I am only two weeks post op of my FOURTH sphincteroplasty repair. All four times I have had 'something' happen to 'burst' my repair. First repair was from birthing a 10 lb 24inch long baby and my husband was sent on assignment with the military so I had no choice but to forgo my restrictions and take care of the baby and everything else that had to be done. The second repair we had a hurricane hit four days after my repair and I was told I could not evacuate unless I was able to walk around every 20 minutes. So we rode the storm out and lost electricity and water because we were on well water. I was unable to do the sitz baths etc. and my sutures ended up bursting from swelling etc. The third attempt was great until coming back from my one week follow up appointment a car wrecked on the interstate and flipped over right beside my car and ejected the occupants. I got out to help and ended up having to squat down and ruptured the repair again. Now, two years later I am recovering again....this time my wound opened up and now I have a gapping hole. My doctor assured me this is quite normal and until I found this web site I didn't believe him. It is assuring to hear others have had the same thing happen and still had good results. Then I came across your post and feel so disheartened to hear your story. First of all, I think you must have an exceptional husband to be so understanding through this. Mine LEFT ME. I actually had just given up hope and had decided to just give up and ban intercourse from my life. Even though I am still in recovery I can tell that this surgery is much more of a success than any of the others. I have only 'soiled' myself once in the last two weeks and for the first time in YEARS I found myself able to HOLD OFF GOING to the bathroom. I was in such pain that I said NO WAY! Not going to happen right now...I even walked around the bedroom saying No..No...I can't do this...no no I can't do this it hurts too much...afraid I was going to blow this surgery. Well, in the midst of it all I realized HEY! I had a CHOICE! It did not come out on it's own that was the 'usual' for my life the past four years. I had a CHOICE. Which brings me to...PLEASE DO NOT GIVE UP! If your surgery was not successful please go BACK and demand it be redone...or find another competent surgeon! My plan was to file for disability if this surgery did not work and just give up on the 'joys' of life. I have to tell you that I am a nurse although have not practiced in years. Since my husband left me I have been living off alimony and child-support....no where near my normal standard of living. I had to take money out of my IRA account in order to pay for this surgery...and am looking at it as an 'investment' into my future because I WANT to go back to work and support myself and my kids! Again, do not give up...try again if you have to!
Last edited by moderator2; 08-21-2010 at 08:58 AM.
Reason: to make a new thread for your topic
Just wanted to say hello and congrats on being persistant and trying again and again. I have had one sphincterplasty with complications and have resolved my problems mostly with probiotics and fiber pills. I may have another plasty in my future but my experience was so awful I have a hard time imagining having the surgery again. The Md i have now also says the chance of it having a positive result are not great. I think it's great that you have hung in there and kept at it til things improved. I do think stitches will typically pop before their removed so there can still be good result. Let us know how you're doing. Hopefully, every day will get you to a better place.
I've just read your posting and I felt that I couldnt just click out without saying well done to you for persevering through all the set backs and bad times. I am in the midst of bowel problems and have recently had an operation which was not successful. I feel that I am now destined for a life on the loo (!!) and dont think I can face more operations and procedures. So just wanted to really wish you all the best and I hope that your recovery continues well.
Sorry babygirl43 for any confusion - I didnt have a spincteroplasty but just felt that I wanted to post my best wishes to flsunshine for her positivity.
I have the STARR procedure done nearly 3 months ago due to a prolapsed rectum and obstructive defecation problems. My problems have got slightly worse since the operation but in a different kinda way. Having these bowel problems is such a difficult medical problem to talk about to people and even to write about, because it is so personal and at times graphic.
I wish you well babygirl with your operation - just wondering what your symptoms are and for how long you have suffered.
Themisses, thank you for clarifying. Is there any way to get help for your problem? I hope so.
No, these problems are not easy to deal with.
My problems are from a 4th degree tear not stitched properly after giving birth, causing a weak/incomplete muscles and trouble holding it in for a long time. This isn't a huge problem in everyday life, if there is a bathroom in the vicinity. The problem comes when I don't have a bathroom available, so I'm determined to have an operation so they can repair the damage.
Sunshine, I'm glad you didn't give up and your result is good so far!
My surgery is due in a few months and I am very very scared. I'm so scared of making it worse rather than better.
Themisses, would you mind sharing why your surgery wasn't a success? Thanks!
First of all Thanks to all of you! Babygirl43, I am not going to lie to you this is not an easy thing to go through. It is very painful. There are a few things I want to tell you about BEFORE you have your surgery. First of all, have a hand held shower sprayer installed in your shower that has a 'turnable' on and off switch so you can control the 'speed' of the water. This will become your best friend my dear. (I use mine to clean up after a bowel movement etc.) Be absolutely prepared to have someone help you out at least two weeks because you are not going to be able to lift anything over a half gallon of milk and even that I would not recommend. What I found funny was that I was told to do a min. of 5 sitz baths a day and guess what? When you fill the sitz bath it weighs more than a half gallon of milk. (someone to help you that you are not embarrassed to see you....this is when my hand held shower came in very handy)
No pushing, pulling etc. that means no grocery shopping unless someone is with you to do all the work. No cleaning...no vacuuming. Don't even be tempted even after you are feeling better. The anus is a very delicate area and even sneezing will cause it to 'bulge'. If you smoke...quit before your surgery and or even have a cold with cough...coughing is murder on the pain let me tell you! They will give you a sitz bath for home...USE IT RELIGIOUSLY and I am not kidding...it is the most healing of anything. Some people think that water or moisture is what causes sutures to tear etc....sutures even desolvable are actually made to where your body 'attacks' them as in it being a foreign object in your body. It is called 'de-hist-' and that is what my body did...desolved the sutures before the skin was 'repaired'. Water is going to be your best friend for pain! I found out this week that the opening of my incision was from THIS ...I kept asking WHY did this happen AGAIN thinking that I must have done something to cause it....when I knew in my heart that I did everything RIGHT/AS TOLD. You will need sanitary pads to get your through the first two weeks (just in case a man is reading this). They do not have to be the 'jumbo' just the thin panty liners. I also found that a hair dryer with a no heat setting was a God send after my sitz baths because after sitting for so long on the sitz I just wanted to get laid down again ASAP. Same goes for the sitz bath...I got my son to find me a low stool to put a book on so I could read during my sitz. They take 15 minutes minimum!
With all THAT said, I have to let you all know that I am down from a 'half dollar' size extra hole to a quarter. I am not needing any pain meds but have not done a darn thing but read books and watch TV in over two weeks. Wait...that was exaggeration...I am walking at night when it is cooler out and the whole neighborhood does not see me walking like I have a corn cob stuck up my butt. AND something that has come in very handy is a 'Peri-bottle" The kind they give you in the hospital after you give birth! I found that I could not BUY one anywhere so I got my doctor to order one given to me after surgery...get one before! I had to use this peri-bottle to gently spray a solution my doc prescribed when my incision opened. I hope that all this helps. OH and what ever you do DO NOT SIT ON AN INNER TUBE TYPE SEAT! First of all the docs don't recommend it and second it caused the blood to pool in that open area and therefore swell AND it pulls like heck and caused more pain. I thin foam pillow works great getting in and out of the car because it moves with you and does not pull. Ok I will shut up now. LOL Nope...one more thing Babygirl. I too was afraid of things getting worse and I even asked my doctor "what is the worst thing that can happen?" He said "That I can not help you." I can not stress enough though to go to a colon surgeon! Not an ob...make sure he/she is competent and does a lot of this surgery!!!
I just realized that I never replied to this. I did read your reply several times and have taken it all in! I am still waiting for a date for my surgery, which will hopefully be in a few weeks. I am very very nervous, but I also just want it over with. I can't wait to be home again recovering, the worst of the pain being over and being able to start the kegels to become stronger again.
Talking about the worst thing that can happen (what you wrote), for me, the worst thing that can happen is that the symptoms get worse or that the wound will get infected and stitches come undone. I'm very afraid of this.
How are you doing? Please share your progress.
Another question to you. I have read in several places that the anal opening gets a lot smaller after a sphincteroplasty, making it difficult to get the feces out, and that you get "ribbon poo". I'm a 2-minutes and I'm done type of girl and don't want to have to sit for hours Is this the case for everyone? How was this for you? Thanks so much for answering!
Sorry I haven't replied to this until now. I too heard of the 'ribbon' poo but that did not happen with me. As a matter of fact, now that the swelling (I guess) is gone. I am incontinent once again! Although, I have a problem with having loose stools every day/all day...I eat I poo. The doctor had me up my intake of fiber...and has me taking a anti-diarrhea medicine. Combine the two the GAS is awful and there is no holding it back. On top of that my wound still is not completely healed. Although, it is very small at this point. Going from the size of a half dollar to now the size of a finger tip. The perineum where the wound is very firm and like a large knot. I know that this will change but I have to say that I have been extremely depressed over the whole situation. Understand though that I have been cooped up for over six weeks...not feeling like going out and about any more than necessary because getting in and out of the car pulls on the wound and hurts. Although, I went to a cook out this past weekend for farewell to a friends son who just graduated from Marine boot-camp. Things went well until we were all sitting around and I laughed out loud....there goes the GAS. I was absolutely mortified. I had even taken 'beano' which my sister had suggested so to cut down on the gas. I was so upset that I called my doctor this past week and explained the situation with him and asked him to be prepared at my next appointment this week to know what my options were at this point. I took money out of a retirement account (early withdrawl penalties of 30%) to have this surgery...thinking that this was an investment into my FUTURE ability to go to school and WORK. Well, now I have gotten the BILLS from the hospital etc. The hospital charged me DOUBLE of what they told me the cost of the surgery was going to be. Mine you I have to pay 20% of the total. It just all makes me sick to even think of... I have prayed and prayed about this and just can not come to a conclusion as to why I am tasked with this to live with. Needless to say I am still quite a bit depressed about it but I am NOT going to give up...I don't have a CHOICE but to find a way to LIVE with this somehow! If I have to get a colostomy I will...actually I am asking around to find out if I can work and have a colostomy bag. One person is actually working on an oil rig with one after having colon-rectal cancer and has been for three years. So THAT is promising for me. My thoughts are that it will prohibit me from doing so many things but at the same time it could permit me to do what I NEED to do to get on with my life.
I hope this does not discourage you about your surgery. I am certainly not the normal case. I can say this...I would much rather have ribbon poo and have to sit and read a book a little while than go through this. Please let me know how your surgery goes and I will continue to post my progress and or options.
flsunshine, I'm so sorry to read that things are so difficult for you and that you are still incontinent after surgery. And it's sad to read that you put so much money and hope into this and it didn't work. Have you been to see the surgeon who performed the surgery? Did you have a 4th degree tear? Did they fix both muscles during surgery or only the external sphincter? What were your symptoms before, and how are they now? Is it worse or the same as before?
I now have a date for my surgery and I'm dreading it a lot!
Babygirl: Yes, my problems started after my daughter was born and I had a 4th degree tear. Actually I ripped from ear to ear...they had to put a catheter in me to sew me up THAT way and I remember sutures that felt like rope backwards and forward and bleeding rectally for four months after the fact. Although I was not incontinent at that point. My daughter is now 13 and she was a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section). My son who is 22 was born c-section. But he was huge...Lord how I wish I would have just scheduled a c-section with my daughter.
Anyway, I have to tell you that while I was on line early this morning I had the TV on and I heard "I lived my life plotting where I could find bathrooms." I sparked my attention and I listened...It was "Mystery Diagnosis" ! The woman had chronic diarrhea. JUST LIKE ME! Now I will laugh...but I truly believe it was God and his angels that had me up so late! I had missed most of the 'story' but the ending was the most important. LONG STORY short this woman had been diagnosed with IBS but none of the medications and or dietary adjustments worked....exactly like ME! You have to understand not only am I incontinent but I also have chronic diarrhea which is totally a nightmare. As long as I don't eat I am ok but as soon as I eat....look out....most of the time I can't even make it to my OWN bathroom! Anyway, I looked up her diagnosis that the doc said on the TV program and the more I read the more I cried my eyes out....I am going to my gastroenterology/surgeon appointment prepared! With the medical paper that this doctor wrote. It is called 'Habba Syndrome'! And the diarrhea is not stomach related per se' it is gall bladder related! The more I read the more I cried tears of JOY because I believe I have finally found HELP. I have lived like this for about 7 years now! It does not fix my incontinence but at least the 'explosive diarrhea' could be controlled. And I am not going to give up on my incontinence either...I will be going to the surgeon tomorrow armed with information. Please understand last night I was prepared to beg my surgeon for a colostomy! Now at least I have hope. I know that all the medications so far have not worked and if this is the KEY there is still HOPE! I will keep you all posted on my progress. As a matter of fact I will post tomorrow night to let you know what I find out at the surgeons appointment.
I can totally relate to the regret of having a vaginal birth. I was considering a planned c-section (even though it was a first birth) but decided to go natural - big mistake! But I guess there's no point in crying over spilled milk.
I'm glad you have found a potential cause for your problems! Do update, I really hope you can get help.
I have my date, and will be operated on in a little over a month. I am VERY scared for the outcome of the surgery...
Up date: It's been four days since the Doc put me on Cholestryram for the Habba Syndrome and so far so good. I have not had an 'accident' in Three Days! You have not idea how liberating this is! (Utt. I guess you CAN imagine just how liberating it IS.) Somebody PINCH ME! I feel like it is too good to be true... Mind you I still have to get to the bathroom ASAP but so far I have gotten the 'opportunity' to get there in time...before the medication it was impossible. I even went out yesterday shopping for a couple hours with my sister and we had LUNCH! It has been literally 6 years since I have been able to do that.
I have to go Tuesday for my gall bladder ultra sound and will let you know how that turns out. Although, I don't go back into the Doc until Oct 11 so I won't know the results until then.
I may still have to repeat the sphincteroplasty for the inner sphincter but to have even this much relief is wonderful. ♥
I am so glad this is working so well for you. I can't imagine not being able to go out for that amount of time for the last 6 years! I hope it continues and just gets better. I actually have a box of Questran in my cupboard. It was given as an alternative to imodium which I thought I was allergic to. (My face swelled after coming off of it each time). But I decided to just stay on imodium full time so there is no swelling. Now I'm wondering whether I should give it a try. Good luck on your next step. Congratulations on your persistance. You've been through so much. No wonder you were ready for a colostomy. Keep us posted!
I was just wondering if anyone can share some experiences with the bowel prep. I have to do the bowel prep the day before and am prepared to have to be near the toilet all day. I'm wondering if it will all leak through though, that I won't make the toilet. Please share your experiences with the bowel prep and if you made it to the bathroom or not! Should I take precautions?