General chatter - When to schedule a needed, but not urgent surgery

03-15-2012, 05:21 PM
OK, 3FC family. I'll be talking about options with DH tonight, but while thoughts are going through my head, I thought I would talk to you all about it here. You all can understand how getting laid up when you are actively working on losing weight and gaining fitness can be a big deal. Not sure my husband and definitely not my MIL could understand that as well as you all could.

OK, so this is the deal. I have had problems with urinary stress incontinence for years. It wasn't much of an issue except when I sneezed or vomited before I started exercising. It wasn't even an issue with early exercise, but it's becoming more and more of a problem as my fitness builds.

Basically, every time I bounce with my legs even slightly apart, I leak. That's walking downhill, any running, any jumping in step or Zumba and it can even happen when spinning when we get up off the seat. I wear a heavy pad and even with modifying exercises, I might leak enough to soak the pad.

I've done kegels for months and months and nothing has improved. So, today I saw a urologist and she said that I need to have a sling put in to hold up the bladder. This will work completely for about 80% of people who have the surgery. The remaining 19% percent might still have leakage occasionally, but not to the same level and maybe 1% will see no change, if that.

So, I definitely want to get it done as I'm going crazy with worrying about it and it's becoming limiting as my fitness increases. HOWEVER... the procedure itself seems like not much of a big deal, but for one month I won't be allowed to lift more than 10 pounds and no vigorous exercising. I can take walks and putz around, but no 'real' exercise while I give my body time to heal around the bladder/pelvic floor muscles.

Now.... this where I feel torn. I want to get this fixed as I really want to move beyond worrying about it and I want to start running or jumping or doing whatever I want, but... to give up a month - is tough.

I am 9 pounds from goal (though I'm not going to necessarily stop at 9 pounds, just I'll be satisfied at that weight and won't kill myself to go below it). And, we are going on vacation Mid-July through mid-August - a European, beach vacation. I want to look and feel great when we are there.

So, giving up a month BEFORE our trip would mean I wouldn't be as fit or as toned looking for vacation. Waiting until after vacation means 6 more months of this problem. I've already dealt with the problem for years, but it's only become an issue with fitness in about the last 6 months.

I don't foresee leaking problems on vacation as we will be in old cities with kids and a senior citizen, so no sprinting down hills at fast speeds to make me leak.

I am so torn... Being laid up for a month when it's spring and summer? Seems like bad timing... not sure what I was thinking when I decided to make the appointment NOW, but it just fell in line with my pap smear and mommogram and seemed a logical time to ask about it.

What would you all do? Any thoughts?

03-15-2012, 05:30 PM
Dude, I just read more... I will ask more questions of the Urologist as I didn't tell her I lift weights, but read these limitations:


The first major limitation you will face when recovering from bladder sling surgery is that you can’t do any heavy lifting. For some people this may be a welcome relief, but it can be a major impairment for someone who performs manual labor for a living. You should wait a full three months before performing any heavy lifting after a bladder sling surgery. It takes the body a long time to regenerate tissue that grows into the mesh sling, making it strong. This limitation is typical for any type of hernia surgery.
The second limitation you need to be aware of is keeping your wounds from surgery clean and dry for at least two full months. This means you should only be taking a shower, and not a bath. This also means no hot tubs, or pools either. It will take six to eight weeks for the dissolvable sutures to dissolve completely. You should clean your sutures daily and apply a product like Neosporin to help your wounds heal completely, without infection.
The third limitation you may not like as much. The first two were bad, but this one can be a major bummer for most women. You aren’t allowed to have sexual intercourse for a full two months following a bladder sling surgery. You must allow the sling to heal completely before engaging in sex. This may be difficult for most people to do, but it’s absolutely necessary in ensuring a healthy recovery from surgery.

But other things say "return to normal activity 4-6 weeks after surgery". Huh... more thinking needed here.

03-15-2012, 06:33 PM
I'd personally wait until after the vacation. Those are some pretty definite limitations. Best wishes!

03-15-2012, 08:43 PM
I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.

I'd do the surgery ASAP, personally. Even aside from the fun of wearing a pad on a beach vacation.

03-15-2012, 09:37 PM
I'd wait until you get back from vacation. You certainly don't want something popping up during procedure or recovery that would cause you to change your plans.

And - if there was some sort of complication afterwards and you were overseas you don't want to have to mess around with finding doctors over there.

Schedule it for as soon as you get back where hopefully you have a week or so between your trip and school starting.

03-15-2012, 09:45 PM
And, we are going on vacation Mid-July through mid-August - a European, beach vacation. I want to look and feel great when we are there.

First of all, I am so sorry you are going through this!!! You are very brave to open up about this issue. :hug: Here is my two cents -

Vacations usually mean lots of walking in various terrains (uphill/downhill), hiking, swimming, and other physical activity related to sight seeing. Personally, I couldn't enjoy myself on a trip if I were leaking every time I exerted myself. Also, wearing a urine soaked pad in the heat of summer until I could find a restroom to change it? It's bad enough when you get your period on vacation!

It would be a no brainer for me to have the surgery ASAP and be well and recovered for the vacation. I know that you are concerned about keeping up your level of fitness during your recovery time, but in terms of weight loss, you can still lose weight without exercise. I have been laid up with my back for the past 3 weeks or so (getting better now) and I have still been slowly losing with diet alone.

I know that it is hard to decide to postpone surgery - I just had to make the decision about postponing back surgery - I am going to have another MRI in 6 months and reassess. It's scary to think of the complications and if it will derail all of your hard work concerning weight loss and fitness. However, this is your health and your quality of life. You can be as fit and trim as an Olympic athlete, but if you have a health issue that affects your daily activities and possibly your self-esteem/confidence, how healthy are you really?

03-15-2012, 10:01 PM
Thanks to those who have replied. I should clarify for day to day stuff, I don't leak. I can swim, walk, ride a bike and not leak. It's when I run, bounce/jump in active exercise that I have problems. I don't wear a pad or have a need for a pad day to day - including normal walking. It's power walking and only when I am going down a steep hill. And there are things I can do like run up a flight of stairs and not have problems, etc. Until I was excising it was only really when I sneezed that I noticed it.

So, with that and with talking with my husband, we are going to wait until after vacation. We are so active in spring and summer that giving up that time for something that's not urgent seems silly. Better to do it in late October or early November when it will be easier to fit in.

Until then I will keep modifying my workouts so I can avoid most leaking issues. And who knows, maybe with a bit more kegels and time it will keep improving (though I doubt it) .

Do most of you all faithfully do your kegels? I try to remember, but I'm forgetful sometimes.

03-15-2012, 11:53 PM
My bladder was bruised and displaced during labor with my youngest, so I also have some issues during exercise. I WISH I remembered to do kegels half as often as I should!