 2 weeks, just a little, and more as time went on. You'll be pretty sore, so sitting directly down on your bottom can be a challenge. The surgery was more painful than I thought it would be, but I was completely off pain meds by about 10 days. So, the pain comes mainly right after the surgery. Sitz baths really help.

I can't help you on complications. But several of the other members can and you will find them on the old postings.

Are you confident in your surgeon? How many has he/she done? Can you talk to some of their other patients? My doc has done over 1000 of these surgeries, so I was pretty confident in his ability. I just can't get this darned gas issue resolved yet. I'm told by other members that things will probably get better with time.

Hope some of this has helped. This is a very open and caring board, so ask anything you wish to know. Someone will mostly likely have an answer for you.


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