Endometriosis UK
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experiencing what will hopefully be the last excruciating period for a long time!

well the usual crawling out of bed to the bathroom vomiting with pain and taking 3 hours to get ready for work happened today - Yes another period had arrived. I'm due to have a laparotomy next Wednesday to have all of the endo removed from gall bladder, bowel (resection) pouch of Douglas, rectum and splien - as well as the ovaries and uterus. my gynaecologist is really hopeful that he will ba able to remove most if not all. I have been graded at stage 4. I will also be told if my tubes are blocked or not, not children yet unfortunately. just wondering how long I could expect to get relief from this procedure anybody like to share there experiences? the only thing getting me through the pain today is hope for success next Wednesday...


6 Replies

Laparotomy is a biggy - took e over 4 months - closer to 5 really to be post op pain free.

Because so much is getting done inside they each have their own recovery and healing rate and give out different types of pain. Having something cut out gives a different pain to something which is burnt or lasered off and so on.

The cut goes through 7 layers of tummy muscle. Even when the outer skin is looking very healthy and recovered - inside the 7 layers can take quite some time to knit back together and start rebuilding tummy strength.

as i said close to 5 months to be able to lift up heavy shopping bags or small child without hurting myself - but still very weak in tummy strength, that is more gradual. you cannot start building up tummy strngth again till it is no longer painful doing basic tasks.

It's not that it's crippling pain (worst in the 1st fortnight) but it can really smart a bit if you over do things too soon - it will hurt then and you will soon know you have over done it.

And be more careful till the next time.

It needs a long time of gentle caring for your tummy.

Worst bit after the op is by far - trying to have a poop without having any tummy muscle to bear down with. Keeping the bowels lose with laxatives sure is a blessing.

Rolling towel or cushion and pressing that in to your tummy when you bare down is going to help but it will still take some retraining to use side and back muscle and jiggling through the pain to get a normal toilet trip done.

If the loo room is big enough - put a chair or small step ladder next to the loo to help you get down on to it without falling on to it (very hard to do this with no tummy muscle) and also help with getting back up again.

You will never again under appreciate how much your tummy muscles do in a day.

Bending and stretching hurts so put everything you are likely to need for several weeks at waist height. Buy slip on shoes or slippers because reaching your toes to put on shoes is gonna hurt. for several weeks.

Despite all the pain and the hassle it really is worth it in the end - even though it seems such an age away - time does pass and you will recover and endo will no longer be taking over your life. Very Best of Luck - and remember we are all here if you have questions.

Quite a few of us have had the big laparotomys.


thank you so much for taking the time to reply and thanks for all your advice xxx


sorry for all the missing letter 'a' - my keyboard is almost written off these days.


i also had a laparotomy for my first treatment many years ago...it does take time to recover from , so take things very easy afterwards. Allow yourself time and try not to think 'oh i feel great' then go running around as you may backtrack and cause yourself more trouble hun. Listen to your body and let it heal slowly. The advice above is brilliant.

I went on to have a few laparoscopy's over the years as my endo is never away for long...these are much quicker recovery although still quite painful afterwards mainly due to trapped bloomin air in parts you never thought possible!

Take all the help you can to help yourself heal aswell...let people do the lifting etc for you. I wish you well and good luck xx


thank you so much, I'm going to give myself 2 years after this - if I don't get pregnant I'm opting for a hysterectomy. I want to enjoy my life and not beat myself up every month when i haven't conceived AGAIN don't want to suffer any more :) so fingers crossed xx


its a hard pill to swallow hun. But never give up hope. I was diagnosed in my late teens/early 20's...been having treatment for it ever since with good periods inbetween. i am now almost 35...i also have PCOS with ZERO ovulation to boot aswell as the endo. I was diagnosed before i met my hubby (met in 2000, wed 2003)...i had most my ops after meeting him (luckily he's very supportive and didnt run a mile) after 7 long years...fertility drugs (didn't work) and 2 rounds of IVF...we now are proud owners of a almost 5 yr old madam! So...never give up hope...if i can get there so can you...modern medicine is amazing and altho at times this illness beats us down...i been rock bottom many times...never give up on your dreams ;) xx


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