Bouncing Baby Girl and a Fistula


Liz
#1
Almost three months ago I gave birth to my first child. She is a wonderful little girl and I love her to bits. The difficult delivery ended up being aided by forceps. This caused level 4 tearing. YIKES! I had surgery to repair a fistula and am still not fully repaired. I am having difficulty finding information on this problem that isn't in reference to third world countries and neglected deliveries. I know as a forceps consequence it is common here in Canada too, because I know several people with untreated/unrepaired fistulae. Does anyone know much about it?
 
Nuggler
#2
Just a tad unbelievable that that should happen here and not be properly fixed.

Just about the only place we are told that is common is in fact, in 3rd world countries......

I'd be down at the Dr.'s office or hospital, or both, with my lawyer just screamin at them.

Sue the bastards
 
tracy
#3
Fistulas aren't necessarily the result of negligence or a reason to sue. I am guessing that if you required forceps, your labor was obstructed for some time which can cause some damage to the tissues (that's usually the sole cause of fistulas in the third world). Tearing is a risk of any delivery (I have seen spontaneous fourth degree lacs), but obviously the risk increases with an instrument aided delivery. What has your surgeon said about the repair? Sometimes it needs to be done in more than one operation unfortunately.

BTW, congrats on your daughter
 
tracy
#4
This may be a little too medical, but it's a good site

www.femalepatient.com/html/ar.../article03.asp (external - login to view)
 
Liz
#5
I had a fairly short labour, I was induced and in the hospital from the get go. I was monitored closely and there was seemingly little stress on my baby until the failed attempts at administering an epidural. I am aware that fistulas and tearing are consequences of childbirth, and that it can take some serious effort to repair. am surprised at the lack of info available on the subject though. I am also really concerned with the fact that I had to agressively point out the problem after my release from hospital, a visit to my GP, and two subsequent visits to the emergency room before anything was done. Of the people I know with these fistulae, none have been treated. They only know what their problem is now because I am so open about my symptoms. (I cannot imagine not seeking treatment when finding stool passing through your ******!) I feel like it is brushed under the carpet by doctors. No resources for my own research on the matter and I am consistantly told that it's not a big deal.
 
Liz
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by tracy

This may be a little too medical, but it's a good site

www.femalepatient.com/html/ar.../article03.asp (external - login to view)

Thanks for the link. Mine was all internal, thank goodness I have sphincters intact!!
 
tracy
#7
I'm just surprised they would have used forceps if the labor wasn't obstructed unless they was some emergency for the baby. Usually when I've worked forceps weren't even really considered until at least 1+hour of pushing or if an emergency was present (and then c-sections were usually prefered).

Unfortunately, most "female problems" have long been either ignored or minimized by the medical profession. I'm sorry you had such a frustrating experience. There is no reason that fistulas should be ignored by docs or patients. They are treatable. We've just gotten so good at reducing maternal complications that often we aren't well practiced in treating them. Frankly, I'm not a huge fan of GPs doing OB/GYN care because they have little to training in dealing with the complications. Even a lot of OB/GYNs are undertrained about fistulas and their repair unfortunately, but in my experience they are better than GPs. I hope you feel good about your current surgeon.

This is another site I think is good, although a little technical
www.emedicine.com/med/topic2745.htm (external - login to view)
 
tracy
#8
And one more from my archives written by a non-medical professional and has some links of its own:

www.geocities.com/dinimerz/re...al_fistula.htm (external - login to view)
 
Liz
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by tracy

I'm just surprised they would have used forceps if the labor wasn't obstructed unless they was some emergency for the baby. Usually when I've worked forceps weren't even really considered until at least 1+hour of pushing or if an emergency was present (and then c-sections were usually prefered).

Unfortunately, most "female problems" have long been either ignored or minimized by the medical profession. I'm sorry you had such a frustrating experience. There is no reason that fistulas should be ignored by docs or patients. They are treatable. We've just gotten so good at reducing maternal complications that often we aren't well practiced in treating them. Frankly, I'm not a huge fan of GPs doing OB/GYN care because they have little to training in dealing with the complications. Even a lot of OB/GYNs are undertrained about fistulas and their repair unfortunately, but in my experience they are better than GPs. I hope you feel good about your current surgeon.

This is another site I think is good, although a little technical
www.emedicine.com/med/topic2745.htm (external - login to view)

I agree that a specialist is usually the best place to look when you have a special problem, but in this case my GP was my hero. I asked her to please be my advocate. She was the one who finally contacted the hospital and arranged for the chief resident of gynecology to see me. (It was the same doctor that delivered my daughter and eventually ended up being the same surgeon that did my repair.) I tried to reach him before I went to my GP but was told to go to emergency. I refused since I had tried that twice already. Now I am seeing another OB/GYN that he referred me to. I feel it is a tainted second opinion, but a second opinion that differs none the less.
 
tracy
#10
I'm glad your GP listened to you. I realize this might not be something you want to do, but I would encourage you to consider writing a letter to the hospital about your ER experience if you haven't already. They should know that they failed you. They could have easily refered you to an OB/GYN or colorectal surgeon (and not a resident at that). Just because it wasn't a life or death emergency doesn't mean they didn't have an obligation to take your problem seriously.
 
Nuggler
#11
Sue the bastards
 
Liz
#12
Oldnugly, Don't think that hasn't crossed my mind. I know there were errors, and because of the errors I suffer consequences. I am definitely taking initiative in my own health care. If I can be righted any other way I will be. Besides, it is kind of interesting to see people squirm while they try to cover their asses with both hands. An apology and/or correction would do me fine...but I haven't even had an admission yet.
 

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