Endometriosis UK
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Lap advice?

Hello everyone!

I got my lap on the 9th of March. I'm 19 and looking for any general experiences or advice. One thing I like to add the doctors always struggle to get blood out of me my veins are a bit strange not sure if anyone else have experienced this?

Feel free to share your stories too

Thank you xxx

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Hello, I tend to have issues with giving blood due to slight anxiety and a circulation problem causing the veins to hide, it can also be down to dehydration. Regarding the lap I'd like to recommend peppermint tea to shift the gas pain which will mostly be felt in the shoulder, it's not pleasant but tends to go after a few days or two. I like applying hot water bottles to my lower half too as it eases slight pain and again with the gas pains.

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Ah it's awful isn't it . I hate needles as it is but when they take longer to do them I get so hot and nauseated haha. My hands are always freezing so I'm guessing my circulation is a bit off. I will get peppermint tea this weekend! not fussed on the taste but I guess you do anything to get rid of pain. Thank you very much for your advice!

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1. Microwaveable heat bags were my saviour - one on my stomach and one on my shoulders

2. Take a picture of any notes/photos from the surgery for your own records. You have a right to this - they're your notes!

3. Your belly button may look weird, smell gross and take ages to heal - nasty smell is usually normal and usually fine. It's not a flat surface and it's been through a lot so takes time to heal. Just warning you of this as it took me by surprise but when I googled it I found out it's really common.

Good luck x

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I got one heatbag I shall get another love the ones that smell of lavender. Oh wow are you allowed to take photos I been curious of this. I mean I would like to take a photo of the endo if its there so I got mental proof and look at it and not feel like its all in my head haha. Thank you for the belly button advice too all very much appreciated! x

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Yes, sounds weird but I love having a picture of my endo as I was so pleased to finally get a diagnosis having convinced myself they'd find nothing. I wish I'd taken a photo also of my notes and the other photo they took. Of course you should be allowed - it's your insides! You may have to be a little insistent although they didn't mind at all letting me see - but you have a right to access your own medical notes x

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The anaesthesist hit my hand with a pen for what seemed like hours to find a vein and honestly that was the most painful part of the experience, still hurt something shocking for a few weeks after! Also make sure you can wee properly before leaving the hospital, biggest mistake of my life! Your bladder can still be swollen for up to 3 months after so bear that in mind x

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Oh no that sounds awful I hate when they try to really force a vein up:( it hurts like hell before a nurse was flicking mine really hard it was not pleasant. Yes I make sure I will. I can't hardly stop going to the toilet in the night for a pee lol I just can't stand holding any in. I didn't know it can be swollen up to 3 months that really surprised me. Thank you for the advice x

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After my op in November I managed a pee but it was a struggle. Im still really having to push hard to squeeze some out (sorry tmi) do you think thats due to my bladder being swollen?

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Most likely, depends if and where they removed any from or what the catheter caught on the way in, mines still not right amd may lap was November too x

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Take Gas-X. This will help get the gas the use out of your body and relieve the back and shoulder pain. Also make sure you have stool softeners. It is very important to have lots of liquids and eat healthy in the first week. Listen to what your body tells you. I am still healing from my fourth one.

Good luck you will do great!

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Ah yes I will look out for Gas-x the shoulder pain doesn't seem pleasant from what I've heard. I will I am quite healthy I don't eat much meat maybe 3 times a week and cut out a lot of dairy products:) I never drink as much as I should maybe I should start:) Thank you very much for your advice!

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Hiya

This is a really long reply...sorry for waffling a little...

I have naughty veins too. Whenever I have a blood test, I always drink at least a couple of pints of water during the hour or two beforehand as this just helps to plump your veins up a little and make them easier to find and to take blood from. However, with your lap, you aren't able to do that (super important to stick to that). But there's completely no need to worry...the anaesthetists are absolute experts at getting needles into dehydrated people with naughty veins :) They do tap the back of your hand to get the needle in when you're in the pre op room, however to be honest there's quite a bit going on that will distract you. They put a tourniquet around your upper arm (I'm sure to help plump up veins) and this does a good job too. It wasn't as relaxing as going for a facial ;) however it really is all done with so so quickly, and in almost the next moment, you're waking up again!

The 9th March is going to go absolutely fine. It's fabulous that you've got it sorted...brilliant!!!

I had my diagnostic lap last May and so I can tell you how it was for me, and I hope this helps.

The nurses are absolutely lovely, they really do take care of you. It's a good idea to take something in with you to occupy your mind, a book, magazines, your phone and charger etc, as you could be waiting a few hours. I was told to arrive at 8am and I went down at 10.45am, which wasn't too bad at all.

Obviously, no food or liquid at all from the time they tell you to not have any...it's so important to stick to this.

I would take a dressing gown and slippers in with you, just to walk down to the pre op room. They give you a gown to wear which ties up at the back, so a dressing gown is good to hide your bottom just in case it shows 😉 The pre op room all goes very quickly...I thought I was doing really well at staying calm, however one of the nurses asked me if I'd like her to stay, so I was probably more nervous than I thought I was. It was absolutely no problem at all having the anaesthetic, it all happens so quickly. The absolute best advice I can give you is to try and be as calm as you can. It might help to start breathing relaxation exercises or meditation over the next few days, there are so many videos on YouTube. I found a pre surgery meditation that really helped me on the days leading up to my op. I read somewhere on here I think, that the mind you go into your op with is the mind you wake up with. And so I really worked hard at staying calm. And looking back, I can say for me at least, that is absolutely true. It will benefit you so much to be as relaxed as you can be. I was still nervous, but I felt a lot calmer than I would've otherwise been, I'm sure. But whatever works for you is best.

When I came round, they gave me pain relief as my tummy was hurting a bit. After a little while in the recovery room, where you have a specialist recovery nurse making sure you're ok, they take you back to the ward, or your room if you're private. Your throat may be a little sore and dry...they put a tube in your throat for oxygen, and this can make your throat sore and dry for a few days. It really is only slightly though and my voice went a little croaky too. I would also suggest to take a couple of bottles of water in with you. They gave me a sandwich when I was ready to eat and my mouth was so dry I needed a couple of bottles of water to be able to eat it 😊 They obviously give you water but it's nice not to have to keep asking for a top up.

I left at 6pm however I was the last to leave of the ladies who had laps that day, so it's important to remember everyone is different. Take as much time as you need, don't rush, although I'm sure you'll want to get home as soon as you start to feel better.

I wore some baggy lounge pants a size larger than normal (I picked up some cheap ones from Primark) and a tshirt to go home in. Anything baggy and not tight on your tummy will be fine. You just really need to be able to either pull the waistband over your tummy or pull it down below your tummy. Ask whoever is taking you home to bring a pillow...this is so good for between your tummy and the seatbelt for the way home. A steady driver would be good too 😉

Also...they will put carbon dioxide into your tummy during the op so that it gives them a little space to be able to see your organs more clearly. They let most of it out again, however some is likely to still be inside you, and until your body gets rid of it, it can give you a bit of pain in your shoulder. It sounds completely random, it's a referred pain...it's carbon dioxide that gets trapped in your diaphragm and irritates the nerve there. This nerve goes up to your shoulder too, and so can give you pain there. It's nothing to worry about and it will go, however it can be uncomfortable. Gently moving around definitely helps with this. I had peppermint tea too which helped. I know some ladies on here also tried peppermint oil.

Once you're home, rest rest rest rest rest. You will need someone at home for at least the first 24 hours with you. And longer if possible just to help with sitting up etc...it's a little tricky to use your tummy muscles for a while. Recovery is the bit that everyone differs with. I was off work for 2 weeks, and really could've done with a few days longer. I wasn't 100% at all for the first week I was back and was finding it hard to concentrate for at least 3 weeks. However it really is different for everyone. I've read on here about ladies going back to work after 5 days and others after several weeks. It really is a personal journey and very individual to you, which is why it's so important to listen to your own body. You will need some things to occupy you while you're recovering (your sofa or your bed will become your best friend). Watch Netflix, learn to crochet, read books and magazines or write letters to everyone you love. Most of all take this time to fully heal. I found that I also took on the mood of anyone who visited, so positive friends and family only.

I read on here that surgery is an event and recovery is a process and I really found that helpful to bear in mind.

I'm really grateful to myself for being sensible and taking it easy. It really absolutely honestly is better than you think it will be, it really is.

Whilst you're having your op, you'll have a roomful of experts who will all have their eyes on you. You're going to be very very safe in there!

Sending lots of love and posi vibes xx

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Hello! Oh my thank you so very much on taking your time to write such a detailed reply. Im actually going to write down some notes lol. Yes I hate needles and my veins look non existent especially in my left arm. When i'm going under I shall think of a nice facial lol. I do the lap was sooner. The days seem to drag. I've had unbearable periods for 8 years and chronic fatigue and leg/hip pain for about a year. Got brand new slippers from Asda you can't go wrong ;) It is important. My appointment is half 7 in the morning so I can sleep through the food cravings haha.

I'm not private but I heard my hospital have very nice staff. To be honest I feel more nervous about finding out the answer than anything else. Bit nervous of anaesthetic because I have never had it before. I got peppermint tea, I use it for nausea I get time to time not fussed on the taste but I guess you try anything to get rid of pains.

I will rest as much as possible:) I'm in university I don' live there I live at home and it's an hour and a half journey to get there so my plan is to do a lot of work before the lap if fatigue don't ruin me haha. I love books to be honest might treat myself to a few;) us girls needs to treat ourselves once in awhile:)

Honestly, thank you so very much for putting to much thought into the post. I don't have any friends who understand and at 19 you supposed to be at your prime fro having loads of friends but none care or bother to ask me one thing about how i feel with the op I told one friend I'm having an op she said 'oh ok...'' and starting talking about a boy she liked. So messeges like these make me feel so supportive xxx

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Hi I had mine done last week with a hysteroscopy. I have had many surgerys and I also have really bad veins. To surgerys ago they had 9 goes and the needle ended up in my foot aww. This time I spoke to the anesthetic guy and told him no one can ever get a vein he was full of it and said he would not have that problem. Went down for opp 5 attempts later he said I agree with you .... you have bad veins. I was so angry as he did not listen in first place. In the end they put me to sleep with gas then put a needle in the artery. When I woke up this was really painful . I'm still black and blue. I would ask to be put to sleep with gass first then at least your asleep.

Wish you the best of luck xxx

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Thank you very much for your reply while recovering yourself. Needle in the foot doesn't sound pleasant. Us women as hard as nails aren't we haha. He seemed a bit big headed in his abilities by the sound of it. That's a good idea I will keep that in mind thank you and hope recovering is going as smooth as possible for you xxx

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Ooo...I just thought of another few things...

When I had my lap, my partner dropped me off and I called him when I was ready to be picked up. Make sure you take some magazines, phone, phone charger etc with you as you could be waiting a little while before your lap. And afterwards, it's nice to be able to be in contact to send a text to friends/family for support.

I'm thinking of when you get home, everyone's recovery really really is different, however you will need to rest for a few days. If you can get a hand with a few things then great. However if not, just get extra prepared for when you get home. House cleaned, washing done, bed cleanly made, food shopping done, everything handy by the side of your bed, meals cooked in advance/packet meals in the fridge. Just so that you can max out your resting afterwards.

Also, I know this may sound a little silly, however I remember thinking that I wish I'd done some arm weights on the lead up to my lap to make my arms stronger. It was a little tricky to sit up in bed and a strong pair of arms would've been handy

Hope this helps xx

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Hello! and I will do my phone is pretty much an attachment of my arm since I no longer go out and socialise at the moment so definitely will. that is a very good idea I love the weight watchers prepped meals not even dieting they just taste so good. That's a good idea a chicken leg has more muscle than me to be honest. I shall update you on my expeerience!:) Thank you very much hope you have a good day:) x

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Sending you lots of love for your lap. I found the girls on here so so supportive, this will be a good place for you to ask any questions and to get the support you need. Remember to look after yourself while you're healing xx

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Hello! I thought I would update you on my lap since I could really see what you mean about the arm thing it was impossible to get up I was thinking of your post about this which calmed me down. They found endo I'm not 11 days post lap and things are ok. I hardly had any gas pain which I'm grateful for. But passsed out when I stood up for first time and blood pressure was low so had to stay in :) xx

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Hello! I am 22 and had my first diagnostic lap four weeks ago (I had the coil fitted at the same time). I was absolutely petrified beforehand, I have a huge phobia of needles and blood. The hospital that I went to was amazing, they were very understanding.

Four weeks on I am back to work and university, I played netball again for the first time yesterday. The only pains I am getting now are what I imagine to be side effects of the coil. My little wounds have healed nicely and I feel so much better.

I worried constantly for the three months between getting the date and having it done, now I know what to expect, next time will be so much easier!

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Hi. Just saying that you shouldn't be able to feel your coil on any way!

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Hello! It's comforting to hear someone else hates blood and needles the way i do I feel nauseated thinking about it. That is very good news! I am in university also and find it difficult to get anything don't and despise group work because people have to rely on me to be in and it takes me and hour and half to travel there:( . Call the doctors if your concerned about the coil i haven't had it so can't give any real advice. Hope it feels better for you. I'm getting excited for it because I reached my tether with the pain and I'm nosy and want the answer just nervous of the needles and anaesthetic. Thank you very much fro your reply x

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Uni is also an hour drive from my house so the car journeys their used to be agonising when I was on my period. I missed so many days of uni because of endo - it was so frustrating!

I returned to uni and work only doing a couple of hours a day last week and I basically feel back to normal now. The side effects from the coil are completely normal, just my body getting used to the foreign object! Causing period like cramping but nothing like what I used to get.

I read before my op that the gas pains in ones shoulders can be really bad, I never really had huge amounts of pain but I was on morphine for the first four days as my endo was around some of my nerves which meant my legs were in quite some pain, so maybe I never noticed it anywhere else 😂 apparently I had a lot of endo removed in my stomach region so it was anticipated that I would have lots of bruising and be in pain for quite some time afterwards, I was in a fair amount for about one or two weeks.

I am honestly so glad I had the courage to do it and I can already see the positive impacts on being able to do more uni work and stuff like that.

Any questions that you have I can definitely try and help. It was such a daunting experience for me, so if I can make it a less daunting one for anyone else then that would be good 🤗

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Hey there! I also had a lot of trouble with my veins over the years aswell. They were so bad when I had my first lap, I'd just turned 20 and the anaesthesist couldn't find any viable veins without causing me pain before I went in, so they ended up giving me the laughing gas to put me under then put the drip in once I was under. I've always had a low iron count, which us very common with us endo girls. Since I've been taken iron + vitamin C (the vit C helps your body absorb the iron properly :) ) together, my veins have improved - also staying hydrated has helped a lot too.

If you can find it over there, pretty sure Twinnings is an English brand of tea, but where I'm living now in Australia, they have one called Digest. It's a mix of peppermint, licorice & lemon balm and really helps me a lot with bloating (aka endo belly)

Hope your recovery goes well and your treatment plan improves your overall help :)

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Hello! Ah yes it seems common to be honest:) i'm 19 so not far off the same age. I'm pale as a sheet you can see like veins in my face I'm so pale and always tired but shockingly my iron is fine the vitamin C sounds very interesting. Yes I believe it is and wow the mix of lemon sounds like it taste nicer than just peppermint i give it a try!

Thank you very much and I hope your doing well!

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Yeah I know how that feels I've only found one foundation so far that's as white as my skin tone over here haha! Hmm, from the research I've done over the years B12 is another one that if you're lacking in it, it can make you really fatigued aswell. So that could possibly be something to check out too?

Yeah the tea is really nice with a tsp of honey in it too when it's hot, it's summer here though so I've been having it iced and it's still delicious :)

Thankyou, I'm actually not doing too great right now. I had a botched surgery in February last year where a general gyno tried to take out my endo and made a mess of things even more :( so now I'm seeing an excision specalist and he's going to have to go in and fix everything up for me here. I wish I had of just gone to an excision specalist in the first place now. Pretty much screwed up a year of my life thanks to an inexperienced surgeon :(

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Yeah the market is very limited when it comes to snow white foundation haha! B12 sounds interesting I will have a look. Here in Wales the sun comes out once a year so I probably stick to warm tea;)

Oh no that is horrible I am so so sorry to hear that! Have you complaint or put forward a negligence claim? You be in the right hands with a specialist and hopefully they fix you right up so you can get on with life. Got my fingers crossed for you make sure you update us :)

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Thank you for this post. I have my lap tomorrow 19th Feb and to say I’m not scared would be a lie.

I don’t like needles but am getting better, I managed to do a blood test on my own which for me is a massive achievement.

I guess having the internet hasn’t helped as it’s given worst case scenarios which freaks you out even more. I want answers and I’m hoping that’s what I will get.

It was only after coming off the pill to try for a baby that all this agonising pain started and then the effect it has on my bowel movements is horrible combined with the painful period cramps and achy ovulation I’ve had enough, and I want answers so I don’t know what I’m going to do if tomorrow doesn’t give me any.

Thank you to all the ladies above who shared their stories they helped to give me an idea what to expect. Now to send the husband out for peppermint tea and another heat pad lol although wondering if a hot water bottle would do?

Hope all goes well in a couple of weeks

Thank you

Kelly xx

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Awh I feel for you right now. That is great try breathing techniques when they do it and looking away always help. Of course think of tomorrow in that light you deserve answers! I guess either way what the lap will show or not show will put you on the path of deciding treatment plans and looking at other sources to see where the pain is coming from. Yeah I believe a hot water bottle be fine along as you dont use kettles for a good day or two because of the anaesthetic. Thank you very much.

I got my fingers crossed and be thinking of you tomorrow. In a few days when you feel better feel free to update us all on your day:) xxx

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Thank u I will definitely let you no hw it went from the other side lol 😂 xxx

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Good luck for your lap tomorrow kelly. If you have any questions over it feel free to ask me. xoxo

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