How's long did it take everyone to recover?

I had laparoscopy on Friday and they removed endo from my uterosacral ligament and from the pouch of Douglas. I'm now 4 days post op and still in a lot of pain, taking co-codamol and ibuprofen and haven't moved much from my bed apart from popping to the toilet.

How long should I expect this recovery to take?

Thank you, Nat x

22 Replies

  • I had a lap on the 25th of November and was told 2-4 weeks for recovery. I Returned to work after 2 weeks but really could have done with another week as I was really tired and uncomfortable. I would say 3-4 weeks to get back to normal but everyone is different. Just try to relax and keep yourself comfortable. My hot water bottle was stuck to me constantly :-) x

  • Thank you for your reply :) in the discharge I wasn't given a doctors note or an estimated time to rest etc so my work are just playing it by ear at the moment. I have quite a hectic job (vet nurse) and I'm supposed to be on call on Boxing Day and then back to work on the 28th... work have allowed and expected me not to be in before Boxing Day but at this rate I don't think I'll be able to be on call or back on the 28th :( my consultant is calling me tomorrow as she didn't get chance to come and talk to me after she did the surgery so I may get a doctors note then to sign me off. I'm one of those silly people who hates letting work down even after I've had an op!! Xx

  • That's like me I hate being off and even before I was rushed into surgery i had phoned my work worried because I was meant to be involved with interviews the week after :-(. You should be able to go to your GP and get signed off I specifically asked the doctor in my ward to write me one so my husband could drop it off while I was still in. The 28th might be pushing it, if you do go in don't be lifting or stretching and just stay seated and comfortable I found it hard standing for any length of time it really drained me so take your time :-) x

  • Thank you I will do that :) hopefully when I do go back they may let me sit out on reception rather than going into ops and lifting heavy dogs - I probably have one of the worst jobs for recovery!! I just think I completely underestimated how much it would effect me, but then again they said it would be a 15 minute diagnostic operation which turned into 50 mins of removing endo :( x

  • It really depends on how the surgery went, but a lot longer than 4 days regardless. With my first lap I had complications (internal bleeding) and was very ill after the surgery. It took me about 2 months to recover from that one. I had another lap 5 weeks ago, during which endo was excised from my bladder and a cyst was drained (but I have very bad disease so most of it was left untreated). Spent about a week resting, mostly in bed, but was driving and picking my kids up from school by day 6. Took about a month to really shake the tiredness though.

  • Poor you :( They managed to diathermise it all from what I've been told, up until yesterday the anaesthetic and all of the tablets have made me quite sick, the past 2 days I've started eating more properly x

  • Everyone seems to be different, I've read a few experiences of people going back to work after 3 days but have no idea how the heck they managed that! I was signed off for 3 weeks. Went back on the fourth week but really struggled with tiredness, thankfully had the 5th week booked off as annual leave for a holiday then back to work this week and next week of for xmas ... which worked out well as it's A bit more of phased return to work which is nice as I still feel really tired but it is getting better. Take it all by ear and don't push yourself too far as you'll just end up causing more issues in the long run. As mentioned while some seem to be able to return super quick I've also read some people that had take 4-6 weeks to return to work, especially if it's physically demanding.

    Hope you start feeling on the mend soon!


  • Thank you so much for your advice :) I'm awaiting a phone call today from my consultant who did the surgery herself as I haven't been told in detail about what exactly happened yet, so maybe once I get more insight she can help me make a decision and a period of time to be signed off. Endo sucks! X

  • Hi. Hope you feel better soon! I had two weeks off work and I'm so glad I did. I was tender and sore for at least ten days and didn't feel like doing much. I went out and about closer to the 14 day mark but even then I got tired and still felt tender. It's very early days for you so just rest. Get well soon. Xx

  • Thank you so much for your help :) xx

  • The consultant said the rule is generally for every day you spend at hospital you need 1 week off. When I had diagnostic lap which only had some minor excision and stent put in. I had two weeks off. When I had major operation involving ureter, bladder, bowel and other places. I was hospitalised for 3 nights and had 4 weeks off. I found the amount of time is appropriate for me. But I did phase my return after my second operation. I did half days for 2 weeks then back to full time. I feel pretty much back to normal after 3 months.

    It is best to take your time rather than hurrying back. It will only delay your recovery. You can ask your GP to assess you and give you a sick note.

    Take care.

  • That's great advice thank you! X

  • I think it's worth talking to your hospital if the pain regime they started you on isn't cutting it. X I had lap and ovary cyst removal and till my return to work today after 2 week s just paracetamol was covering it. Now I have had to up my meds to something stronger.

  • I had to take three weeks off, esp as I got an infection in one of the areas where I had stitches. I should have taken longer off as the pain was unbearable still but I didn't want to let work down and it was the lead up to Christmas. Take as long as you need to

  • I feel exactly the same, we are such a small team and majority of the nurses have children so would not want to work any extra shifts (to cover mine if I'm off). I'm waiting on a call from my surgeon today so I will ask her what she would reccomend, thank you for the advice :)

  • I had my diagnostic lap on fri too. Small routine op my arse! Ive been so ill! I had complications coming around from the anesthetic, it took me over an hour and then I fell in and out of consiousness for three hours whilst on oxygen. The pain was unreal and they kept me in.

    I was told i have endo, but they didnt say anything else and i was too high on morphine to ask tbh. But thinking about it now i was in surgery for over an hour!

    I came out of hospital saturday afternoon, and have been tender, bloated, in pain, crazy on codeine, emotional wreck. It has literally knocked me off my feet, and i havent moved from my bed apart from walking around to get the gas out!

    I too have a very physical job, with the council as a housing officer for the elderly. I am on call all day, often picking people off the floor, running around, meetings etc. I'm also on call NYD for a 24hr shift.

    Luckily I took two weeks off, because I knew it was over xmas and I wanted to give them plenty of notice as I am also in a small team over 15 which covers the whole of Bristol!

    I was really having anxiety about doing my on call NYD, as i dont know what il do if i get called somewhere at 2am! My body and mind cant function right now. My manager phoned me yesterday and although making a remark before my op about its convienence for me around xmas time?! She couldn't believe how ill i was and was really sympathetic. She told me to text her friday if im still ill and they will attempt to cover my NYD shift. She also said to let her know if i need three weeks off and this rate i may have to.

    When im ill every month, i feel so guilty having time off work, but now i have my diagnoses i know its not all in my head and selfishly i do need rest.

    I would take another week off sweet. Just to be sure and they would appreciate the notice now.

    Sorry for the long one!


  • Hi Abi,

    Thank you so much for your message, it has really put me at ease!

    Before I was taken to theatre, the doctors and nurses told me it was purely diagnostic, they didn't expect to find much and were just exploring my years worth of 'abdominal pain', and that the surgery would be around 15 minutes, and if it turned out to be more complicated then they would rearrange for me to come back in another day for surgery.

    Exactly the same as you - small op my arse!! 2 hours later I woke up in recovery, in unbelievable pain. The nurse told me the op had taken 50 minutes, but I can't really remember what else I was told then as I wasn't with it at all. I was given fentanyl and kept on oxygen until I was taken back to the ward where I was kept in for a further 6 hours after 2 lots of different anti-sickness meds and more codeine. I have been taking co-codamol every day since the op (managed to get the dose down to just twice per day with ibuprofen), I stopped vomiting on Monday, but I am still very uncomfortable and in a lot of pain.

    The gas isn't bothering me too much as it has trapped in my shoulders more than anywhere so my abdo doesn't feel overly uncomfortable by it all, and like you I still haven't properly got out of bed apart from going to the bathroom (where I still havent had a bowel movement?! started on a gentle laxative this morning to help).

    I really can't believe either how much this op has effected me for the worst , I didn't think I would be in bed for this long and unfunctionable! I feel a lot better in myself today and yesterday, I don't feel as away with the fairies anymore from the medication, but still not going to get my own food/drink yet.

    I think we are completely in the same boat with our work life! I am awaiting a call from my consultant today, as it was her that did the surgery, but she was unable to discharge me or come and see me after the op, so I'm going to ask for a doctors note, and then I will call my boss and say that I am just not up for coming back yet. And also just like you, I can't bear the thought of getting a call at 2am to go in and lift a 30+kg dog for an operation, let alone even drive my car!

    I also feel so relieved that it hasn't all been in my head, its been so emotional to explain to people how you feel without any physical proof! So just like you again, I feel as though we deserve to have a break now!

    Sorry for the long one also!! xx

  • Thanks for the reply, i think its good to have support from someone in exact the same position!

    Oh wow, i was lucky to get away with sickness! I was very nauseated when i came found and was given anti-sickness drugs but never actually vomited!

    What have you been eating? Ive only been eating brown toast and tea for bfast, i havent been having lunch but need to start. Then my hubs cooks me a dinner, but i cant eat it all because it hurts my stomach. I've been eating a banana each morning with a peppermint tea to help my bowels, and its worked!

    I was put on so many drugs in hospital because nothing worked and then high on codeine since coming out, that i've had no sleep because i've had hallucinations, and generally just spend my days staring into space!

    I've just had a hysterical fit of laughter state for like an hour, and my hubs put me back to bed. I was up trying to get back to normality. Its crazy!

    Do you have instagram? I tend to use it as my personal and endo account?


  • I definitely spoke to soon earlier as I've been vommiting all afternoon!! :( not nice! You have had a lucky escape - although with all the side effects of the drugs you've had that can't be settling at all!

    I've actually been able to eat pretty normally, toast for breakfast, snacking on fruit and crisps, managed a small roast the other evening and a bowl of pasta with sauce last night :) had a bowel movement this evening after starting a gentle laxative this afternoon - hooray!

    Yes my Instagram is: natalieadixon

    :) xx

  • natalie.adixon - sorry!

  • I had a lap on 17 Dec, was told I would feel ok within a couple of days but to take it easy for a couple of weeks. I feel dreadful, weak, awful lower back pain, hip pain and my stomach is covered in bruising and I look six months pregnant. I am finding it really difficult and can't manage without pain killers. I find I have to lie down and rest. Also, my belly button area feels tight and I feel like I can't breath properly into my tummy. My lap was to remove cysts on my ovaries but they found really bad endo on both ovaries which was treated, was told insides not in a good state and would need to discuss options on follow up consultation. I also felt really sick from the anaesthetic up to yesterday. Today my stomach below my belly button started swelling up like a balloon to double in size!! This is no walk in the park, I wish doctors would clearly explain the side effects so you can prepare yourself properly instead of worrying if what you are experiencing is normal or not. I am signed off work till 4 January but am wondering how long it is going to be before I feel back to normal again.. if anyone knows any remedies for the swollen belly let me know.

  • I had a lap in May. Recovery depends on how long the op was and how much work was done so will vary case by case. I had my ovary and tube removed due to an endo cyst but then got a UTI on top. I was advised 4-6 weeks off work but I went back at 3 weeks and that was too early. Took ages for my hormones to settle, more like 6 months.

    Remember that the outside bits will heal quick but the insides take a lot longer. Also the first couple of periods after may hurt alot as the cycle undoes some of the internal healing x My first one was horrific and just put me into bed for a week, ones after that were better. Hope you feel better soon x

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