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Bone, joint, and muscle disorders, Chronic pain, Healthy Aging, Healthy Living, Women's health issues

Posts (51)

Tue, Jun 11 7:52am · UTI Prevention in Women's Health

The surgeon that did my prolapse surgery was Dr. Tomas Antonini at Central Texas Urogynecology in Austin, Texas. He did use mesh because my prolapse was a stage 4 and given the condition of my ligaments he did not believe that just repairing the ligaments would hold and I did not want to have to do it again in a couple of years. I was very afraid of the mesh but he showed it to me and showed me how it compared to the mesh you hear about on TV involving all the lawsuits. One other thing he did was a Urodynamic study which is a test that helps to anticipate if you will be incontinent once the repair is done. That is because when the bladder hangs down as it does in prolapse it makes it difficult to urinate due to gravity (urine can't flow up) and often masks underlying issues with incontinence. He found that I would likely have some incontinence issues and so he did some adjustments to help correct that as well. The surgery I had is called a Sacrocolcopexy with Hysterectomy. It was done with the DaVinci robot and I had a few little spots on my tummy where he went in but you can't really see them now at all. My surgery was Oct. 2017. The reason they do a Hysterectomy along with the prolapse repair is because the uterus is in the way of the area that needs to be addressed during the prolapse repair. The surgery is much cleaner, with less complications, and less time, if it is done this way.

Dr. Antonini was the second Urogynecologist I went to. The first one was very high pressure and when I did not schedule surgery on my first visit, he had his office continue to call me to try to "get me on his surgery schedule". I just did not feel good about the pressure even though he had a good reputation. Dr. Antonini was very patient. His wife is a gynecologist and he shares his office with her. I think he probably gets a woman's perspective on things whether he wants it or not. I found him very kind and comforting. He even let me stay in the hospital two nights because I told him I lived alone which I appreciated. I did come home with a catheter and you keep it for a week, but it was a small price to pay to get things taken care of properly. His office staff had some turnover not long after my surgery, which I think was for the best, because the only even slightly negative issue I had was with a few people on his staff who are now no longer there. I would highly recommend him. Please let me know if you have any additional questions as I know it is a bit of an intimidating process but I am so glad I did it. I suffered way too long with the prolapse.

Sat, Jun 8 8:32am · UTI Prevention in Women's Health

So sorry you keep getting these. I had only had one in my whole life prior to when I started getting them repeatedly a few years back. Doctor said chances are it never really went away with the antibiotics they were giving me. So we tried a couple different ones and it still kept coming back. Finally they put me on a low dose of some antibiotic which I unfortunately do not remember the name of, and I was on it for about 3 months as I recall. Finally it went away and did not come back. I was having blood in my urine as well. Has the doctor used a cystoscope to check out your bladder? This can rule out any serious issues. Sometimes if you do not empty your bladder entirely, this can lead to UTI's. A cystoscopy can tell this and look for other abnormalities as well. My doctor also recommended a probiotic specifically for the urinary tract. I believe it was made by Garden of Life. I took it every day for quite a while. I believe my UTI was aggravated by the fact that I had a prolapsed bladder (where the bladder drops down due to weakness in the ligaments that hold it up). I have had it repaired since. Also, if you are not seeing a urologist, I strongly suggest that you do. Sounds like you need someone with expertise beyond the primary care doctor. I know this can be very annoying and even painful if it goes on for a long time. I hope you can find some relief. Perhaps there are others here who can offer up other suggestions for you. But definitely don't just stick with one antibiotic because it may not work for you and see a urologist for some specialized expertise.
Best to you.

Fri, Apr 26 8:01pm · bacterial vaginosis (BV) in Women's Health

I was diagnosed with BV several years ago and it would not go away. First we tried switching to a different antibiotic but that did not work. Then I was put on a very low dose antibiotic for a very long time (I do not remember what it was and unfortunately don't remember how long I was on it but I think it was 3 months). It finally went away. I know that seems like a terribly long time to be on antibiotics but it was a very low dose. I will try to see if I can find what it was in my records but not sure I will be able to as it was a long time ago. Just thought I would mention this because sometimes they pick a broad spectrum antibiotic which may not be best to target what you have. If you have been repeatedly put on the same antibiotic you might ask your doctor about changing it up.

I am so sorry you have to deal with this and I recall how frustrated I was. It was actually my urologist who suggested the low dose antibiotic as I recall. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.

Wed, Apr 10 8:02am · Want to discuss prolapse bladder or any kind of prolapse in Women's Health

First of all I hope you will not be overly anxiety ridden by the blood. Blood in the bowl always looks like more blood than it is because it is usually combined with water and/or urine. Did your doctor put you on aspirin or ibuprophen after the surgery? Sometimes doctors do this to prevent blood clots but if you have extensive bleeding it could be that are having the opposite effect. Are you straining at all during urination or bowl movements? If you are this could cause bleeding after this type of surgery. How many days were you in the hospital following your procedure? I have read different lengths of time after this surgery but wondered if this bleeding was occurring while you were there? I did not have this particular surgery so I am not familiar with the post-op time period for it. But did your doctor or PA tell you how long this should last. I might be inclined to call them one more time and ask them this. If you are still having symptoms beyond the time they say you should, I would let them know or call them and tell them you feel you need to go to the ER for evaluation. You don't want to become anemic and this is a possibility with excessive bleeding. You should not be lifting anything heavy or overdoing it at all. You should be walking around your house periodically to avoid clotting. You are your own advocate here and so if you think this is not right then you should take yourself to the ER. Do you have someone who can be with you or look in on you? I would call them if you do and have them maybe come and spend some time with you to take your mind off of your symptoms. And perhaps they can assist you and/or help you go to the ER if you feel it is necessary.

If anyone reads this and has any direct experience with COLPOCLEISIS please respond to @ggm43 and let her know your experience Keep in mind though everyone is different and particularly if you feel light headed or dizzy or shortness of breath at all you need to go to the ER. I would not be alarmed by the bleeding perse but if it persists longer than they say it should, I would get myself to the ER or at least a minor ER facility where you can be seen.

Sorry you are having this experience but the worst is clearly behind you and you will recover from this. And then you will be very valuable as a resource for someone else experiencing this type of procedure. Keep us posted on your progress. I have been thinking about you since I knew your procedure was this month. Don't worry just keep in touch with your doctor and don't let them make you feel bad for calling. They are supposed to take care of you. I will keep you in my thoughts.

Mon, Apr 1 12:12am · Chronic Pain members - Welcome, please introduce yourself in Chronic Pain

@katie215, So sorry that you are having such severe pain. But I write to encourage you to do exactly what you are doing by seeking answers in such places as this. You will find many sympathetic people who will share their stories and their experiences and perhaps you will find some answers. I will briefly tell you my story which is very similar to yours. Recently I began a new pain medication called belbuca which I will tell you about. I can sympathize with you as I have had stenosis at L5S1, L3L4 and L4L5 on both sides along with severe disc degeneration bilaterally and with some of the other things you mention. I have suffered for more than 10 years and had been taking 6 Norco a day until fairly recently which barely made a dent in my pain. I started having severe burning/nerve pain down both of my thighs and after a new MRI was told I was having some stenosis on the right side now along with a cyst at S3S4 on the right side. About 15 years ago we discovered a fairly significant scoliosis and therefore surgery would be life altering and I elected against it. I began to think there was nothing left to try until recently.

Recently my pain doctor suggested I try belbuca. I was very skeptical but am glad I gave it a try. It is a small square sticky patch that you place inside your cheek and wait for it to dissolve. It is meant to last 12 hours so you are relieved of taking so many pills. It is an opiate agonist and antagonist and so is one level below Norco on the drug schedule. I was able to go from 6 to 4 Norco per day with even the lowest dose belbuca patch and am now trying to reduce my Norco further with increasing doses of the belbuca patch. The belbuca has completely gotten rid of the burning pain in my thighs which was extremely severe. I still have some sciatica type pain that runs down my left leg and is quite painful. But I am hoping as I increase the belbuca, I will see more benefit still.

I would encourage you to ask your doctor about belbuca. I hope you have a good chronic pain specialist. I am 64 and even 10 years ago decided that getting a rod in my back with a 9 hour surgery was not for me and so I committed years ago to go the nonsurgical route. I have tried injections and a trial with spinal stimulation without results.

While I am a mentor for the Women's Health group, other mentors for this group may read your post and direct you to some other posts and resources they are more familiar with than I am within the Chronic Pain group. But I saw your post and just wanted to encourage you with my recent experience and let you know that I have found Mayo Clinic Connect to be a wonderful resource with a lot of caring people.

Sat, Mar 23 10:25am · Want to discuss prolapse bladder or any kind of prolapse in Women's Health

@pizon Sorry you had this nerve issue after your surgery. My doctor actually mentioned this to me and gave me a handout on it. He said that pundenal nerve interruption is a rare but often painful complication from various surgeries in both men and women. He said he has only seen it one time in a surgery while in medical school. He has never had it happen in one of his surgeries but felt like he should tell me all the possibilities however remote. I have nerve pain in my legs and I can only imagine how painful this must have been and I know how frustrating it is not to get the right diagnosis.

I had some initial nerve issues right after my bladder prolapse surgery but they went away within a couple of weeks. This is quite common. Mine was not painful at all. In fact, quite the opposite. For me it was just a bit of lack of feeling or feedback in the sphincter area when using the bathroom. But it went away quickly. You are the first person to mention pundenal nerve interruption issues here. Did you manage to get it taken care of or treated with the out of state doc that you mentioned? And what was the treatment?

Tue, Mar 19 3:53pm · Want to discuss prolapse bladder or any kind of prolapse in Women's Health

I am glad you find the information helpful and I agree that it has been difficult to find information. When I was trying to decide what to do about my bladder prolapse a couple of years ago, I felt very helpless at first because the gynecologist kept sending me to the urologist and vice versa (back and forth). Once I got in to see the urogynecologist I felt a sense of relief when I realized that what I was going through was quite common. With regard to women who are post menopause, there are some things that I was told by the urogynecologist after my surgery. He told me to use Estrace cream at least 3 times per week and to keep my Rx filled. It is a tube and you just use a small bit in the applicator and insert it 3 times a week. My doctor said it will keep the tissue "young" . When I went in for my check up one year post surgery, he said he could tell I was using it and that I should keep using it forever. I told him it was sort of a chore and he said it would keep things from becoming itchy and dry and irritated because as you age, the tissue becomes dry and less elastic so it is prone to irritation. So I use the cream religiously as instructed and I do notice that if I forget about it more than twice, I do feel a little dry and less comfortable.

The last time I was in to see this same doctor he tried to sell me on a laser treatment "down there". He had invested in the same general equipment as the dermatologists who do laser treatments on the face have. He said it costs something like $3500 for the first treatment and then a little less for the second and third and he recommended at least 3 treatments. He said this would keep me from having to use the cream. I laughed and told him that if I were going to spend that kind of money on laser treatments I would do it on my face where more people could see it. But apparently you can now get a photo-facial "down there". I guess there is demand for this but I don't think I will be a customer unless I win the lottery and even then, I am not so sure. But there is definitely starting to be a lot more interest in treatment of vaginal discomfort in post menopausal women. There must be or he would certainly not have invested in that big expensive machine. He now sells packages (like packages of 3 or 5 treatments and you get a volume discount). This particular doctor is in a high end area of town and his office is always packed so "we" are not alone in our issues for sure.

Fri, Mar 15 12:15pm · Want to discuss prolapse bladder or any kind of prolapse in Women's Health

Sorry if you felt that your concerns were not being treated with the proper care. @barbnelson23 can certainly speak for herself but I took her message as her referring to herself and that her experience had been that doctors had treated her as a "problem patient" when she went to them with issues from a previous surgery that they did not perform. I have actually had this experience with an ankle surgery that did not go too well so maybe that is why I took it that way. I believe you are correct that most often on this site we all try our best to be respectful and compassionate. Hopefully this time it was just a miscommunication.