Post lap recovery - what to expect? - Endometriosis UK

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Post lap recovery - what to expect?


Hi everyone!

I have been booked in for a lap pre-assessment on Thursday & was told the wait for the lap itself would be 6 - 8 weeks. I was wondering what people's experiences were for post-lap recovery? Just to have an idea to tell my boss if I'm going to be off work (I've had several days off sick due to this issue & want to be prepared).

TIA xx

13 Replies

Depends how much they take out! I thought I was going to be off for 3 days max but I only felt fully myself after 3 weeks and I went back to uni after 1.

Expect to have a swollen tummy! Because they're blowing carbon dioxide gas into you during the laparoscopy- so they have better access to your organs- post surgery sometimes the gas gets trapped under your diaphragm which hurts quite a lot when your breath in and the pain spreads to your shoulder.

Don't worry about it though it's painful but normal and goes away after about 2 days. It helped me to put a hot water bottle or something warm over my diaphragm to relieve the pain a bit.

You'll need lots of time to properly recover so maybe tell your boss you'll be off for 2 weeks just to be sure?

Good luck! Xxx

in reply to curl123

Thanks for the reply.

I'm just glad I no longer work for a boss who likened his tooth extraction (2 days off work) to my friends appendectomy (not keyhole) & had a go at her for taking two weeks off work..!

Good evening Tia

I had my lap on 3rd December where endometriosis was finally diagnosed and endio was burnt off, I am now on a 6 month temporary menopause with injections and HRT because I have endio on my bowel, Due to the soreness inside and tirdness my consultant gave me a note for 2 weejs and I am gkad she did. I am returning back to work this monday 21st Dec so I will see how I get on. Everones body is different you may need longer off work, listen to your body. I hope all goes well if you need to know anything about the op I will help you I can.

take care honey

Thanks for the reply, I hope you're recovering well. The tiredness I'm having now is starting to catch up with me.

I'm going to (hopefully!) resume TTC after I'm recovered, even though my consultant is adamant I should keep trying now (silly man - once the hormones wear off after pregnancy, I'll be left in agony with a small baby to look after as well, probably restricting what painkillers I can take too if I'm breastfeeding? I'm getting myself fixed (hopefully!!) first then start family)

P.s. I meant Thanks In Advance (TIA)

Hi jellykat, like someone else has said it will depend on what you have done, how long you are under anaesthetic and how your body responds to anaesthetic. I was under for 4 hours for my first one and over 8 hours for my second one which were very lengthy ops. I had 6 weeks off the first one (starting with a 2 week sick note, that got extended). My second op was a lot more complicated and therefore I've been off for 3 months as I had to have a further op six weeks later. So I would say try not to rush back and see how you feel. Peppermint tea, vitamins and hot water bottle have helped me through! It could be worth asking the consultant how long they think you will need? Mine have been very helpful. Good luck

in reply to Wind_mill

Goodness, that was a long recovery time for your second. I hope you're feeling better now though. Thanks for the tips xx

I had my lap 5 days ago and I'm still feeling very wiped out... I developed a bladder infection thanks to the catheter they use during surgery so that might be hindering my recovery. I would say - absolute minimum 2 weeks but it does depend on how much they get rid of. I had a small patch of Endo (causing me no end of grief)... Although it's keyhole, people tend to forget that it's still someone cutting into you, moving all of your organs around and burning/cutting at your organs... Take it easy and DO NOT rush your recovery..... It will only take longer in the long run.

Crikey! Thanks for the heads up... My sister in law has had lap removal & said it wasn't as bad as LLETZ treatment on the cervix (which I've had too & only took a week to recover, only local anaesthetic though, not general!) which I why I wasn't expecting people to be saying at least two weeks...

Thanks for the reply though xx


I went back after a week and a half but worked from home (I would have taken longer but getting appointments at my GP is a nightmare). I was mentally better to go back to work by that time but found I got tried very quickly when walking for about 3 weeks afterwards and sitting down for long periods made my back ache. After that, it's just the scars which take a while to heal, so I had to invest in some dresses and tights as trousers put too much pressure on them or made them super itchy! It depends on your job, mines office based so if I was uncomfortable just going for a walk or taking time for a cuppa usually relieved some discomfort.

What I would also say (and I'm not sure if I'm the only one) is that the op really weakened my core. It's 2 months after the op but my tummy muscles aren't what they used to be! I'd say that was the biggest surprise, was not feeling fit or feeling as though I'd be back doing exercise as normal - I've heard of people starting Pilates to help with core muscles after they feel well enough.

Good luck with your op!

in reply to Esuhmg12

Thanks, Ive got some stretchy skirts (and even maternity pants!) I can use, and working from home is a good compromise too x

I had my first lap yesterday, I've been home about 12 hours now. No endo was found which is good news but I'm feeling very weepy now wondering what's causing the pain and wondering if it's in my head and if people will think I've been faking it - I'm hoping it's just the anaesthetic but don't underestimate that the results from the op might have a mental impact as well as physical.

Pain wise, I didn't have anything removed but I have a lot of pain in my back around my ribs and in my shoulders from the gas so I'm taking peppermint tea. I'm finding bending down, sitting down, lying down and getting up quite painful as its pulling my tummy so be aware of that too. Once I'm laid down its just quite sore.

I'm bleeding more than I thought I would, it's kind of like having a period and I have some cramping too, but at the same time as the lap I had vaginal Botox for pain during sex so I can't be sure if the bleeding and cramping are lap or Botox related.

Try not to worry too much, it's a good step to be taking 😊 I have been given a sick note for two weeks and that's without any kind of excision so I would assume that's the minimum!

Good luck with everything 😊

in reply to steph-89

Thanks for your reply Steph, if it's not endo, is it adenomyosis instead? It's frustrating when tests don't show anything, I bet you just want a clear answer to why you feel the way you do.

I had my pre-op assessment today, the nurse said the gas discomfort usually lasts two days, sometimes three for some ladies, but I can expect to be ok after a week..?!

I think you're right about the mental aspect of it too... the real problems I had with this situation really took off when I came off the pill (idiot me thought all the pains were BECAUSE I was on the pill - duh!) trying to conceive for a baby. For me, I had it all planned... how long I'd take off work when I had baby, what life would be like, etc... but after being in total absolute agony being off the pill, my husband and I decided I was better off being on the pill at least until after I'd had treatment. Taking that first pill again was really upsetting for me, feeling like this condition was forcing me to give up on my dreams of starting a family, on top of how stressful it was making my life at work (which is really stressful too).

I just hope that the lap is worth it, that I do start to feel better afterwards, otherwise it'll just add to the stress of it all being for nothing.

No one can understand your pain the way you do though... just because they didn't appear to find anything doesn't mean there's no cause to your pain. Maybe you'll just have to tell people that you're a medical enigma and that after all, someone had to discover each condition first before it was actually put in the textbook, there's nothing to say each textbook is complete.

Hope you're feeling more comfortable soon & getting the support you need xx

in reply to steph-89

Hi Steph, how are you feeling now?

I've been chatting to my in-laws about my SIL who has been in agony with endo for ages, her first lap didn't show anything, her second lap didn't show anything worth removing either. My MIL was reminding me this was a possibility for me, as what was seen was not proportionate to the pain my SIL was in... this is something echoed in all the official literature is that the pain is not reflected by the severity of the grade of endo.

Hope you're feeling better x

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