Endometriosis UK
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Laparoscopy Recovery time

Hi all,

how long do you normally stop feeling sore after a Laparoscopy? And how long do you need to stay off work roughly? I've been told 2 weeks recovery; but just wanted to check with you in general. I'm aware that different women are an individual and separate case and that it depends on how much is removed during the surgery.. but just curious. I'm obviously a little nervous as it's still an operation and it will be next Friday! I guess it's normal to be anxious.

Thanks! xx

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Hey, good luck for the op! xx

My lap was diagnostic with excision of endo, hysteroscopy and biopsies. I was really sore for the first week, bloated only lasted three days, I needed help with almost everything the first few days. The pain was more manageable the second week, but I could get up, about, shower, dressed, make myself tea without any help, just slowly. The doctors suggested both ibuprofen and paracetamol at the same time four times a day for the first week and then only at nights for the second week, that was fine, I actually stopped altogether the last few days of the second week. That second week I just felt completely exhausted, not tired just wiped out.

I think what helped my recovery was being active before (I'm not an exercise freak but I'm not a couch potato either!) and then when I had the op, as advised I didn't spend all day in bed and try to be active after; doc said doing that means your body clock gets messed up, you should try and move around even if it means just moving to the sofa, and only going to bed to sleep. Moving around, being awake increases hormones that help with healing and recovery, it also improves circulation which helps get rid of the anaesthetic (can be in your body for 48 hours) and any toxins that your body needs to get rid of. I found sitting curled up on the sofa was actually more comfortable than in bed! I tried to wander round the house as much as I could when I could move around unaided. By the second week I'd ventured out for daily 10 minute walks even though that was really slow, that helped my positivity. I'd say a month later, after my first full cycle I'm feeling a lot better, but it's taken about two months to feel back to 100%.

I was signed off for two weeks; I could manage at work as it's office based, but still felt exhausted. So when you're back just go easy and don't rush into stuff too quickly!

It's an operation and it is a rather invasive one (even if it's just diagnostic), which means it does have an impact so give yourself credit for it, eat lots of protein (healing), don't push yourself but try to stay active (even if it's migrating to the sofa and then the kitchen a few times a day lol!) it'll help your mood, positivity, your body and your healing :)

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Hi Farahziya,

thanks so much for your message. I feel more positive and reassured now.. :) it does help!

Can I ask (if you don't mind of course) whether you had anything removed during the Lap. or if you just had it for a diagnosis? As I know it can make a big difference. I'm having both cysts in both my ovaries removed and any other endometriosis tissue they might find around... But the cysts in ovaries will be removed (if all goes well and it's not too risky).

Thanks again x

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Hi glad it helped :)

My op was diagnosis and treatment of whatever they could find and remove. They found I had severe endo on my bladder, uterus and bowel, they removed as much as they could but the endo on my bowel will require another op (I'm deciding when) as they couldn't do that at the time without a bowel surgeon present. The endo had stuck my bladder to my uterus and my uterus to my bowel, they unstuck those. The endo had also stuck my left ureter to the abdominal wall, they unstuck that. I had a hysteroscopy at the same time to examine my uterus and vagina, no problems there, the did take biopsies of my uterine lining.

If you're having your diagnostic lap it may be good to ask if you can have anything removed that they think could be at the same time, and have any biopsies done too - you're already having that, so that's good. It means you won't need to wait months with the same symptoms you're wanting to treat, especially if you already know you'd prefer surgery to get rid of the endo as your first treatment.

Personally I'd suggest the removal of endo before any other treatment as it sets a baseline so you can then work out what's normal for you in terms of cycles and pain. It gives you time to decide if any other treatments can work for you side effects wise while the endo is still at the beginning rather than when you desperately need it.

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Yes, they will remove any other endo that they might find around, as well as my ovarian cysts; and also do a biopsy of any removed tissue as apparently this is standard. thanks a lot for all your advice! x

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I had nothing removed and was back at work a week and a half later, did half days for 2 weeks but didn't feel back to myself for 2 months x

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Thanks Kate,

really appreciate :) xx

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Three weeks off for both of my laps. Xxx

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Thanks x

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I took ten days but could have done with two weeks. I just had minor ablation.

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Fair enough. I took 2 weeks off and my manager said to see how I go after that, in case I need any more time off. But I'm hoping to go back in two weeks..! Thanks for sharing! x

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I’ve had to have four weeks but I’ve had complications! I went back to work Monday this week but doctor signed me off Tuesday after I vomited everywhere xx

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Oh crikey, hope you feel better soon. Sounds like you've had a rough time of it.xx

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Sorry to hear hun. And thanks for sharing xx

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I had a week off after my first lap for removal of cysts. I got a shock when I woke up and couldn’t even lift myself up in bed. Second lap I could lift myself up, maybe my body was just aware of what it’d feel like. But my second lap was 3 hours of excision and removal of 13cm endometrioma and a 5cm endometrioma and I ended up having 8 weeks off work. Was such a long recovery. It’s 10 weeks now and my stomach is still quite swollen sometimes depending on how much I do. I made the mistake of thinking I was fine in the second week to do housework and knocked myself back. Just take everything slowly and even if you feel strong, your body is still healing inside so take it easy. I’m stlll struggling now sadly. My top tip is to move around slowly to get rid of the gas that you will have in your shoulders and back. Walking best way to get it out. And eat as healthy as possible to help healing and bloating. X

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I'm so sorry to hear your second lap. was not so easy to recover from.. and thanks so much for sharing! I'll follow your advice about walking for sure. x

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I had diagnostic lap and excision, and I was off for 10 days. Having said that, I should have taken 2 weeks off as I was so exhausted after going back to work.

I would say listen to your body- it's one thing being able to get around the house and a walk down the road, but it's another thing entirely going back to work and it's so easy to get really tired. It is invasive surgery even if you don't have anything removed and there's no use rushing things. Hope it all goes well!

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Thanks for sharing! I have 2 weeks off for now - will see if I need any more. x

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Hey Regina! This is such a hard one to answer as it varies so much from person to person, depending on how much work has been done during the op. I was convinced my surgery would be a 2 week recovery time as I had read it online that that’s the average. However after the removal of a large endometrioma on my right ovary and excision of severe endo on my womb and bladder, it ended up being a bigger job than anticipated. Two weeks is nothing - I’d recommend booking at least 4 weeks off work but truthfully it was 6 weeks before I started feeling remotely normal again. You could be one of the lucky ones who feel great after 2 weeks and spring back into action but I would take the extra time for recovery just incase. Your consultant will prescribe you strong painkillers and antiinflammatories for the pain post op but I would also recommend buying a heat pad as mine has been a lifesaver! Good luck for the op, hope it all goes well and wishing you a speedy recovery!

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I see... thanks for sharing! I can imagine it's up to how you feel and your body healing's process and how much they remove too :o ..x

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Hi! I was signed off for 2 weeks, then was still feeling rough so signed off after another 2 weeks. I then ended up in hospital very poorly (totally unrelated) so am still off work so have been off for 6 weeks in total. I would say it depends on your personal fitness and also your job. After 2 weeks I could move around totally fine, I still get some pains and bruising down there 5 weeks later but that is the deeper tissues healing. Take all the time you need and don’t feel rushed to do anything you’re not ready for x

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Thanks for sharing x

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I was originally told I should go back to work after 3 days 🙈 my lap is the end of this month on a Tuesday and I'm supposed to be going back to work the following Tuesday (over Easter weekend so didn't need to book Friday or Monday off) but reading this has me worried. My work policy says I would have to book leave off not take sick leave as it's an 'optional' surgery so now I'm worried I'll have to use all my remaining leave if it'll take 2 weeks or more to feel better... My team is pretty understanding about my pain in work and why I'm having the surgery but I only started at the beginning of February so now I'm scared taking so much time off will leave a bad impression...

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Work shouldn't pressure you to feel like you need to take your holiday leave to recover from your op. Legally you can't be ill and on holiday leave that's why when you're ill on holiday or due to go on holiday you can claim your holiday days back when you have a sick note/ certificate from the docs.

Most workplaces will give you paid sick leave, however this isn't legal and a workplace can refuse, then you'll be entitled to statutory sick pay, or unpaid sick, you can opt for unpaid sick leave; this doesn't affect your records as much as paid sick as the latter work has to explain and account for. If you have a sick note / certificate and show it to work they shouldn't allow you to book holiday leave for that time as you're signed off. They may however refuse to pay you.

In the UK we have UNITE the Union for employees, if you are signed up to it, it's worth calling; they have representatives in each sector and will be able to advise on what your company can do / is allowed (with large companies there may be a representative in the company itself). If this isn't an option you can talk to your HR about what the policy is; your manage will need to check with them anyway.

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Thanks xx

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I had a diagnostic lap and they excised endo tissue from behind my uterus and also unstuck my uterus from my bowel at the same time. On the one hand I had a pretty smooth ride of it - I was pretty active before the op, so after 2 days in bed was out taking (very slow!!) walks with my dog for 20-30 mins, which REALLY helped with the gas and bloating - that was the worst for me - and doing some very gentle yoga practice. I made sure that I curled back up for a snooze whenever I needed, but I was actually back at teaching after 6 days and back dancing after a week. That said, I work freelance writing/teaching/dancing so was able to add things back into my schedule very slowly. For me though, I'm now 2 months post op and still find myself getting very exhausted very easily, and my bowels still haven't settled down :-/ So although I'm back to my old active self, it's still uncomfortable, and I'm sleeping and resting a lot more! Hope it goes smoothly for you!

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Thanks! x

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Hi

I had left ovary, Fallopian tube and 2cysts drained and removed, end excised and some tissue sticking omnetrium down cut away.

I took 2 weeks off work, office job but probably could have done with 3 at least as I was still very bruised internal and externally and sore when I went back. I went back to full time hours and travel to and from work is a min 1 hour 40 each way so long days all in all. I was exhausted after each working day and went to bed early.

Now almost 6 weeks on and I can still see deeper abdominal bruising and scars still healing, my tummy seems to bloat up a but if I do too much so I do wonder if it is from internal healing and inflammation. Someone on here told me it takes a good 3-6 months for your body to fully recover.

I'm sure you will be fine but just take it easy xx

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Thanks for your story and encouragement x

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