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Old 10-30-2012, 10:12 AM   #1
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dl7723 HB User
Overlapping Sphincteroplasty/Fistula Optimist

I had surgery for overlapping sphincteroplasty and fistula repair on October 4, 2012. After reading some threads, I was especially nervous to have this surgery; however, now that I've experienced the repair, I am especially happy I followed through.

I am a mom to an awesome 14 month old. He was a semi-large baby with a big head. I endured a 4th degree tear. My body did not heal as it should. I thought the things I was experiencing (passing gas and BMs through my vagina, crapping myself at work, etc) were all normal after child birth. I just thought it was those awful things women never discussed. After a few embarrassing accidents at work, I decided to contact my OB/GYN. She was fabulous and immediately referred me to a colon/rectal surgeon. After having a few (I won't lie, unpleasant) tests, she was able to tell me I was a candidate for this surgery. I was happy to know I had a problem and that a repair was possible. My surgeon was extremely straight forward about the percentage of success (mine was 90% success rate), the recovery process, pain level, etc. Regardless of age, level of tear/rupture, etc. the surgery is a risk/gamble.

I am now 3 1/2 weeks post surgery. I am extremely happy with my decision and feel better and better every day. My bowels and gas no longer pass through my vagina. I have more muscle control when I feel the need to have a BM, which means I no longer crap myself. I'm anxious to see what my 6 week post-op test report. I'm sure it will confirm my feelings of complete success.

I was in the hospital for 2 days post-op. I won't lie, it was the worst pain I've even endured (and I had a pain med free child birth). The first week at home was just as crueling, but I quit taking Hydrocodine by day 3. I was fortunate to have my mom come stay with me for 2 weeks. She took care of my son, while I healed and got rest. She cleaned the house, cooked, etc. I literally only showered and went from the couch to the bed. The two weeks after that we put my son in daycare. I did not get brave enough to lift my 23lb son until the end of week 3. I was terrified of ripping open the incision. Even now, I only lift him if necessary. There is still pain if I stand or walk too long. I try to add a little more activity to my day every day. My pain level now is almost non-existent. It isn't until the end of the day that I even start to notice.

I'm fortunate to be a stay-at-home-mom and have a strong support system. My husband has been fabulous. We are huge planners so we had help lined up since May 2012 for this surgery. 4-6 weeks recovery time seems forever long, but my husband reminds me to look at the big picture. I was big on following the doctor's orders to a "T."

Four secrets I learned from this surgery/experience...
1) was to put vitamin E on the wound every day and let the wound air out for about an 1/2 hr to 1 hr a day. (I bought Vitamin E gel capsules and poked a hole in them, and used a Q-Tip to apply the oil to the wound.)
2) I also showered from the waist down after every BM to make sure I'm super clean.
3) used an antibacterial soap when I showered to ensure cleanliness. Dial makes a girly lavendar and twilight scent.
4) Maintain a positive attitude. It's easy to be negative, but try to focus on the positives.

In short...
Week 1: laid down the entire week. only showered and went from bed to couch. Pain level on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the worst was about 5.

Week 2: Started sitting up. Could only sit for about 20 min before needing to lay down the first 2 days, but by end of the week I was sitting up almost the entire day. Started driving short distances because I had severe cabin fever. Pain level on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the worst was about a 3. Easily managed with normal OTC pain meds.

Week 3: Sitting up all day, gradually increasing how much I stand and walk. (remember standing and walking is your #1 enemy in this recovery process so don't over-do it). Went for a short trip to Hallmark for holiday cards. Pain level on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the worst was about a 1.

I'm not into week 4 yet, but will begin taking care of son again full time. I trust I will experience an increase of pain mainly because I will be lifting him more and will be up and down more.

I hope others have had as much success as I have.

 
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:02 PM   #2
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Re: Overlapping Sphincteroplasty/Fistula Optimist

I'm glad you're happy with the result already!

 
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:14 AM   #3
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berts4 HB User
Re: Overlapping Sphincteroplasty/Fistula Optimist

I am facing this surgery before the end of the year if the doctor's office can fit me into the schedule. I am extremely nervous as I had a lot of work done 3 years ago and the recovery then was not very fun. Thanks for the tips.

 
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:18 PM   #4
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dl7723 HB User
Re: Overlapping Sphincteroplasty/Fistula Optimist

Best of luck to you. I wish you fast recovery.

 
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:33 PM   #5
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Re: Overlapping Sphincteroplasty/Fistula Optimist

I am scheduled for this June 12 and it was nice to hear a positive response. Your week by week was very encouraging!

 
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:11 PM   #6
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dl7723 HB User
Re: Overlapping Sphincteroplasty/Fistula Optimist

Best of luck to you. For sure have helped lined up for your little one(s). This is a time you need someone to take care of you. Listen to the doctor and the restrictions that are imposed. They're hard to follow, but worth it. It'll be a year in October since my surgery and I'm doing GREAT! I feel great! My social life is great. I'm no longer embarrassed to go places. I had a wonderful experience and wish only the best for you. Remember to stay positive. I'm not saying this surgery goes without pain, but it will go away and every day you'll feel better and better. Sending prayers and happy thoughts your way.

 
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