Partner having first Laparoscopic surgery... - Endometriosis UK

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Partner having first Laparoscopic surgery - Advice?

carlosrahman profile image

Hi, my partners having an Laparoscopic surgery done this week and I was wondering what advice you could give in order for her to deal with the situation?

Any advice will be helpful? From before and after care tips etc.

Anything will be helpful.

21 Replies

Good luck to her in her surgery.

If it's just basic in that they are going in to have a look, after she will feel uncomfortable and have some pains, she'll just need to relax and give time for her body to heal.

Same with any procedure that she may need during the Laparoscopy. It may take a little longer if the Doctors do anything i.e. remove any cysts or if she has endometriosis but give her time, do as the Doctors say with any pain relief and then let her be the judge of how her body feels. She may feel tired and be more aware of the aches as well so hot water bottles, extra pillows and lots of love.

As for before, if she's very nervous just take her mind off of it, there's nothing worse than going into surgery and being very nervous, I've had 3 Laparoscopies and the nurse told me off as my heart rate and blood pressure had risen before surgery and had to calm down before they could proceed!

I hope that this helps as I know it can be quite nerve racking before any surgery and you never really know what to do when it happens but be aware of her needs, listen to the Doctor and she will be fine.

Well first of all it's great you're there for her as it's a horrible experience.

I'd never had any surgery before and when I came round I cried for ages and slept. Second day was better and it was great having friends and family around me.

I went home after two days.

I'd suggest cooking very light food, but if she's a lightweight like me, she may be vomiting when she gets home. All the morphine and anaesthetic leaving her system. So have a bucket by bed.

Bring nightdresses not two piece pj's as you don't want elastic pressing into stomach.

That's it really. Just be supportive. My ex kept checking on me every hour! You don't have to be that vigilant but just be you.

I hope it all goes well

Thank you for your responses, I really appreciate it. She's 21 and I just want to give her the best aftercare after the operation and support. I know this'll be a silly question but what else can I do to help her? I just don't want her feeling any lower than de already is.

There are no silly questions when it comes to this kind of thing, but unfortunately there is only so much you can do.

Definitely check on her but don't always ask her if she's ok or go overboard with the care as it might get too much for her.

You could just try to provide her with much chocolate and her favourite movies, and make her as comfortable as possible with all her favourite things. Just remember it is a short time, she will be in pain but be loving and be light hearted, don't make her laugh too much as it might hurt but make her comfortable. Good Luck!

Thank you very much for your feedback I really appreciate it.

I agree, first of all it is so lovely to see a partner who genuinly cares deeply about their loved one and wants to help. I am also very lucky with my husband, trust me, just you caring helps the healing process.

I have had 3 laps, last one was 4 hours long so as you can imagine I was in a lot of pain after.

I would say that as silly as it sounds, she will probably have a lot of shoulder/chest pain as they fill you up with A LOT of air. Nothing at all to worry about, but it can be very painful. Simple things like helping her sit up properly, lots of pillows etc to make her as comfortable as possible. I personally even found it painful to talk as it hurt so much, so talk to her, reassure her. Even just simple things like stroke her her for comfort. Get to be well liked if you like by the nurses as she will need them. My husband is training to be a nurse, so find some common ground and I know it sounds mad, but we felt they were more willing to help then.

I promise you, you just being there will mean everything and WILL help her.

I truly wish you both the best of luck :)

MrsT2013 profile image
MrsT2013 in reply to MrsT2013

Stroke her hair that is :)

Hi, great you want to support her.

During the lap they will pump her full of gas to separate the organs so they can have a good look around. Afterwards some of the gas remains in the body and this can cause more pain then the op itself sometimes. The pain can be felt in the shoulders and rib cage. Something that worked very well for me to help dispell the gas - this is a little weird and embarrassing to say - but my husband helped me to walk slowly around the house every hour or so afterwards and stopped every few minutes to rub/pat my back. He basically burped me like a baby! I would let out a burp and with each burp expelled some gas and felt better! The only problem was it made us both laugh and it hurt my belly to laugh :).

I have had 5 laps and didn't try this for the 1st 4. I also didn't move around as much before and I now realise, for me, this was a mistake. Not only do you stiffen up and it takes the gas longer to dissipate but you also risk a DVT. I'm obviously not talking running a marathon or anything like that but slowly walking around with some assistance for 5 mins every hour or so really helped me.

Also watch out for constipation as the general anaesethic and pain killers can slow things down and block you up. Have some gentle laxatives ready. Dulcoease worked best for me but its worth having a couple of different ones in the house just in case. Ask your pharmacist for recommendations. Don't let it build up for a few days before taking any laxatives to relieve the situation as this can cause discomfort also. In my experience if I haven't had a bowel movement within 24 hours of the op then I take something to help. I still remember lap no. 3 when I didn't and hadn't had a bowel movement for 3 days after surgery - the pain was far worse then the incision sites! Gentle walking around will also help with this issue too.

I've been fortunate in that the general anaesethic has never (touch wood!) made me feel ill afterward but I hear ginger and peppermint are good for settling the stomach in the event it does for your girlfriend.

All the best to you both, x

I agree with peppermint tea helping greatly! Also the advice about post op constipation. When you are poorly you want to eat comforting food, but make sure you are making plenty of fruit & vegetable dishes that digest easily.

One thing I also find is that I hate my partner sleeping in the bed with me during initial recovery. The moving around on the mattress can cause me pain. He usually sleeps on a little air bed in the room so he's still there if I need him. Also I find your stomach muscles have taken a massive knock, so I'm sure she'll need a hand getting out of bed etc.

Hope this help, and wishing her lots of luck x

Just wanted to wish you both the best of luck. Excellent advice from the ladies as always!:-) xx

Thank you very much!

Hi there

Is it a diagnostic lap or treatment because this will have a bearing on recovery time etc

Buy some windeze!

Hot water bottle on my shoulders really helped me with the gas pains.

Take a pillow with you so that she can put it between the seat belt and her stomach on the way home.

Take baby wipes and a plastic bag with you. My bf had to help me stand to get dressed and then..It got a bit messy if you know what I mean,so the wipes really helped.

Some people can get a sore throat from the intubation? Anyway take some losenges with you for this possibility after the op.

I was quite nauseous, so request one of those cardboard bowls from the nurses for the journey home. I react this way to anaesthetic and I was nausea every time I stood up for a few days. Definitely light foods like vegetable soup.

I found my bf rubbing my back and shoulders post op was really soothing. You sound very supportive so I'm sure you will be ok.:)

Hope this helps.

Your all very kind people, thank you very much for your help and hopefully it all goes to plan and we have a positive outcome although it's hard to stay away from the negative. I really appreciate it, thank you.

I was nervous before my laparoscopy (who isn't), but she needs to remember these dr's do these procedures every day and it will be over before she knows it.

After the procedure, without sounding to vulgar, I found it very difficult to excrete due to the anaesthetic & painkillers plus the gas constipating you, so as mentioned above - light food & I swore by peppermint tea as a natural laxative or liquorice tea!

Hope it all goes well xx

Hi Lindle, yes I agree with you! My previous laps were not excision but laser. I gave up on traditional medicine for a while after being offered either hysterectomy or tramadol as my last options. I managed my symptoms through diet, exercise and naturopathic remedies.

Unfortunately my symptoms became unmanagable last year. Fed up with surgery that didn't seem to work I began doing research and for the first time learnt about the accredited Endo Centres - my GP didn't even know about them!

I also learnt of Mr T and as I am fortunate enough to have private health care insurance I asked to be referred to him. I underwent a diagnostic lap and hysteroscopy with him in Jan. I have severe endo "everywhere" including on my bladder and bowel, chocolate cysts on both ovaries and adenomyosis. I am booked in for surgery in March to include total peritoneal excision surgery (for the endo) and a hysterectomy (for the adeno). Needless to say I'm worried but hoping this will be the last surgery I need. Have you had surgery with Mr T and, if so, how did it go?

I think it appalling some GP's aren't even aware of the accredited endo centres despite endometriosis being a relatively common condition! I also keep reading on the forums people are still having laser surgery for endo despite the fact that excision is now classed as the gold standard. I can't help but wonder whether if it were a condition that affected men then would it be different story?!?

Also sadly 5 laps is reglatively a small number. Mr T actually told me he'd recently seen someone who had undergone 18 laps prior to seeing him!! I really hope no. 6 is the last one for me.

I have a question of two about all of this I don't want to crash this post. Can we PM? I'm using my iPhone so I might be missing the icon

Thanks for this Lindle. It's great to hear success stories.

I'm looking at 7 hours surgery so am very nervous and also worried about having a hysterectomy. Although I know 39 isn't exactly a spring chicken and there are women out there who have had to have a hysterectomy even younger then myself I still feel too young to have to go through this :(.

Still from everything I have read about Mr T and I even had the opportunity to speak to a former patient who had surgery with him 2 years ago, it's my best chance of improving my quality of life.

I would be really interested to know how your recovery went and how long it took to recovery if you wouldn't mind sharing?

Many thanks.

First off - big round of applause for being a stand up dude wanting to look after your GF and coming on here to ask for advice : )

I'm waiting for my 3rd lap so here are some of the things I've picked up...

* Take pillows to put between her and the seatbelt on the way home

* AVOID SPEED BUMPS ON THE WAY HOME

* Have something in the car she can vom in just in case she reacts to general anaesthetic that way

* The gas pain hurts like hell - ice packs/frozen peas/cold cans of pop held around her shoulders might help. I also found drinking something fizzy and having a good old belch helped but I'm a classy bird that way!

* Make sure she keeps on top of her pain killers, when the local anaesthetic injected around the entry ports wears off she'll know about it in a big way.

* Pillows. Lots of pillows and cushions. She'll be bloody uncomfortable and out of her tree on painkillers at best. I found it awful lying down and ended up with four pillows propping me up and two either side of me (if I fell asleep and veered to the side having something to support my belly helped).

* I know it seems kinda wrong asking your GF if she's managed to squeeze out a deuce but as the other ladies have said, maintaining regular bowel movements definitely helps. After my 1st lap I couldn't go for ten days. When it did finally happen I felt like I was dying! So if she's struggling with her eating get some liquid fibre sachet stuff and some laxos. Nice ; )

* Make sure her entry wounds don't get infected (and at the first sign of any weeping get her to the GP for antibiotics - if she's not with it enough to ring the GP do it for her).

* Make sure she takes it easy. The day after my 2nd lap my BF stayed in bed until 9pm so I HAD to take care of myself (ended up pulling the glue stitches in my belly button and getting a wound infection). If she is to be left unattended make sure everything she needs is within easy reach and maybe make a flask of tea.

* She will be upset. If they don't find any Endo she'll be back to square one with all the symptoms and no answers. If they find and treat the Endo she'll be told when she comes round so might not have the whole gist of things until her follow up appointment with her gynae. This in between period of waiting is awful and google will scare the crap out of her. There's some great information about treatments and support on the endometriosis uk website.

Best of luck to you both : )

Hi there

My advice would be peppermint Softmints and plenty of them!

I have also had 3 laps. The first 2 were agony with shoulder and rib pain from the excess gas. Then someone recommended peppermint sweets. My god they were magic, I barely had any gas pain when recovering from my 3rd lap. I of course had the pain and discomfort from healing like you would expect, but it was great not to have the gas pain in addition to this.

Best of luck

I know my response is probably late enough to where it won't matter, but as I advise anyone when I have mine, be aware that there may be mood swings during recovery. It's a physically and emotionally stressful time, so do your best to be patient and let her cry if she needs to.

I don't know what type of person she is, but also be aware of what signs of infections or complications would be like to look past any "I'm fine" claims. I've had to learn to accept an outsider's perspective of whether I'm fine or not regardless of what I say.

Also, advising from personal experience, have her get checked for infections, particularly PID or vaginosis--pelvic surgery can sometime cause these kinds of infections, even if both of you are std/sti free simply because the body is prone to infection and the hormones can go off balance during recovery.

That's just what I have to offer after having only two surgeries so far. I hope both of you are doing well.

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