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I had surgery for bladder prolapse a couple of years ago. I was also told that I had a bit of a rectocele and it was repaired along with my bladder prolapse. I did not know about the retrocele until I went to the urogynecologist that did my surgery and when he got to deciding on the precise procedure he told me he was going to repair the retrocele as well. During this time I talked to a few female friends and one of my friends told me that she had a rectocele several years prior and that it was repaired. Hers was due to having had 3 rather large babies. She has not had any problems since the repair and I think it has been at least 20 years ago. I found that if you really want to have a conversation with a doctor about any of these issues, seeing a urogynecologist is best. A regular gynecologist just doesn't really know enough about the procedures in order to speak to you in the level of detail that you will want in order for you to get the information that will allow you to make decisions that are best for you.

A couple of things that you might expect is that the surgery that is suggested may be with the DaVinci robot which allows for faster healing and makes the surgery less invasive. I don't know for certain, but it is likely that hysterectomy will be a part of the surgery. Why? Only because of logistical reasons if the uterus is "in the way" of the area where the repair needs to take place. If your doctor wants to use mesh for the repair do not be immediately turned off to it. The mesh they use today is not the same mesh they used that caused all the lawsuits you may have seen on TV, It is a totally different material and is used when your doctor believes that simply repairing the tissue by stitching it up will not hold for the long term. My doctor used the newer mesh and I have not had any problems. I was hesitant at first but once I realized that my tissue was not going to hold without it and that I would likely end up having to go through the surgery again, I decided the mesh was the best procedure for my case.

I also understand from talking with people who have had rectocele repair that sometimes urologists and/or colorectal surgeons may be involved as well as urogynecological specialists. I do recall my surgeon who was a urogynecologist asking me if I had any problems with fecal elimination or any fecal incontinence. I did not have either but really did not know I had a rectocele until I went in to talk about surgery for my bladder prolapse.

Any procedure you will have will be done as an inpatient procedure and you will be in the hospital for at least one night. I live alone and requested to stay an additional night so I was there two nights. My advice is to stay as long as you possibly can because you will probably have a catheter and having your first BM after the surgery may or may not be painful or uncomfortable. But either way it is an important milestone for your recovery and you may want help available until you have it.

I wish you the best of luck. Do not be embarrassed at all. While it is not a conversation that is easy to have, I have found that it is increasingly common and if you get to the right specialist they will be able to discuss it with you thoroughly. What is more, they should have the ability to do so in a way that puts you at ease and invites your questions.

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Replies to "@flind I had surgery for bladder prolapse a couple of years ago. I was also told..."

@flind I agree wholeheartedly with @baxtersmom that your best bet is a urogynecologist. My regular gynecologist actually referred me to a urologist rather than take incontinence on himself, but I chose to go with a urogynecologist. Since there is only one here in NH and she was booked quite a way out I went to one in MA who is on the staff at Mass General. I also had large babies — 9 pounds 2 ounces and 9 pounds 4 ounces, so that may have been the cause for me also.
Your issue is more complex than urinary complex so I would definitely go to a urogynecologist, but I wonder if this is something that proctologists treat also. I never pursued that route.

Thank you for sharing your experience and for all the great information re doctors and surgical procedure! It is reassuring to know I'm not alone. And good to know others ARE talking about rectocele – I need to change the title of this thread 🙂