When dealing with pelvic mesh illnesses and injuries. you deserve to take good care of yourself, especially after surgery. One of the most common questions women ask is about post-operative bleeding or hemorrhage.
Pelvic mesh surgery is a very common procedure and most people have a normal, healthy recovery. Surgical areas in the pelvis and bladder are, by design, rich in blood vessels. A certain amount of vaginal bleeding is common—but too much bleeding is a problem, especially after surgery to remove a bladder sling or transvaginal tape. Those surgeries are done vaginally, abdominally or through groin incisions and involve a higher risk of postoperative bleeding.
Normal post operative bleeding is like a period and tapers off over time and can last up to six weeks. Occasionally, especially in the first week of healing, you may experience an episode of heavy bleeding when you stand up or after urinating or moving your bowels or when you are doing too much. Resting and taking lots of fluid can help.
Call your doctor if you bleeding is heavier than a menstrual period, completely soaks a large sanitary pad within an hour, or heavy bleeding continues for more than one hour.
Hemorrhage is rare but can become life-threatening. If you feel your bleeding is becoming out of control, make sure someone is with you. Symptoms of hemorrhage include feeling light-headed, become pale, clammy, confused, or passing out. Seek immediate treatment or call 9-1-1.
Pelvic surgery is major surgery and the most important thing is to allow yourself time to rest, time to heal. Read that book you’ve been meaning to get to. Make sure you drink plenty of liquids and gradually build yourself up with gentle exercise.
Peggy Day is working on a book to combine all these stories. This is an excerpt from Pelvis in Flames: Your Pelvic Mesh Owner’s Guide. Your input is welcome to help make Pelvis in Flames the book you need to read.
If you’d like to join an online support group and learn about erosion, partial removals, surgeons, or just find out that you are not alone, join my group, Surgical Mesh or check the list of support groups here.
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