Endometriosis UK
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Phased return to work, suggestions?

I've been off work for 2 months following a segmental bowel resection and laparoscopy to remove endometriosis. I have agreed with the GP to return to work in a few days time but on a phased return. He has told me to think about what hours etc I want to do so we can discuss when I see him on Monday.

I usually work full time 5 days a week 9-5:30 so not sure what sort of hours I should do to start with. It's really difficult to know how tired I will get or how I will feel.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received!

4 Replies

Hi hanlouxxx

I hope you are feeling much better after your surgery. I was off work for 7 months with pelvic pain from major PID and ended up having a laparoscopy to drain the infection (meant to remove my tubes but couldn't) and remove lots of adhesions. It took me 6 weeks to recover from the op (but they now think I have endo so still have pain). Anyway, I work similar hours to you. I spoke to the Occupational Health doctor at work after my op and returned to work for 2 weeks at half my hours increasing to 2 weeks at 75% my hours before going back to normal hours. I was also excused from attending external meetings. In the beginning even getting to work was exhausting and being in the office was mentally tiring, as I was very detached from work and the work environment, but my managers were very gentle on me. Do you have an Occupational Health department you could get advice from? Could you also suggest travelling outside of rush hour to shorten your commute? I hope this helps.


Firstly I wouldn't go back at all until your ready don't feel pressured x if you go back doing minimal then you can increase if you feel up to it , I'm sure that's easier than doing too much and needing to reduce or go off sick . You've had serious surgery look after yourself

1 like

Hi. Hope you are feeling better. What kind of job do you do? I went back to work after 14 weeks off following a total hystetectomy and excision of endo. Recovery was hampered by three infections resulting in two hospital admissions( and two other gynae ops before this one). My phased return is still on going but I am lucky my boss's have been very supportive. I work as a nurse and i just did 9-1 the first few weeks On light duties. Hours have slowly increased as have duties. Main issue is tiredness and achyness but this is to be expected. The best advice I was given was to take it slowly and not over do it. 😀

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I agree on seeing occupational health if you can.

I've done phased return a few times after ops, including after hysterectomy and then once endo returned and a further lap. I say do as little as you can!! Seriously do take your time and build up slowly as you'll be surprised how tired you get just by having to get to work and be in the office. If you commute ask to work out of rush hour so perhaps start at 11 to 3 for a couple of weeks then do 10 to 4? Could you work at home? I found alternating days in the office to days at home really helped as I could do the hours I was meant to at home but have a rest in the middle of the day.

Just listen to your body and renegotiate with work if you can after you've tried a week or two on whatever pattern feels right for you.

good luck


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