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Old 06-17-2010, 02:01 PM   #1
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Sphincteroplasty Recovery

I had Sphincteroplasy surgery four weeks ago. Prior to the surgery I was trying to find information on what to expect and thought I would add my two cents in case it is helpful to anyone.

Day Prior - Loaded up with laxatives/antibiotics and could only have liquids. Last time I ate Sat 7pm, next time I ate Wed 7am. It is hard at first but after awhile you don't feel hungry anymore.

Day 1-3 -In the hospital. Terrible pain. They want you to get up as soon as you can including the day of surgery. Not physically possible for me. I felt like the weight of the sun in pressure and pain. Slowly but surely by day three I was able to walk to restroom but tried to sit and had to head back to the hospital bed. I wasn't able to do the Sitz baths in the hospital as recommended because I couldn't sit. I could only sit with a donut. (Which the doctor doesn't recommend, by the way.) If I sat on it just right I could use the restroom. I was really scared to leave the hospital because I was in so much pain but I used a pillow in the car and got home just fine. I laid on the couch with a pillow under me and then I was not in pain. I was so thankful to be at home!

Day 7 - HUGE day for recovery! Once I got to this day I realized I was going to be ok. I experienced a great deal of burning (for a couple of weeks) but that was really the main pain. Not much you can do about that. (It is due to the large open wound mainly I think. I wasn't prepared for that. I thought the surgery was just internal.) I did a few of the Sitz baths but mainly did the shower wand on low after every time I used the restroom and changed the pads every time. After my pain meds ran out (10 days I think) I didn't need to refill them and just used over the counter.

Week Three - Started to have increased bleeding. Very normal. The doctor called it granulation tissue which is common for tissue healing. The doctor said I was healing great!

Week Four - I am still very aware I am recovering from surgery but mostly the minor discomfort, discharge, and bleeding. I am not in pain. I can also feel the swelling from the stiches area and the open wound. I am still experiencing a few of the gas and incontenance issues I was having but I can feel that connection to those muscles now so I am hopeful for a full recovery after the swelling goes down, etc. The doctor said that I would need biofeedback after surgery to help retrain the muscle so I think that will help too. (Not looking forward to that but not going to worry about that now.)

Although it is VERY difficult leading up to and after surgery, you will get through the pain and forget about it just like you did after the painful labor that probably led to your issues in the first place.

Take Care!

 
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Old 06-18-2010, 05:54 AM   #2
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Re: Sphincteroplasty Recovery

Thank you so much for your post! I am due to have this surgery in 4 months. I am very worried and afraid. I am afraid the surgery will make things worse rather than better. I am also afraid of having to go through all the incontinence issues all over again, like after my birth.

How was it after surgery, could you hold it in at all, or was it impossible to hold in? How long did it take before you felt an improvement? Thanks!

 
Old 06-19-2010, 09:51 AM   #3
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Re: Sphincteroplasty Recovery

After a month I am still having some issues that I did before, but I think it is just going to take a little time to retrain the muscles. I went 2 1/2 years without having that connection to my muscles that I don't think I am fully using them as I could. Plus I still have swelling and the stiches which I'm sure affects the total outcome. My doctor said recovery of the area can take up to 8-12 weeks so I might have a better idea of success at that point. I have another appointment on 6/29 and I will ask when he thinks I should be able to determine success. Good luck with your surgery!

 
Old 06-21-2010, 10:32 AM   #4
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Re: Sphincteroplasty Recovery

Thank you for your reply. 4 months until my surgery seem very far away, I can't wait to have it over with. But I am also dreading it very much. I am mostly scared to get back to square one again, like I was right after birth, unable to hold it in. I hope my muscle strength will be better much faster than after birth. I will check in on you regularly to hear about your recovery. I wish you luck. I am jealous of you for being done with surgery!

 
Old 10-31-2010, 07:59 AM   #5
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Re: Sphincteroplasty Recovery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babygirl43 View Post
Thank you so much for your post! I am due to have this surgery in 4 months. I am very worried and afraid. I am afraid the surgery will make things worse rather than better. I am also afraid of having to go through all the incontinence issues all over again, like after my birth.

How was it after surgery, could you hold it in at all, or was it impossible to hold in? How long did it take before you felt an improvement? Thanks!
Hi Babygirl-- when are you scheduled for surgery? I am new to this also, with surgery scheduled this Tuesday! I am scared to death, let me tell you. I have so many mixed emotions when reading the posts here. It sure helps to read the positive inputs from others, versus the negative...but it's good to know what the possibilities are, good and bad. Tomorrow I will start a clear liquid diet, with bowel prep to begin at 6pm (Gatorade and Miralax), then Tuesday (day of surgery), I will do another bowel prep at 7am, with surgery scheduled at noon. Along with the sphincteroplasty, I will also have pernieal repair (build up of the perineal bridge), and a sling for urinary incontinence. I've been told I will have an epidural post-op for a few days for pain control, as well as a suprapubic bladder catheter for few days as well. My colorectal surgeon has told me to expect about 5 days in the hospital. I will try to be diligent on my posts here, so as to be detailed and up to date as possible. I know every little bit of info helps!

 
Old 10-31-2010, 08:05 PM   #6
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Re: Sphincteroplasty Recovery

Good luck with your surgery! I had it about five months ago and am glad it is over and I did it. I still have slight issues but not near like I was and they are a lot more predictable. The thing I have now is constipation sometimes, but once again, it is predictable so it is easily managed via laxatives. Right after surgery I was concerned I'd made a mistake but I feel a lot better about it now. My doctor wants me to continue kegel exercises...he said 80 a day...please ask your doctor about it though....they don't want you to do that right after surgery.

 
Old 11-01-2010, 04:57 AM   #7
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Re: Sphincteroplasty Recovery

Hi Everyone, I'm back! And am now too a survivor of the s-plasty

All-in-all, so far, things have gone very well. I am now 3 days post-op and came home yesterday. The surgery went well, the pain was worst the day of surgery, so I took morphine. It just made me sleep all the time. The next day I only took regular strong pain killers (tablets). They took out the catheter so I could get up and walk, it wasn't too bad being on pain killers. Now 3 days later I'm hardly in any pain and am at home, DH is taking care of the kids. There is a drainage hole in the wound to keep things from swelling under the tissue. But the whole area feels like it was ground up by a meat grinder, so I can't feel where the hole is and don't really want to touch it anyway. I'm still taking pain killers, but would survive without.

The bowel prep was really annoying, having to be 3 ft. from a bathroom for 12 hours. Luckily I made the bathroom each time, so I didn't need depends. But I would have needed them if I was further from the bathroom, it just came out! The day after surgery I still had some D from the bowel prep, as it apparently didn't empty my bowels completely. I felt slightly better muscle control post-op, but it might only be because of the swelling in the area. The D still just came out though, like a tap I have had no normal BM since the D the day after surgery, so I don't know how things are working down there yet. I'm on lactulose to keep things soft. I wonder when my first BM will come and am quite nervous for its arrival. I'm scared to find out my control is worse....

I'm surprised as to how well this has gone so far pain and healing wise, although I'm still very worried about infection of the wound or stitches coming undone. I'm by no means out of the woods, only 3 days post-op. It will take 2 weeks before the hole in the wound is closed and another 5-6 weeks for everything to be healed properly. So far, this has gone better and easier than giving birth with a 4th degree tear, I have less pain and swelling, and way better than my c-section, which was waay more painful than this.

Eam2010, good luck with your surgery tomorrow! So far (cross fingers) my surgery has gone way better than expected. You will also have additional surgery (sling), so recovery might be more difficult for you, but hopefully not too bad. I found that right after surgery was worst, the day after was much better already. I wish you luck and hope all will go really well! Keep us updated.

 
Old 11-01-2010, 04:46 PM   #8
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Re: Sphincteroplasty Recovery

Thank you for the good luck.Right now I'm at the hotel room close to the hospital enjoying the ever wonderful bowel prep. I've vomited the first glass, held down the second. I'm trying to remain optimistic, but it's hard to look in the fridge and know I have 2 more bottles of this stuff...ahh. I'm sure it will the least of my worries here in the next few days. I'm hoping too this will be the right decision. I am a bit of a skeptic now that I've read so much on these forums. If only there was assurance that the problem will not be worse, status quo even, I'd be ok having tried to do something about it. My scare is that it will create a bigger issue than before. It's a trust I guess you have to put in the skilled hands of the right surgeon. I'm glad to hear you're glad you went through with it. Thank you again for the support. Don't know when I'll back to posting, but I will update when this is all said and done.

 
Old 11-01-2010, 04:55 PM   #9
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Re: Sphincteroplasty Recovery

Babygirl-- OH thank you, thank you for your post!! It came just in time to give me the positive reinforcement I need at this very apprehensive pre-surgery eve. Yes, this bowel prep is awful! Did you have an epidural post-op? Please keep your recovery updated. I will be glad to see how it goes for you. I'm so glad it's gone so well and do hope that it continues to be a good recovery

 
Old 11-01-2010, 07:54 PM   #10
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Re: Sphincteroplasty Recovery

Yes, definitely don't let other posts scare you. It is like childbirth...you hear the good stories and the bad stories, but in the end you can only deal with the story you are given. I will be thinking positive thoughts for you! Take Care! BTW - that drinking part is horrible! You'll get through it though. :-)

 
Old 11-03-2010, 03:35 AM   #11
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Re: Sphincteroplasty Recovery

Eam2010, I hope your surgery went well and you didn't have too much pain. No, I didn't have an epidural, as the pain wasn't too bad. They didn't offer one anyway.

Here all is going well. 5 days post-op. Still uncomfortable, but that's not strange. Had my first BM 3 days post-op and it was just small little ribbony slithers (sorry for TMI). I was worried that from now on that's what my BM's will be like, which will of course take forever to get out and very annoying as I am a "be done quick" kinda girl But today I had a proper BM, a good sized one, not ribbony (as I was worried about before surgery). I was very pleased with my normal BM. It wasn't hard to get out, it came out like a normal BM. My butt was slightly sore afterwards, so hopefully no stitches were torn internally.

The only thing is I still notice a slight urge, meaning the BM still just started coming out a little bit on the way to the bathroom. But no worse than before surgery, maybe even slightly better. I was really worried I'd have to go back to scratch (ie. as I was right after my 4th degree tear), but this is not the case. It took me years to get where I was before surgery and the surgery so far has not made it worse. So I am happy with that and I am determined to do Kegels until I'm blue in the face to strengthen my muscles, but will only start until I'm healed.

Thanks to everyone for your support so far. This is the only place to come for support and where I can share this type of information. I also hope my experiences will be of help to others!

 
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:26 PM   #12
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Re: Sphincteroplasty Recovery

It sounds like you are right on track so that is good news. There is definitely a different kind of urgency post-op but as time goes on it becomes more predictable and manageable, unlike the urgency I had before which was more random. It sounds like you are staying positive and doing everything you can to keep progressing so that is great! Trust me, there were days I wasn't so positive but like anything, eventually the pain goes away, you heal, and you forget about it. :-)

 
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