Surgery coming up

I have surgery coming up on the 5th. I had a wide excision 2 years ago last month and the recovery was HORRIBLE. Worse than child birth. Dr took around 4 inches out and it took almost 4 months to completely recover.
Now I'm having a surgery similar to the cleft lift. Some kind of flap surgery with the drain instead of packing. But I'm SCARED. I have a nine month old son so I'm screwed if it ends up being worse than expected like last time.
I just have a few questions if anyone can answer from experience.
How bad is the pain?
Will I be able to move around?
How long until I can sit? Or be in the car?
How about the first bowl movement? I've seen pictures of what it might look like, how is it even possible to wipe?
Someone make me feel better
Hi Elaine,

I have had 2 non flap surgeries in the past and a 3rd flap procedure (cleft lift however the karydakis, limberg flap surgeries all are trying to achieve same end result, flattening of the cleft and sutures off of the midline) it definitely shouldn't be as bad as open surgery. If you Google the surgery your having plus the letters pdf you will be able to find medical documents that will give you more info. I have a 15 month son. However his mother looked after him for the 1st couple of weeks while I healed, after that I didn't have much trouble bending over to pick him up etc. In terms of pain I have only had a dull ache pain however this has been manageable. I was able to sit down in car at 2 weeks and driving at 3 weeks. Due to local anaesthetic you shouldn't have a bowel movement for a couple of days after surgery and they usually give you some type of stool softener. I was really nervous for my first bm but it is never as bad as you imagine it to be. I just used wet wipes and jumped in shower afterwards to keep it clean. I still have some discomfort now 4 weeks post op but definitely manageable, I have been looking after my son for the last 2 weeks just fine while his mother has been at work, just remember to take it slow picking him up and letting it rest while he is napping and you will be fine.
I can only speak to the cleft lift procedure without any history of excision.
  • Very little pain (peaked at a 3/10 - 4/10)
  • Moving around isn't an issue, I just had to move slower and more deliberately. Getting into/out of bed and chairs and what not required more cognitive planning than just plopping down without thinking about it. But walking, steps, etc. was totally fine - just a little slower moving and with a shorter gait.
  • Sitting straight is a little uncomfortable (not painful, just some discomfort). Shifting weight to one side or the other helps. Same for the car. I didn't feel comfortable driving until day 10-11. Even still (now on day 13) I'll notice the discomfort start to creep in if I sit in the same position for 10 minutes and end up having to adjust.
  • I had a bowel movement within the first 24 hours, wasn't a problem. Eventually the antibiotics made things a little messy, so with doctor permission, I went off those and everything went back to normal. Wiping isn't an issue, just don't spread it around. Buy plenty of wet wipes.
Thanks for replying you guys. It's been a little over 24 hours now and I'm not going to lie, I'm in a lot of pain. I can't sit on the toilet to pee and getting up and down it's really painful. Is something wrong or is that normal?
Yes perfectly normal to feel pain that soon after surgery, it will taper off in the next few days, or it did for me anyways. As the saying goes, no pain no gain. Stick with it and I am sure you will be back to normal in no time.
Hi Elaine,

sorry you’re going through this! I too had a really bad experience with little healing from previous surgeries and recently had a cleft lift that I am healing and I’m not going to lie I have fear of toilets. I truly envy the men with this disease because they have it so easy (joking or sucks no matter who the person is). I only use the toilet for vowel movements and other wise use a shower if I have to pee (obviously this isn’t permanent. Just while you’re healing and getting back into the swing of things) It’s not Ideal but helps with my fears and it’s not painful. Maybe try that? I honestly think this has helped me in the past also heal better because sometimes when I sit on the toilet I start to bleed. Best of luck to you!