Hi Ollie, It is totally normal to feel nervous before an op. I well remember my first experience. The anxiety is sometimes worse than the actual experience as the medical team will look after you and, one minute you will be awake, the next asleep and then - as if no time has passed at all - you will be awake again, with any suitable pain meds that you need. A laparoscopy is not as painful as traditional surgery and recovery is generally quicker due to the incisions being only tiny portholes rather than lateral incisions. If they are just having an investigatory look around the op will usually be pretty quick and over in approximately an hour or or so with some further time in the recovery area while the anaesthetic wears off. Quicker than a nasty session of root canal treatment in a dentists chair wide awake!
Also don't be alarmed if you find your abdomen slightly swollen post-op. This is usually because the surgeon uses a fluid to prevent adhesions forming. I had not been told to expect this and woke up in the night with a lopsided belly as had been sleeping on my side an wondered what the hell was going on. Even the male nurse who came in to see me in the night was alarmed. I can smile now remembering that experience as it was only the fluid they had used had pooled over to the side I had been laying on. I should have kept on my back most probably. It the fluid goes down over the course of a few days. Different surgeons will use different ways to prevent adhesions so you may well not notice anything.
They generally get you up and walking to the bathroom once you have had time to fully come round from the anaesthetic. It is not generally 'painful' in the same way as a non-keyhole op but you may feel stiff and sore. The painkillers will help with this though.
Definitely advisable to take a nightdress rather than PJs as you will not want anything elasticated around your waist. Peppermint capsules can be helpful for any gas pain you may experience.
They usually send you home fairly quickly . Sometimes the next day. They recommended to me not to have a bath until after the stitches were out but to take showers. If you still feel a bit dizzy from anaesthetic it is advisable to wait until someone can be on hand in case you feel light headed.
Recovery is generally a week or two. Sometimes quicker, sometimes longer as everyone is different and it depends on whether it is an investigatory laparoscopy (like yours sounds) or whether any work will be undertaken.
It is a rotten time coming up to an op. Keep in mind that you do need to get to the bottom of what is causing your pain so it will be worth it as you can then move towards a solution. It is always really scary and stressful to have pain when you do not know it's cause so you should have a better idea of what is going on afterwards.
Let us know how you get on and if you have any questions beforehand, feel free to post.
All best wishes to you
Frances x x