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Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) Community
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Avatar universal

Rectal prolapse surgery

Hi everyone,
I am going to have robotic rectopexy surgery soon, and I was wondering if anyone else here has had. It, and if so, what to expect. Also, what should I have at home post surgery, like pads, etc?
Thanks for any help in advance.
11 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi ~ I had rectopexy (with mesh) 2 years ago...I had several other repairs and a bowel resection as well so my healing may be a bit more intense...the surgery was 6.5 hours long..it was a tough surgery, but for me well worth it...things to keep in mind...

While in the hospital if your in pain ask for more meds or a different type of pain med...no need to be a hero and tough out pain as this just makes it harder for the body to heal. So when you get home make sure to stay ahead of your pain because if it gets ahead of you it's MUCH harder to get back under control.  Don't be afraid of asking for help!

Your first bm is going to be scary and intense..mine was all blood with flecks of stool...so don't be surprised...I really struggled to get the gas moving out of my body...so walk, walk and walk some more as this will help to get the peristalsis going again...prune juice is really great for helping here too...I finally was allowed  that on day three...if I had not started passing soon they were going to do a suppository...thankfully I was taking a nap when the nurse came in to do the suppository, but I had already gotten things moving with all the walking and prune juice so no suppository needed!:)

I was so afraid I would have accidents that I had pads for my panties, pads for the bed and diapers granted I was travelling out of state so I wanted to be well prepared..I ended up not needing any of it...granted I did on occasion pass what I thought to be gas and it was not...but it was just in my undies so I cleaned up and changed...no big deal...so if I had it to do over I would have just had pads for my panties..count on things to be a bit unpredictable...you may also have stool that will only come out part way....DO NOT bear down as this will risk failure of repairs, but instead have some baby wipes and clean yourself up and it will come out next time and know it will get better with time. Make sure as long as you are on narcotics you are taking stool softeners or you will end up constipated and impacted so have stool softeners before you even have your surgery.

When you get home (I have had lots of surgeries so am well practiced) you will want to have 2 places set up for yourself...a couch area in the living room so you can watch t.v., nap, eat a bit, nap, chat with your caregiver..but you will also want to have a place set up in a bed so that if you need to escape the hustle and bustle of life you have a place to go...remember YOU only get ONE chance to heal well so make sure you take the time you need...in each area have things to keep you busy (books, t.v., computer) so you can rest, but also make sure you are taking walks...start slow like to the end of your driveway and back and then build up from there..always keeping in mind however far you go...you have to come back...;)

You will most likely be restricted to lifting only up to a gallon of milk for 6-8 weeks...so make sure you are set up to not need to lift for that time and make sure if something heavy needs to be done it is NOT YOU doing it!

Have easy made meals in the freezer so all you have to do is heat and eat...plan on not feeling like yourself for up to 3 months...as your body will have been through a trauma and is using all it's resources to heal. Also, you will begin to feel better and begin to up your activity...it is normal to feel things swell which most likely will make you think your repairs have failed, but if you are following the restrictions it's just swelling...as the sutures dissolve and your tissues have to pick up the work of the suture this will cause some swelling and/or discomfort and then lastly...as your nerves begin to wake back up you will at times get a sharp or burning pain...hurts, but it is normal...and will pass too!

As your surgery gets closer..quit reading stuff on line about it but rather put your trust in your body and your surgical team to take good care of you ... if you have done your homework then you know you have the best surgeon for your situation, so rather then read and make yourself stressed...do things that lift your spirits and put you in a good mood..being in a positive state of mind definitely makes all things surgery easier! not easy...but easier...;)

Last thing...IF in doubt ALWAYS call your DOCTOR!
Good luck and let us know how you do!

Avatar universal
are they only fixing the rectum issues or are they fixing all pop issues in one surgery? I would hate for you to end up with a poor outcome because they only fix one thing and then all the other pop's fall into that area and you continue with more problems...whatever issue found should be resolved at that  surgery even if it means more then one doctor doing the surgery! I just wondered from past posts it appears you have more then just the rectal prolapse?
Avatar universal
Thans so much for your quick response.  You do remember well...I also have an enterocele & rectecele.  When I went to the urogyn,  he said that I didn't need surgery on the other pops. He sometimes works with my surgeon.  Hope that he was correct!

Sorry that you had to go through so much.  Your info is so valuable to me.
Again, many thanks!
Avatar universal
What grades are you enterocele and rectocele?  When you say you went to a Urogyne and he said you didnt need surgery for these POPs, does this mean you are having your rectoplexy with a Urogyne or Colorectal surgeon?  
It is best to have all this done at the same time.  When are you scheduled to have your rectoplexy as I note you mention this is soon.

What reason did your Urogyne have for saying you didnt need surgery for your enterocele and rectocele and is this Urogne aware you are having a rectoplexy?
Avatar universal
Thanks for your response.  In answer to your questions:  I was not given grades for any of the pops.  The rectopexy will be done by a colo/rectal surgeon, who referred me to the urogyn, who would be doing the other part of the surgery, if needed. They usually work these types of operations together.  Guess the urogyn didn't think I needed it because I am not incontinent, and haven't had or felt any problems in that area.

It is also puzzling to me. Most of the other docs said that they would only do a colostmy. I am so sick of being sick, and not getting much help.

Hope that you are doing better.  I also know how hard "waiting" can be.
Avatar universal
ahhh yes, I forgot...I too had the entrocele...and every other pop issue one could have...I would ask him why he won't fix all pop issues at one time because he is setting you up to need more surgery and with pop this is already a risk...so they need to fix everything and then if anything else is weak and breaks down with the old weakened areas now being reinforced...it will be a simple "touch up surgery" if you need that at all..we are all different, but I don't see how pulling up one pop or prolapse and leaving the others would not leave more space for things to move into as well as future problems pretty much guaranteed...You may want to seek a couple more opinions from different urogynecologists! It's a truly challenging journey sometimes and this may be what is right for you..but I would definitely be asking more questions in regards to fixing only one issue.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your comment.  I will definitely ask my col/recal surgeon, but unfortunely, I think that he leaves the other "pops" to the other gynu surgeon. They are both supposed to be very good surgeons in this particular field.  There aren't many others that I can go to.  I have already been to others, with nothing suggested except a colostomy. The surgery is very soon. At this point, I don't know what else to do, except to leave it in the hands of God.

Thanks again for your caring and advice. It is very much appreciated.
Avatar universal
if you feel good about your decision and you have done your best research then it is definitely time to put your trust in the surgical team and know things will go well!
You will definitely feel better with your rectopexy I am sure! The rest will be managed if/when it needs to be! So it's time to rest your mind and be in the best place physically and mentally by the time your surgery day comes! So time to do things that make you happy, fill your freezer with food, set up your areas for recovering...you will do great!
thoughts and prayers for you!
Avatar universal
Thanks so much for your good wishes.  It means a lot to me.
Avatar universal
Hi ipurr2

I read with interest that apart from all your pop surgeries you have had a bowel resection. Did you have this at the same time as your pop surgery?
I too had a low anterior bowel resection 3 years ago and have now been diagnosed with grade 2 uterine prolapse. My symptoms at the time of diagnose a few months ago were urgency incontinence and slight discomfort occasionally from bulge.
Since then symptoms have become considerably worse aeven though I have been doing of religiously. I can't live like this and will be seeing my pf physio next week to discuss options. I don't like the thought of pessary ez son  guess I ifpf exercises don't relieve symptoms I will be faced do with surgery. This scares me like hell as I wonder if having. Bowel resection will effect the sucsess of a pop. Will they remove my uterus? Even though I am 54 I would rather preserve my uterus as it seems that prolapse often returns after removal.
Do you have any advice?
Avatar universal
Yes I had all my pop's, endometriosis excision, intussusception and bowel resection done  in one 6.5 hour surgery...

I would suggest you speak to a urogynecologist as physio's are not the experts on the surgical side...they can relieve muscle tightness and give you great exercises to be strong without developing hypertonia but they really can't help you on the surgical side of this journey.

You and your urogyn would discuss the need to remove the uterus or not...if you really don't want to they can do the procedure without removing the uterus it's just harder to see, but if possible it's best to keep our organs they are there for a reason...whether that be doing a job for us or as support system in our structure...best to keep them if/when at all possible...sorry I did not see this ti now...I am not in this forum too often as I am feeling pretty ok after my pop surgery...good luck! Just get into the best possible surgical hands possible to have a good outcome! Good luck!
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