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What to Expect After Incontinence Surgery
Most women who undergo surgery for their urinary leakage see a significant improvement in their condition along with a reduction in the symptoms. The most common procedure for stress incontinence cures 70-90% of the women who choose this option.
“Every woman recovers at a different rate,” says McLeod Gynecologist Dr. Brad Campbell. “Your doctor will probably schedule an appointment following the surgery to review your recovery. In addition to improving your incontinence, other topics you may want to discuss are pain, fatigue and returning to work.”
Here is an overview of the general topics to consider during your surgical recovery.
Fatigue is common in the month following your procedure. Make room in your schedule for rest and naps.
Pain or discomfort in your pelvic area is common – even for a few months. With modern surgical procedures, the pain may be limited enough to be controlled with over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil).
Walk each day, starting with short 5-minute strolls several times a day. As you feel better, increase the length of your walk.
On other activity, it’s a good news-bad news situation. First, the bad news: For 6 to 8 weeks avoid strenuous activity, which includes recreation such as golf, tennis, biking or gardening. Now the good news: Tell your family that the activity you need to avoid includes mowing and vacuuming. Your physician may have more specific guidance on these activities, depending on your unique case.
Avoid constipation by drinking plenty of fluids, using stool softeners and eating foods with a lot of fiber. These foods include prunes, beans, brown rice and broccoli.
Stop smoking because the chemicals released to your body can hinder healing and increase the risk of wound infection.
Refrain from sexual intercourse for about 6 weeks after surgery. When you resume sexual relations, it may be a bit uncomfortable. Dryness can be helped with vaginal lubricant.
Returning to work has a lot to do with the type of job you have, how you get to work and the hours you work. Most patients need anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks off. If your job requires heavy lifting or a lot of standing, you should talk to your supervisor about light duty when you first return to wor
Final Thought. This article covers a general overview of your Incontinence Surgery. Talk with your personal physician or specialist for their specific guidance and insight about your recovery.
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Sources: McLeod Health, National Institutes of Health, American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Royal Women’s Hospital, Association of Urogynecologists of America, International Urogynecological Association