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Endometriosis UK
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Laparoscopy aftercare question

Hi, I had a laparoscopy yesterday and apart from being told that I could have a shower today I've had no other aftercare instructions. So do I take off plasters and leave it open now or should I replace them? I don't have a shower, just a bath so should I avoid that and just have a good wash down? If so how long till I can have a bath? Is there any special care I should be aware of - like keeping the sites dry etc? I feel really let down by the whole discharge process - I wasn't even given any results from the Laparoscopy, even though my consultant said the nurses would tell me if she didn't get the chance to see me before my discharge. I've sent my consultant's secretary an email today to see if she can find anything out for me (I have emailed her before with queries and she seems really nice).

Thanks for any advice.


I also had my mirena removed and an ablation performed at the same time so feeling abit battered and bruised today. will post my story when I eventually know what they've found!

14 Replies

My discharge from Hosp was poor too but anyway, the first two days i just left the dressings alone and i just had strip washes, i was only in bed so shower or bath not really needed. you should keep them covered for at least a week, I got my hubby to buy me some waterproof dressings, they were about 30-50p each but well worth it, everyday after my shower I would then remove the dressing, gently bathe the wounds with salt water, gently dry and then put on the clean waterproof dressings, and they would stay on for the 24 hrs til after the next shower. I kept mine covered longer than suggested but that was due to having dogs, and I didn't want to risk any hairs getting near them whilst they were still a bit weepy. I had the same done as you, lap, mirena removed and an ablation, I had no endo removed as they said there was too much (thats a whole other story lol) but I know how you are feeling, so don't go trying to do too much too soon, I did try and it made my recovery much slower. Do you have any relatives to be able to help you out for these initial few days? I hope you have, the second and third day is sometimes a bit worse as the anaesetic is worn off properly, keep taking your pain killers regularly, I took co-coda mol and diclofenac, and hot water bottle on my back.

If you want anymore advice or just a chat you can private message me, I can give you my email then if you want, take care xxx

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Hi I was given saline to clean the sites. I was told to leave the dressing for the day after then change it every few days. I had waterproof dressings so showered normally then change the dressing to make sure I had a dry one on. Cleaned the site with saline and a cotton bud really gently. Then kept the sites covered for 10 days. My stitches never dissolved so had to go back and have them removed. I was given strong pain relief which I took for about a week after a felt ver sore and bruised. Hope you feel better soon.



I had a major lap last Thursday & yes is agree post op care is horrendous but cerstainly at Stepping Hill night care is non existent esp to bedridden patients!

Anyhow I discharged myself far too early my consultant was cross with me but I'm home, then went to see my GP she gave me all drugs I'd be given in hospital anyway (morphine) & antibiotics & other meds.

I had a complications my bowel has been moved & endo cut from it, the lesions glued my bladder & bowel together in parts.

Anyhow I'm home in a clean & tidy house, with rest, meds, keep using my tens, advice for me was no lifting fr a wk, at least, bed rest, my husband is making meals bless him, I've got to keep still to help bowel & all the other bits repair.

My stomach was glued however i tried to get in & out of bath; which made one cut bleed (I have 4 incisions)

I haven't opened my bowels yet but that's not unusual as complications.

However my GP was very helpful - said -


Lots fluids

Eat even when I don't feel like it

Take tablets regularly

You will be quite bruised inside & out

No lifting

Keep wounds dry


Heat patch on back

Hot water bottle

Drink small amounts of peppermint water - helps carbon dioxide used to blow tum up come out of your body

It takes at least a wk for all anaesthetic to leave your body

It takes up to two wks for the carbon dioxide to leave your body

You prob won't open your bowels till 5days after even longer if you had a bowel prep this is normal

It takes about 3months to get back on your feet

Anyway good luck & get well soon!


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I didn't get any post op wound advice either (mine was a lap op with holes which turned in to a laparotomy big hole, the lap hopes I disinfected every day and appliedfresh plaster, but the belly button one also had a bit of sterile wadding to act as a cushion as most of my clothes have waist bands rubbing on that area.

The big hole required huge dressings which the chemists did not sell. So I bought the larges size and cut them in to strips to cover the wound till I got to seemy GP who luckily did have supplies of the very large dressings and let me have a few for free.

However I did have so many stitches and no advice, so I called the gynae ward who advised to visit the GPclinic nurse about 10 days post op to have the stitches removed.

When I got to the clinic she told me they were disolvable stitches and to leave them alone.

They did take weeks and weeks to dissolve. I certainly had them 8 weeks later but I can't recallhow much longer than that it took.

The nurse advise if the stitches were protruding and catching on clothes then cut them back to skin surface level after a few days.

If you have had glue plugs in lapholes, treat them carefully, the glue plugs can pop out.

On a previous lap op, my belly button plug of glue cameout and I got an infection which took 2 months and lots of antibiotics to heal. The other lap holes that time and the from the later op recovered very quickly really.

If you do have a bath, pop some dettol in the bath (yes it does pong a bit) and avoid bubble baths and smellies that might irritate.

I you are not yet ready for a bath, then wetwipes are a god send, especially useful for removing the disinfectant dye used on the tummy in surgery.


Thanks for all the advice ladies - you have been really helpful. I have to say I don't know if I have stitches or glue - nobody has said anything at all. I have had trouble with my bladder too today. I just don't seem to be able to empty properly and it's all stopping and starting. I also need to poo (sorry if tmi) but again I just don't feel able to go. It would help if I knew if they discovered anything or not, if they've messed around in that area or if it's just me reacting to the anaesthetics or not. My head is struggling to cope with how I'm feeling cos I've had these problems for the last 6 1/2 years and I still don't have any proof that it's not just in my head.

I did get a reply from consultants secretary saying that she's typed my discharge letter already but can't give me a copy without the consultants say so over the phone or email. I'm thinking I'm gonna have to wait for something in the post. I just hope I understand it all. I know I haven't been given a follow up appointment and nobody's ever offered me any pain management so I just deal with things on paracetamol, ibuprofen and co-codamol (which actually were left over from another op but doc seems happy that I take them for this).


I took laxido (stool softener) for the first few weeks after too, but I didn't actually go for the first time until a week after the lap, but to be honest because you don't eat much before and the day of and after, and then didn't eat much the few days after I wasn't too worried, but I did eat a few prunes in with my breakfast once I was eating, just to keep things moving so to speak, because the codeine in the cocodamol will cause constipation, so if you don't have anything like that I would ask for some whilst you're taking cocodamol.

It's really bad that you haven't been given any after care info, it should've been given either at your pre op or on your discharge papers, mine said a brief discription of what they had found, their recommendations for next surgery etc.

Hope you're doing ok, keep resting xx


I left my dressings on for 2 whole days, and then had a bath on the 3rd day. It's a bit confusing as some people tell you only shower, don't bathe. Others tell you that you can bathe. I had a luke-warm bath and it was nice, but I had one the next day though and I think it was too hot and I felt really really poorly when I got out so just make sure its not too warm. Whatever you do, don't wash the wounds with soap or scrub at them, just let the water fall over them naturally. And then dab at them with a towel when you get out rather than rubbing them.


Think it depends on what dressings you have. I had clear plastic ones look like cling film. Was told to keep them on untill stiches were taken out 7 days later. I was allowed to shower with them but not a bath and after the stiches were taken out i had to cover the scares with Vaseline and cover with a dressing if they wepped. Hope this helps rest up and take care x



I also have these dressings - I actually have a box of them at home so I have been cleaning the wounds (I have since discovered an extra site so I have 3 and not the 2 I knew about) and then putting a new dressing on. Have seen advice saying to keep covered just 2 days to covering for a week and then even till the stitches dissolve. As nothing is arranged for removal I am assuming they're dissolving ones. The hidden one is right on my knicker line though so I think it would catch without a dressing on.


I'm still feeling rough in general. Up till yesterday I was taking co-codamol every 4 hours but am just not feeling great so decided to stop them and see if I feel any different. I've felt nauseous since the op and have a headache most of the day. Struggling to sleep cos I'm waking in pain and having to move to try and get comfortable. I'm still in my pj's most days as they're the most comfortable. Have had my bowels open since Thursday although they feel sluggish but not constipated. Suffered with awful pain on Friday night which was down my left side so I've assumed was gas related. Finally felt really bad last night and ended up on the loo last night for 5 mins just emptying my bowels from what I could tell! wasn't diarrhoea or anything but just wouldn't stop. There was blood in it too. I do seem to be having blood in my urine going by the colour but that's pretty standard for me. I have annoying still not lost any weight since the op and have put on an inch on my waist, tummy and hips. All in all I haven't enjoyed how it's made me feel post op and still not knowing my results has really hit my mood hard. Been told to wait for a letter but is very annoying they won't tell me what's going on in my own body when I ask. Have been wondering about seeing my GP towards the end of the week if the pain is still the same as I go on holiday on Saturday (just a cottage in the UK so no travel worries).

Thanks everyone for the aftercare advice, has been useful. I have wondered what I might go through with the ablation - I don't seem to be suffering anything from that and they talked about bleeding for 10 days and clots and stuff so am hoping I've got off lightly from that lol *fingers crossed*


I had the same belly button, left side and knicker line. They gave me a letter to take to my Dr and was told to book an appointment in 7 day to have them removed. The nurse took of my dressings then and said about the Vaseline. I had my lap done on the 10th July starting to feel normal again. How are you doing the pain from the gas all gone?


Everyone around me has expected me to be back to normal by now so I feel bad that I'm not. I haven't really noticed any gas pain which threw me off. I had abit of shoulder pain the day after but as I get right shoulder pain anyway it just felt weird to have some on my left one as well. Then there was just that awful crushing pain on my left side on friday night which last about half an hour. I wouldn't know they used any gas if it wasn't for the fact they said they would.


Just take your time sleep when you can and just rest i found i would do something feel awful then fall asleep for ages. Take care and rest up x


Hello, these comments have threw me off a tad. I had mine done on the 28th what was a week ago today i was in hospital for 3 days (confused with there findings) but the after care they told me about was slim to none.So i booked an appiontment with the nurse at my doctors who looked at my dressings today and said they look fine and she wouldnt be changing them. This is a week since the op! so my dressings have never been changed ive been hand washing and done one bath but never let the water cover my stomach or drip onto my patch (they look like a small piece of bandage with clear tap over them)

But ive never been told anything about being able to bath!


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