Diagnostic Lap Nerves, any advice please?

Hey ladies - I have my diagnostic lap on the wednesday 17th of may in the afternoon - first of all I'm dreading not eating all day!

My period will be due just after this date so I'm even more nervous for pain after surgery along side my usual agonising period pain, thankfully my work are letting me have from Wednesday till the Monday off to recover - think they are sick of me being high on codeine and constantly complaining and crying in pain at my desk that they are willing to be so understanding (I work with 4 women and 40 men!!!)

Another thing I'm really worried about that I don't think my friends and family understand as much is - what if they don't find anything?! What if the past 12 years of issues are all in my head? Or it ends up being something completely different causing my pain that they won't see when they do my diagonosric lap? Did anyone else feel this way?

The gynaecologist I saw who booked me in for the lap was actually just covering for the gynae that I will be doing my surgery so I feel abit worried that Iv not actually met this person yet too, but maybe that's just me over thinking things.

Did the gynae say anything to you/your carer straight after a diagnostic lap to give you an idea what was found? Or do you have to wait till your next appointment? I am very impatient and feel like not knowing will just be torture as it is.

Lastly does anyone have any advice on what to wear/take with me to hospital/ have around the house for the following days?

Thank you so much everyone

Xxx

7 Replies

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  • Hi HayleyWorried, it's normal to feel nervous before any surgery, but the actual day will be over before you know it and it's a relatively easy surgery to recover from.

    They discharge most people home on the day, they may keep you over one night if needed. I got kept in because I got out of surgery quite late in the day and I needed to empty my bladder before I could go. The pressure was too much, almost like stage fright and I couldn't go so I got kept in. Annoyingly enough just after my parents left I was peeing all night, typical!

    The thing you will feel the most after the op is actually the gas floating round that they have to fill your abdomen with, sometimes you can feel a bit in you shoulder, it just feels a bit like wind so it can go a bit sharper but it'll be nothing compared to the endo pain!

    My surgeon came and told me what was found and explained what they did pretty quick a after I woke up (I I think, I lost concept a of time!) I too am impatient and after waiting years to get to this point I wanted the results of the surgery quick!

    I had your worry of what if they look and there is nothing there!?? It sounds crazy but after years of battling doctors and having to fight to even get a laraoscopy it did put doubt in my own mind. But you have to trust your instincts, your pain is not make believe and listen to your body, you will know where it doesn't feel right.

    I would wear comfy clothes to the hospital, jogger bottoms and a loose t-shirt, they will be easier and feel nicer to put on after your gown. As two of the entry points are quite low (below trouser length) the last thing you want is a tight waistband!

    But most of all don't worry, just look forward to the relief afterwards, we don't get a break from it often!

    Feel free to message me if you have any more questions, I'm actually looking to set up an online support group for endo so if you are interested in that too let me know.

  • I wore a nightie in hospital so I didn't have to put anything on my waist then popped some loose joggers on under the nightie for going home. That's pretty much what I lived in for the next two weeks, that or pyjamas!

    I'm a bit worried that you seem to be expecting to go back to work the following Monday, that seems very soon. I know everyone is different but I don't know anyone who has gone back to work in under a week. Remember you can self-certify for up to five days. My gp then signed me off so I had a week and a half but I think I needed two weeks really... but I did have some minor ablation done.

  • I too was concerned about mentioning you planned to go back to work after a few day, I had 3 weeks off after both of my laps but I did have excision work done during both. I would say a few days off might not be long enough xxx

  • I can completely understand your nerves - I felt exactly the same! However, I promise you it really isn't as bad as you've probably made out in your head! The surgery itself is really quick.

    As people said above, I would strongly advise you take at least a week off work. 3 days doesn't really sound enough, you will find it may take that long just to get over the anaesthetic, you will probably be very tired and it can take a few more days for the gas to leave your body, and that can be painful. You can self-certify for a week, and there should be no problem getting a doctors note if you need any more. Any decent employer will understand - you are having surgery :) I ended up having a week and a half off, but really I should have had 2 weeks off at least as I think I went back to work too early.

    In terms of your period, I had mine 2 days after my laproscopy, and it was the first time I had a painless period. It only lasted 2 days and I had no pain at all. So you may actually find the surgery helps with your period pains, especially if it is endo.

    My surgeon saw me a couple of hours after the operation to say what they had found, so they should tell you and will probably book you in for a post-op check up afterwards. They won't let you go home until you've eaten and drunk something, and have had a wee! And they most definitely won't let you go home unless you've got someone with you. I would strongly recommend having someone round the house for about 2 days - the advice is 24 hours after the operation, but I ended up fainting more than a day after my operation, and was so grateful my mum was around! But you can usually go home the same day, depending on what time your operation is.

    Also, where loose fitting clothing - you don't want to be wearing tight jeans round your stomach, and your stomach will be swollen for a couple of days from the gas, so have some comfy clothes to wear.

    Good luck - you will be absolutely fine! And I don't think anyone will think anything if it turns out to be nothing. If it is endo, then you will know and can then deal with it, and if it isn't, you know you can forget that and consider the alternatives. Only you know when things aren't right, and I am sure no-one will mind or say anything if it turns out not to be endometriosis - the important thing is you know :)

  • Hi Hayleyworried

    Bless you, your post sounds just the same as I felt a few weeks ago.

    My diagnostic lap was on Monday 1st May last week...I really hope I can help you feel a little better...

    With regards to the not eating on the day, I was feeling too nervous to really want much to eat, and I'm usually a "breakfast as soon as I wake up" kind of girl!! It's really important however to make sure you don't eat after the time they give you, so definitely listen to the guidelines. It can be a little uncomfortable as you may begin to feel hungry, however lots of magazines or whatever you like to read or do will help to distract you. I would really recommend that you take a couple of bottles of water in your bag, as it's likely that your mouth will be really dry afterwards. They will obviously give you water but I found I needed more!

    My period was also due the day after my op...and came bang on. I've been having quite heavy periods (one of my symptoms) and this one has been no lighter to be honest. I did find the pains slightly less, however I was taking more pain killers than normal so it could've been due to that. I took paracetamol and ibuprofen for the first 4 days every 4 hours during the day. It's such a personal journey, however I found that taking them regularly rather than waiting for the pain to get bad, then taking them, was definitely better. Make sure you've got a good stash of paracetamol and ibuprofen at home. The hospital may give you some, but I'd stock up just in case. They also gave me 30mg codeine which really made me quite drowsy so I just stuck with the paracetamol and ibuprofen. You said you've been taking some codeine for the pain already though, so I'm sure you'll be ok.

    It's a week tomorrow since my lap, and I know I keep saying we're all different, however I just couldn't go back to work yet. My job is mainly office based with a fair amount of walking around here and there, so not the most physical, however it's my low energy levels at the moment that are stopping me. Today has been the first day I've not felt distant, so I did more than I've done so far this week and have felt completely shattered this evening. Honestly, don't push yourself, it really is a little at a time...I've been wearing my PJs every day until today. I read online somewhere that surgery is an event and recovery is a process, and it's so so true. Your future self will thank you for giving yourself the extra time that you need now. My consultant signed me off for 2 weeks without even asking me, so I'm sure that must be standard. The form for work was left with the nurse to give to me. Your body is forever but it's likely that your job isn't. I really want to say please please please take the time off that you feel you need. Listen to your body and do what you feel is right for you...NO ONE should tell you when you're ready to go back.

    In terms of your family and friends...there is little bit of literature online that you can give them to read. I need to wait for my follow up appointment (6 weeks post op) to find out the next steps. I was due to have a hysteroscopy as well, however the surgeon couldn't access my uterus through my cervix! I didn't see the surgeon who did my op after the procedure, however he did come to have a quick chat to me beforehand, so fingers crossed they will come and meet you too and you'll be able to ask any questions you have. I wrote my questions down beforehand and I was so glad I did. An empty tummy also empties your memory ;)

    I would also say the same as the girls here...an oversized nightie was my saviour, especially at night time. I had 2 incisions, 1 just below my belly button and 1 over to the left. I went to primark and brought some comfy lounge pants for £5 and I wore these home from the hospital with a baggy t-shirt and my slippers. I'd suggest getting lounge pants or leggings a size larger than you would normally. Your tummy may be a little bloated from the gas afterwards and also you can pull the waistband up a little higher. If you get shoulder pain from the carbon dioxide they use, the best thing I can suggest is to gently move around if you can. Moving definitely helps to disperse the gas. I drank peppermint tea too and I think this helped with the bloating slightly. And a hot water bottle is also good.

    And rally as much help both emotionally and physically from friends and family. Even if it's just a message once a day to say they're thinking of you, it helped me so much. People usually want to help but just don't know how to, so to be honest, I think they're grateful if you let them know what you need.

    This may sound a little silly however I wish I'd built up a little upper body strength. I found sitting up in bed for the first 48 hours a little tricky on my own and some slightly stronger arms would've come in handy, so I'd suggest doing a little upper body strength work, unless you're pretty fit already :) And, stay as healthy as you can over the next 10 days...good food, fresh air and plenty of sleep.

    Also, it might be worth stocking up on some night time sanitary towels, just in case your flow is a little heavier.

    We've got some lovely weather at the moment too, so really make the most of sitting out in the fresh air when you feel up to it. Also I've joined Netflix and got a free month...and definitely got my money's worth already ;)

    I wish I could tell myself this time last week that it's not going to be as bad as I thought it was. The medical staff are all understanding and kind. They will look after you! You will be safe and they are experts in making sure the best is done for you. I know it's easier said than done, however I promise you, the more relaxed and positive you can be, the better. I don't know if you're into breathing techniques or meditation, however I found listening to some pre surgery meditations on YouTube really helpful.

    I'm quite new to this forum and I've not posted here before, however when I read your post I really felt I wanted to reply. Take lots of care of yourself, and take the time you need and deserve.

    With lots of love xxxxx

  • I am very sorry that you have such terrible pain. You are not alone and most women have the same concerns.

    There is nothing wrong with asking to meet the individual who will be performing your surgery. Call the office and explain that you need a few moments to meet and have your surgeon explain what he/she will be doing.

    I have had many surgeries due to endo and adhesions with a hysterectomy at 39 yrs. I too would be afraid that "nothing " would be found to explain my pain and is this All In My Head! Rest assured that

    in all my scans etc that "nothing" showed up with the exception of a cyst. Surgery showed a completely different story of frozen pelvis, endometriosis everywhere etc and my surgeon asking " how did you walk?" I even went to a therapist with my fears and she kindly said..... wouldn't that be nice if there was nothing ..... something to think about. I believe your pain and so does your surgeon💕Hopefully your surgeon can repair some of your problems so your periods will not be as bad. What I did back in the 90's was to convince my OBGYN to let me take the Birth Control Pill every day of the year .... for years to STOP my periods! It helped immensely until I was old enough to have a hysterectomy.

    Surgery is very frightening! Please do not feel ashamed of your fears and talk to your surgeon!!

    Endometriosis is a Horrible Disease and yet So Little is being done to Change the way Women are Treated?

    We have to FIGHT for CHANGE!! Men would Never be treated the way women are every day!

    Keep us posted and know you are not alone!

  • Thank you for everyone for responding, it has really helped hearing your advice and support. My Lap has been moved to next Thursday now - the 25th in the afternoon. My period came after 2weeks of finishing my last one and ruined a weekend away :( fed up is a n understatement right now but just have to think that this time next week il hopefully have some more answers :( after waiting 12+ years i shouldnt let another week waiting get to me this much but its so difficult.Thank you again for the support everyone. xxxx

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