APR surgery for rectal cancer

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I’m feeling very anxious, I had an APR surgery at the end of last year but unfortunately about 6 weeks ago it herniated. It became swollen and more and more uncomfortable. After difficulties getting back to my nurse and surgeon I finally got the diagnosis and have been told I now need it repaired by a plastic surgeons. At the moment life is very difficult as I can’t sit down, drive or walk very easily. The only time I’m reasonably comfortable is laying in my side. Has anyone else experienced this? I would be so grateful for anyone else’s experience as I’m so apprehensive of further surgery and am feeling very depressed. 

I am just adding more detail as this was my first attempt to post. I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer last year but as it was so low needed APR surgery and a permanent stoma. I had some chemo but couldn’t complete my course as I developed severe diarrhoea. I have made a good recovery from my surgery and life was getting back to “normal” no problems with my stoma and starting my check ups when I developed a hernia from the perineal surgery. This is very uncomfortable and preventing me from doing Vito anything. I haven’t as yet got an appointment to see the plastic surgeon at a different hospital as apparently I now need specialist plastic surgery to repair this. 
Has anyone else been through this? I would be so grateful for your advice, support as I am feeling so anxious about it all and having to have another major surgery? Thank you 

  • Hi EvaDaisy so sorry to hear that you are going through this. My husband had Elape surgery in April and pretty much straight away developed a perineal hernia. Took a lot of persuading for surgeons to accept this had happened but after CT scans etc there is no doubt. We saw the plastic surgeon and the colorectal surgeon separately to discuss the issue and they have also discussed between them. Case had been handed over to the colorectal team to fix with mesh via laparoscopic abdominal surgery. For whatever reason the plastic surgeon said not viable for more plastic surgery. So waiting for a date, possibly in November. As you say very uncomfortable and affecting normal life and so distressing when you think the worst is over and that you’re on the way to recovery and then you’re faced with this. . We have also been in touch with someone who has the same issue and theirs is also being repaired by the plastic surgery team. I hope this post helps you and I keep my fingers crossed that you get a date soon.  Xx

  • Dear LB54

    Thank you so much for your reply. I had my original surgery with the colorectal surgeons and had the mesh and apparently they have discussed redoing it with that but instead want me to see the plastic surgeon.. The plastic surgeons are not at my local hospital so it will mean travelling, not easy when it’s hard to sit down!! I feel somewhat abandoned while I’m waiting to hear,.not my surgeon’s responsibility but no idea who I am to see now. I’m normally very positive but have to confess this has really  been the toughest thing to deal with as I’m struggling to do virtually anything. 
    I really hope your husbands surgery is soon , please do keep in touch I would to hear that it’s done and he’s doing well. Sending you very best wishes. 

  • Hi EvaDaisy I think it’s really helpful to share experiences as this issue is not that common or posted. It’s interesting that each case is treated so differently. We originally felt the same that no one was taking ownership but now we feel that there is a plan and feel relieved . Although I’m concerned that it may not work or reoccur but will need to trust the professionals!  I hope the plastic surgeon gets in touch soon. Maybe contact someone to reinforce how debilitating the problem is for you and try and get a timeline. I will let you know how things go. Take care xx

  • Hi LB54

    Sorry I’ve not replied sooner.
    I’ve now heard from the hospital regarding an appointment with the plastic surgeon but it is for just before Christmas and of course that’s only for a consultation. I am going to try to get this earlier if at all possible as I can’t imagine being in this situation for such a long time it seems to be getting much worse. The  scans that accompanied my referral were done in August.  I’m sure they would look very different now. 
    How is your husband coping as I realise his was not long after his surgery and back in April? I hope he’s making a good recovery apart from the hernia. I really hope he gets his op in November and that everything goes really well. I’ll look forward to hearing your good news! 
    Sending  you both very best wishes xxx

  • Hi EvaDaisy I’m glad you have an appointment which is progress. I feel your frustration as it’s very limiting and uncomfortable and it seems to be getting worse too.  Hubby is coping okay and apart from this he is recovering well from original op.  We have just heard this week that we will get a date for his op early next week. He’s having a pre-op next week too so I’m hoping it will be soon Fingers crossed.  I hope you manage to bring your appointment forward and that you get a resolution soon. Take care Xx

  • Dear LB54

    I hope that things are going well for your husband and that he’s now had successful repair surgery? My appointment before Christmas was cancelled until January but one of the consultants wasn’t there so I have had to wait another 3 months as I am seeing him next week. The hernia is now a lot worse, I can’t imagine how it feels now not to have it. I am hopeful that i will manage to get it successfully repaired although im told it will mean another major surgery. I’d love to hear how your husband is doing, I haven’t heard of anyone else having this issue. Wishing you both the very best EvaDaisy

  • Hi EvaDaisy I’m sorry you’re operation has been delayed. My husband had his repaired end of November with biological mesh via abdominal surgery. It has been a long process as he developed a large Seroma after the operation in the place where hernia occurred and had to have it drained a couple of times and left open in the perineal area. However he’s now recovered and is feeling good. We’ve booked a couple of holidays and life feels normal. I hope you can get yours fixed soon. Hubby found someone with the same issue and his was repaired using a flap from original plastic surgery in January this year so it appears there is no standard approach . Good luck and let me know if you need any further information. Xx

  • Thank you so much for letting me know how your husband is doing. I’m so glad to hear it’s been successful even with those complications and that you’re feeling life is getting back to normal. It makes me feel more optimistic x I am to see the colorectal surgeon from the new hospital next week, I have met with the plastic surgeons. As I had my original op using the biological mesh their preference is using my abs this time so another major surgery although the surgeon I’m due to see may have a different opinion. The hernia is really uncomfortable now as it has got larger so I’m really hoping for positive news and prompt treatment. Do hope you enjoy your holidays! I am so pleased that things are going so well xx