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Laproscopic Ventral Retopexy

Longer post than I expected... sorry!

I'm 24, no children or pregnancies and have had bowel problems for several years... (since mid teens).

I was finally diagnosed with solitary rectal ulcer about 7 years ago and a possible rectocele about 4 years after that. .Having tried all types of laxatives, medication for IBS, changing diet and biofeedback - I still get lots of problems.

When I last saw my consultant (a rectal sugeon) he asked how things were going and my only answer for him was that it's not much better, but not much worse either. I've just come to realise this is 'me'. At this I found myself bursting into tears!

He then told me that an alternative surgery option is possible which would help BOTH these conditions. A laproscopic ventral rectopexy.

I was relieved when he told me, said yes straight away and was happy that something could be done. I then started to think that I hadn't quite asked all the questions I needed to and made an appointment to go back. I was reassured, and agreed again.

It's 3 weeks until the surgery date and I'm feeling really unsure again now. I think that the main reason for this is that I'm so used to feeling the way I do - that I've forgotten what it's like to be 'normal' (and then this makes me wonder whether surgery is going to make things go 'normal' anyway.)

The surgeon mentioned there's a small risk of nerve damage- and I think this has also got me overly worried that if anything were to go wrong I might be worse off than I am now. I know that there's risks and I'm normally fairly level headed. . but I just do not want any other problems.

Searching this surgery has only come up with negative accounts - although the surgeon couldn't recommend it highly enough. I just wanted to ask if there is anyone else who has had this done.. and for  any good or bad accounts...

It's getting so close now. The surgeon said that it is up to me if I have it, but all other treatments have been exhausted and there is nothing else on offer should this not work. I can sort of live it not working, I just don't want it getting any worse.

Any further insights and experiences would be VERY welcome. The more positive, the better!!

Thank you so much in advance.
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Avatar universal
I can understand your concerns.  Any operation is a worry and for you at your age especially.  Normally rectoplexy's are done to lift up the colon and people with intussusception have this operation as well.  I have an intuss at Grade 3 but have not had a rectoplexy and I have other prolapse issues as well.  I do know a lady who has had prolapse operations together with a rectoplexy and is very happy with the results.  Generally ladies have some form of help with womens physio and take Miralax ( laxative that is osmotic only ) which is taken life long a lot of the time in order to avoid any straining to pass BMs.  I am guessing you are having obstructive BM's and this is why you are having the operation.

Have you asked your surgeon how often they perform this operation and what success rates they have?  Are you in the USA or UK?  Is your Dr a Urogyne or Colorectal surgeon and is your rectocele going to be operated on at the same time as your rectoplexy is being done ( this can be done at the same time ).  

Are you having a lot of gas and bowel distention?  I use the FODMAP diet to reduce this and 75% of people diagnosed with IBS symptoms find this helps.  

You still have time to ask any questions you still feel need talking about with your surgeon.  You have clearly suffered and this operation may well help you.  Try to stay positive and let us know how you get on.
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Avatar universal
Thank you for getting back to me UKlady1001. I am in the UK too.

It was really good to hear that your friend has had a good experience with the operation. It has made me feel more positive.  I was told a while ago that lifelong medication would probably be the reality, I've got used to this, but I think my fear is I don't want it to get worse because of surgery...

This will be the first operation I have ever had, so I think that nerves are bound to kick in regardless.
It is a Colorectal surgeon that I am under.  I have been with him for a number of years because the op was discussed when I first went to see him.I have asked him about the success to which he's said they've all been successful. I suppose I've just got to trust him and go with it. Feeling more positive now with a ' you never know unless you try' attitide.

I will also look in to the FODMAP diet, as this is worth a try - even after surgery.

Thank you so much  for getting back to me, and I'll keep you updated. :-)
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Avatar universal
Its only natural to feel nervous about an operation and I understand your concerns.  Great news that your Colorectal surgeon has had 100% success.  Do you know how many they have done and how many a week/month they do?  

The fact that you have been under the same surgeon for many years and feel comfortable with them is a very good thing and they will know so much about you and your condition/s.  

I am so glad you are feeling more positive and with you all the best with your surgery.  Let us know how you get on.... with the FODMAPs diet as well if you use this.  Speak to your Colorectal surgeon about this and if they havent heard of it, your GP could help you by getting you a dietitian appt.  

Remember to follow all the recommendations for healing after your op if you go for it.  No lifting, lots of rest and get help and support.  No straining to go for a BM either.  I am on Laxido which I have to take every day.  It is osmotic and very helpful.  I wish I had been given this years ago as constipation has been a major factor in my prolapses and intuss etc.  How wonderful it will be for you when you can go to the toilet like everyone else and feel better.  I wish you success in your surgery should you decide to have it done.

Good luck and keep us posted
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