Endometriosis UK
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Nervous about my first Lap: Help and Advice on recovery and pre op and post op advice?

Hi,

Im having my first Lap in a few weeks and the closer it gets the more nervous im getting.

PRE OP: Im not so worried about this only if they need to take any blood as I've never had blood taken before, but im fine with needles and blood.

DAY OF OP: What should I take in with me to hospital ?

I know I could be waiting hours from arrival till I go down into theatre because of the waiting lists and if any emergencies go in.

How long would it be till I wake up (what if I wake up during the operation)

How long before I go home? What would the chances of me having to stay in over night?

PAINS: Everywhere I look is saying Peppermint tea is good for the gas pains? does it actually work ? Can other flavoured teas help like Green Tea or just Normal Tea ?

POST OP: What is the recovery time like ? How long for the wounds the heal ?

Few more questions:

Can I drink fizzy drinks after the operation or do I have to wait if so how long ?

Does it hurt when they put the tub in the hand ? (im fine with needles just want to prepare myself)

Sorry for all the questions its my first time and just looking for some advice.

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Hey :) this is a reply I posted to someone asking for some post lap advice a while ago. I’ve just cut and paste it here but I’m hoping some of the info will be of use to you as this is your first lap:

*****

Hello :)

I’m about to have my fifth lap so I hope I can pass on some tips which I have found helpful.

I think the most important is not to put expectations on yourself. I told myself the first time that I *should* be back up and normal in 2 weeks and gave myself a really hard time when I wasn’t. After laps which have included excision surgery (as opposed to burning/abalation) it’s taken 2 weeks to get back on my feet and around 6 for my energy to come back and to start to feel ‘normal’ again. The first 3-4 days is usually just spent completely resting and getting used to how your abdomen is feeling. It can be a bit of a shock as the surgery scars don’t look like much on the outside but there has obviously been quite a lot done inside. Feeling a bit down about it all is perfectly understandable! If you are able to I would tell your boss it will be 2-3 weeks off is fairly standard to be on the safe side.

I found one of the worst things to deal with post-surgery is the shoulder pain from the trapped gas which they fill your tummy with in surgery. Peppermint tea really helps to clear the gas, as does moving around little and often in the first couple of days (even if it’s just a supervised trip from one room to the other). Also eat very lightly after surgery (I have a chunky veg soup) as all the pain killers and anaesthetic drugs bind you up and the first bowel movement can be quite uncomfortable. I really advise asking your GP or consultant for some Laxido, or something similar, when you are discharged. It’s a stool softener and just makes ‘going’ a little easier!!

I don’t have children, but I do have a very needy lap cat and she managed to pop my stitches by jumping on my tummy after my first surgery. I imagine with little ones that could also be a worry so best to keep a pillow on your stomach to avoid any unwanted surprise hugs.

I’ve found that sleeping on my back for the first few nights most comfy but other ladies say they prefer a reclining chair to sleep in as it can be very painful trying to get vertical from completely horizontal. I always have to get my partner to help me up in the night.

I have always been told by various consultants that I can’t drive for a full 6 weeks after surgery due to the wounds healing and in my experience (though it’s different for everyone) it’s very uncomfortable to have the seat belt on my stomach. When you’re being driven home from hospital ask whoever is with you to bring a pillow with them to put between your tummy and the seatbelt as it will be far more comfortable.

I would take some pads to hospital with you as you will bleed and they will insist on putting those banana-boat maternity pads in there. They’re very uncomfortable and just being able to change into something a little more discreet always makes me feel a little better. I also find knickers with a waist band that isn’t too tight more comfy and either take a sleeping top to hospital (I always have to stay over at least a night due to my other illnesses) or I’ll find loose fitting PJ bottoms.

Some ladies do get a touch of post-surgery blues after a lap - I have a couple of weeks where I feel very blue and down. If this does happen it’s very normal and will ease up, as will the pain. Pain-wise Lots of ladies recommend taking your pain killers as prescribed to ensure they’re not taken off guard by pain (as opposed to not thinking you need to take it and then chasing the pain when it comes on).

That’s all I can think of for now - best of luck with everything and if I remember anything else I will come back and post again :) xxx

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Thank you x

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Hi.

Catness writes a very good report.

I chose to have a big dress on afterwards. So not much around my tummy. Pillow was a must for the seatbelt home.

I went back after to work after 2 weeks but was crying with pain in 20 minutes so had to have another week off.

My husband and parents were amazing as I couldn’t really do much in the first week, so they did all cooking, cuppas etc. Get prepared, is what I would say. Get lots of pillows ready, buy prepared food if needed. I pulled a stitch just by flushing the toilet so you must take it easy.

The anaesthetist will ensure you do not wake up in surgery.

I would wait for fizzy drinks as you are very windy. I didnt have shoulder pain but I think I’m unusual for that. I did get up and wander every 30 mins max. I hurt if I stayed still for too long.

Good luck.

X

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Thank you x

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Pre-op: they will take blood, blood pressure, and a urine sample! Ask any questions you may have here!

Day of op: bottled water or a drink you prefer for after cos your throats gonna be a bit sore! Bring head phones, Download Netflix onto your phone and download some movies or episodes to binge watch whilst waiting, it will take your mind off everything! Find some massive tops, comfy leggings etc, and a pair of pyjama shorts or just shorts, they get you in the night gown thing as soon as you arrive and I was not walking around with my bum out even with a dressing gown on! Just dropped them and shoved them in my bag as soon as they fetched me for surgery, made me feel a lot more put together before hand!

You 100% won’t wake up during your op! You’ll have a lovely anaesthetist who’s paid to keep under, feel free to ask them questions every anaesthetist ive had has been an absolute gem that’s always kept me calm! Can’t say say how long you’ll be under for as it depends on what they find, but expect to be under for half an hour +, you go home as soon as you’ve done and wee and have eaten, and unless it’s becomes very invasive which is highly unlikely as they tend to close up and rearrange for another surgery, I’m pretty adamant you’ll go home same day!

peppermint tea, peppermint capsules are really the only thing that help with gas pains I’m afraid other than moving your shoulders, it isn’t actually pain, but a nerve in your diaphragm being pushed by the gas and triggering a nerve in your shoulder, if you can stand peppermint tea just keep moving!

Post op- 2 weeks in most cases, but everyone’s different, some gals on here feel fine after a week, others a few more! Wounds took for me about 4 weeks, left with small scars now, don’t panic if your stitches don’t dissolve instantly, it’s a lie, they take forever to dissolve! But that’s nothing you should worry about! Any concerns about your stitches, if they get hot, red, leaky, all around funky and not healing etc see your practice nurse!

I was drinking Fanta fruit twist post op, don’t think they mind what you drink as long as it’s fluid!

The cannula doesn’t hurt really, more of a pinch with a slight sting, ask for numbing cream the second you arrive at hospital if you’re worried about pain, they might be able to fetch you some!

Good luck and hope everything goes to plan! If you have anymore questions let me know, more than happy to help if it puts your mind at ease! Xx

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Thank you x

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