Recovery time after Rectocele Surgery
I've experienced a stage 2 rectocele that I lived with for 9 years. I tried everything to manage it then chose surgery because my quality of life was suffering.
I had a very successful outcome and a big reason for that was because I was informed. I knew what questions to ask my doctor. I understood the benefit of preparing my pelvic floor for surgery. I was also very intentional with my recovery and return to exercise.
Typical recovery is 4-6 weeks with heavy lifting off-limits for at least 6 weeks. The challenge lies in the uninformed person who used to use symptoms to guide movement. Surgery can fix the symptom but doesn’t address what contributed to the problem developing in the first place.
I recommend working with a pelvic floor physio ahead of time to address faulty or non-optimal movement patterns so they are not an ongoing issue after. Returning to exercise too soon especially if the contributing factors to the prolapse have not been addressed is not recommended and can increase the chances of recurrence. Movement is recommended in the recovery to help with healing but take it slow and gradual.
Recovering from pelvic floor surgery is in many ways like postpartum recovery. The focus in the early days is rest and tissue supporting nutrition. I recommend perineal herbs to add to your sitz baths, stool softeners for the first few days, along with eating protein and foods that are easy to digest and supplements that help heal tissues like Vitamin C. Some organic cotton pads will be needed and you can even soak a few in the perineal herbs and then freeze them to place on the perineum.
Gentle movement around the house later the first week and into the second coupled with some gentle movements like pelvic tilts and bridges may feel good. Listen and feel for any signs that it is too much. Bed rest is not recommended but overexertion isn’t either.
Pre-book a post-op assessment with your physiotherapist for around 8 weeks after your surgery. They can help gauge your readiness for more intense exercise and remember to see them annually going forward.
Are you considering surgery as an option to feel like yourself again?
Surgery can be a great option for people but there is often shame associated with it. I want to take the shame away and provide you with everything you need to know so you can make an informed decision and achieve a positive outcome.
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