Endometriosis UK
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Laparoscopy recovery?

I'm having my very first lap in a week. I've never had surgery in my life/never been put under. I had considered cancelling it as I've been so nervous and my work is starting to suffer with the anxiety, but today the old period hit! I woke up at 3am in so much pain I gipped and (apologies for the graphic) spent a fair few hours on the toilet bent so I could also hang my head over the sink (never had a baby, but from what I've heard - I was almost convinced I was having contractions). The rest of the day I have spent exhausted, in a horrible and sweaty amount of pain, nauseated and shaking with a stomach swollen up like a football - despite the tablets. It dawns on me that this is not normal, nor is the daily exhaustion, depression and pain when I aren't even on! So yeah, a diagnostic lap for endo is required... I'm supposed to be at work tomorrow. I promised my male employer the only time I'd have off for this is the week I booked for the lap, so here is my question... How do you feel after the lap? What is the pain like, compared to the monthlies? Do you swell, scar, throw up... Honesty please, I'm begging - no one I know has periods like this! Hope is nice, but preparation is key. I am currently clutching a hot water bottle to my stomach as if my life depends on it.

Thank you x

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I think you will find it easier than the horrendous periods you're having. It's normal to be sore and bruised afterwards. For me, it was more of a dull ache which could be managed with paracetamol. Not like the period pain that nothing will touch.

You have to factor in the anaesthetics/drugs they give you as well and we all respond differently. I'm sure I was sick after my first due to morphine, but even with that it wasn't terrible. When I look back and think about when I've felt awful I don't think of the surgery.

You will be tired afterwards due to the drugs and your body healing. All in all it's not a walk in the park, but it will likely pale in comparison to your current pain levels.

I know its easier said than done and some nerves are to be expected, but try not to worry about the anaesthetic. Modern anaesthetics are very safe and you will get to speak to the anaesthetist beforehand. Tell them about your concerns, but you will be fine.

I'm having my third lap this time next week - as the meme goes we should get frequent flyer points!

Gx

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I always said I should get frequent flyer points for all the trips to the doctors! Haha- that or if they just build me a nice little house on the side of the surgery... Thank you x

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Hey, firstly bless your heart that you are in so much pain! Endometriosis is so cruel and no one should have to suffer like that.

I'm 22 and had a laparoscopy in February when I was in my final semester at uni. I convinced myself I would be back at uni in a week and had focused and worried about the actual surgery so much that I forgot about the recovery. Please take as much time off as you need. Your health is so much more important than work! I know everyone is different but for me the pain was bad, going to the toilet was hard as my bladder was a bit confused and my tummy was so swollen so I just lived in leggings. It also hurt to laugh which was really inconvenient! The tiredness is overwhelming, and taking time to emotionally recovery is important but difficult and something I think I am still getting over. The stitches should be out after a week and if you use bio oil they heal up so nicely that they aren't noticeable. So there is nothing really awful you should prepare yourself for and no nasty surprises, just be kind to yourself :) take care and good luck for your surgery xxx

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Thank you, adding bio oil to the shopping basket x

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I've had 2 laps. The first I was told would take me 2 weeks to return to work but in fact it took me 5 weeks to return to work due to unexpected post op chronic fatigue. This pdf describes the internal healing process which can take 12 weeks, and lists the variable factors which influence recovery speed. You will need as long as you need and be sure to take it. XXX

fwiw my male boss was far more sympathetic than I imagined when I explained the disease to him properly.

centerforendo.com/is-my-end...

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Hey you sound just like me!

I started my period about a week before my lap (which is August 3rd) and I was in the worst pain I've ever been in. Had to take a pain pill (which I despise because they make me feel so sick) and I actually cried.. never have cried from pain before and I've been through some sh*t..

Although I haven't had one yet, I can sympathize with how you are feeling. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to cancel but as it gets nearer I almost feel numb to it.

I've asked many questions on my profile so feel free to scroll through there as I have had a lot of nice replies. If you need a buddy I'm here for you! I can also let you know how mine goes this week x

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Please do let me know, if you don't mind of course. I will definitely have a look through your profile. I guess the plus side to this is, atleast our monthlies should have finished for our Laps - better than dealing with both at once. And tell me about it! I'm pretty hardened for 25 - always thought I had a high pain threshold, but this pain is intolerable x

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Hi. Firstly- don't cancel your lap if the pain is that bad. It'll be the first step to getting you sorted. It's 100% normal to be anxious.

I was off work for 2.5 weeks after my lap. For the first week, I couldn't rally get up and down off the sofa unassisted, slept a lot due to the pain killers, etc. I was in pain when I wasn't dosed up, and when I was dosed up, I was not fit for work.

Week 2 - started going for daily walks, couldn't stand up straight, got very tires very quickly. The last few days were mainly due to fatigue and strength as I was not offered a phased return at work.

The recovery pain is manageable. You will experience cramping, bruising, and possible pressure in your stomach when using the loo. I had ablation. Tjis hasn't got rid of my symptoms but has improved them. If I need surgery again, I will be asking for excision.

Some people manage to go back to work after a week or even a few days but the endo was on ligaments so this was not possible in my case as it took a little longer to get back to normal.

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They said something to me about it possibly being in other places - I could I understand it maybe having something to do with my intestines, if that's possible as they told me I had IBS for years. I am googling ablation and excision as my understanding is a little hazy pre lap x

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Hello,

Sorry to hear about your awful pain. I can definitely relate to the pain your describing and I know how horrible it is! I had my first lap two weeks ago and I think it's safe to say everyone reacts differently. I was quite ill after mine as they found endometriosis on the bowel and this caused some complications after it was burned off. It ended up with me going to a&e and staying in hospital for two days but I think I was a rare case in this regard. I thought I'd be back to normal and back to work in a couple of days but it's only in the last 3 or 4 days that I've began to feel normal again (with the odd pain here and there).

Immediately after the lap I remember feeling very sore and sick so was given a lot of pain relief and anti sickness medicine and then the shoulder pain caused from the carbon dioxide gas the pump into your stomach was pretty bad but that passed within about 5 days.

My advice is not to cancel your lap as you definitely need answers but just be prepared for pain and sufficient recovery time afterwards. But some people don't experience it that bad - just make sure you let the nurses know if you're in pain and don't be afraid to ring up and ask questions!

Good luck :) I hope it goes okay! Xx

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