Endometriosis UK
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Laparoscopy Tips

Hi all,

I hope everyone is as well as can be.

After what feels like an eternity of pain, I finally have a date for my diagnostic laparoscopy, next Tuesday 14th. Which I’m strangely excited about. Will be so great to finally have some answers and hopefully some “pain” chopped out of me. I’m also prepared for disappointment and misery though just incase I’m fobbed off again :)

What I would love to know is are there any tips you wish you had known when you went in? For instance I saw one lady had mentioned to take a pillow to put against the seatbelt for the journey home to stop any unecessary extra pain. I have a book as I expect there will be a lot of waiting involved.

Does general anaesthetic really make you sick? I normally have a very strong stomach, but the last couple of months my pain has reached a level where I do have daily nausea...I’m not looking forward to wretching or puking if I’m having a weak stomach moment..any tips to help with this would be great? I have heard of taking ginger as my Nan gave me some for my current nausea but in all honesty it made me feel more sick?

And also afterwards, how do they help you with pain relief? I’m currently prescribed co codamol 30/500mg. This is just for the suspected endo pain that puts me on my bum, around the right ovary area. I try not to take it too often because it turns me into mush. But will this be strong enough for after the procedure? Given that I can still feel my “ovary” (I think) throbbing through it, so it doesn’t exactly “kill the pain”. More just my brain cells so I care less that it’s hurting. 🤔

I will probably be here on Tuesday for some support when I’m out of hospital if that’s okay, I will have family around but it’s not quite the same as you guys who have been through the same. 😁

Thanks 💕

Tasha

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Tuesday 17th 😁

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Hope your surgery goes well. I didn’t feel sick at all after anaesthetic but everyone is different. I had to wait from half 11 till 3.45 for my surgery so a book was definitely needed! :)

I definitely did not eat enough for breakfast, my hunger pains were so loud and I was so thirsty so my advice don’t eat a yoghurt like I did, maybe some toast something that will fill the stomach a bit more :)

Pillow is a must for the journey home, even with that it was still uncomfortable but helped a lot and make sure your driver is giving a lot of distance for stopping as when my boyfriend stopped faster it didn’t feel nice.

I would suggest stock up on heat pads, a few snacks, maybe bottles of juice or water. I had a basket on my bedside table with everything I would ever need and more in it, as the first 2 days I needed help getting in and out of bed and I felt annoying constantly asking people to get me things so it made me feel a lot better. But Netflix was my number one must have :p

After my procedure I got two doses of morphine and then they were giving me cocodamol. My pain wasn’t bad it was just uncomfortable, the gas was the worst bit. If you have any questions feel free to message me, I wanted to know every little bit that would happen before my laparoscopy :) x

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Thank you so much for your reply :) I was curious as to whether they would dose you up before going home so that’s a relief! Basket on the bedside is a fab idea, I also very much hate feeling like I’m being a burden to anyone. Thank you again really appreciate it 💕 xxx

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Yeah in my basket I put things like wet wipes, face wipes, deodorant, all my Meds I need to take, hand cream, just things that make me feel more happy and comfortable. I bought fruit/breakfast bars as snacks I didn’t really want to eat anything too heavy for a few days. I got very constipated after so maybe stock up on some laxatives as well, tmi but pushing a poo out hurts for at least a week for me anyway 😩 have quite a few pillows for support, I’m such a fidgeter when I sleep but the gas pain is quite horrid I had to sleep on my back in the same position so if you have plenty of pillows to support it it’s a lot more comfier :) I didn’t take anything for the gas, a lot of people suggest peppermint tea. I was just doing light walking and movements around the house when I felt ready as this is what the hospital suggested as they want you moving as soon as you can :) x

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Thank you 💕 I’ve just got home from a little spree at Home Bargains and I’ve bought new PJs, a load of snacky crap like haribo and crisps etc aswell as some more healthy stuff which is probably what I should be eating 😳 I’ve bought a load of Dulcolax aswell so hoping I don’t get it too bad, it has a huge knock on effect being bunged up, for me anyway 😫 I didn’t think of facewipes and deodorant so I’ll set up a med/toiletries basket aswell. I’ve just bought a little pill box for each day too for morning/lunch/eve as I’m a nightmare for forgetting and accidentally taking stuff twice or missing it completely! Thank you 💕 So glad and lucky I’ve had some help & tips, hopefully this will make it as easy/pleasant as possible! Xxxx

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Oh yes I’ve forgotten to mention new pjs 😃 I bought a size up and little things like new pjs or a new blanket makes everything feel better as you’re stuck in the house for a little while. Crisps were the best I ate like 6 packs in an hour 😂 I didn’t feel like eating a normal meal at first just filled myself with crisps, but two days after I had Nando’s so I was pretty much fine then 😊 I had my surgery on Wednesday and I braved going out the Monday to the cinema, I didn’t have much work done inside of me so I healed faster than some other people, just don’t overdo anything :) X

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Glad to hear i'm not the only one to crisp binge 😂 Were you alright tummy wise? I love spicy food and nandos etc but thought i'd better hold off for a while after the op just incase my stomach doesn't want to play ball! Im sure it would help with any consitpation issues though 😂 i'm expecting to have some work done while the doc's 'in there' but no idea how much, so i'd love a swift recovery but mentally prepared for a slow one just incase 😁 xx

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Tbh I hate spicy food so I always have the plain chicken at Nando’s 🤣 I’m sure spicy would help with constipation though :) for at least a week I looked a few months pregnant, it was mainly the gas but I was extremely bloated as well, I just laughed about it instead of making it make me feel down, as the anaesthetic did make me feel quite down in general which is a side affect. Also I don’t want to scare you, but there was something I wasn’t prepared for that I wish I was, because they cut through your belly button, in my case I was left with one I really don’t like (I posted it a couple weeks ago if you wanna see) I just had a normal innie and it’s a bit messed up now, I’m struggling to bring my self confidence back up but it’s getting there 😊 just wish I’d known more about that as I’m someone that takes a few days to process things due to anxiety and such! 😊 x

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Your belly is lovely, don’t be ashamed of something you feel is a little quirky! Only you know. And unless you had pointed it out no one would ever look at it that way or ever think “eurgh” like you think, honestly!! 💕 Mine doesn’t worry me too much as I’ve piled on soooo much weight since my younger years and all the pain...I blame PCOS, but I think my attitude towards food and alcohol (all round binger) hasn’t helped. So if there are any alterations to my belly button, I doubt I would notice through the extra 3 stone of fat and chub I’m carrying 😂 but I appreciate the heads up! I too am body conscious and in the minus on the confidence scale, but I’m gladly now growing beyond caring. I do really feel right now that they could leave a scar on my forehead and I wouldn’t care. Getting through these operations and treatments like you have, and not letting the illness and pain rule you, is truly inspirational and something to be proud of ❤️ Screw you Endo!!! 😁💪🏼 Xxxx

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Hi!

I'm 1 month post op today (had lap, cystectomy and excision).

The things that helped me most:

1. The pillow for seatbelt

2. Sticking to softish foods first 24 hours (soup, jelly, ice cream, etc - I just didn't feel like anything else). I got no sickness.

3. For gas pains - peppermint capsules (colpermin), peppermint tea, gentle yoga moves in bed (if you look up yoga for bloating/gas there are loads on youtube)

4. Not expecting miracles - I felt rough for the first 3 days or so (bed-sofa-bed), then was able to get up and around the house more easily after that.

5. Having my house ready - clean sheets, PJs, books, nice food, etc.

6. Asking my gyno all the questions I needed to - specifically when I could go back to exercise - as it gave me something to aim for. I'm now back at the gym/yoga/etc and it's harder than before but I know it's worth it.

7. Have some laxatives in the house as you will get constipated if taking co-codamol

8. Take your painkillers regularly - I learnt the hard way not to be brave and miss a dose! I ended up making a chart so I knew what I'd taken when as it's easy to get muddled.

That's it! My op went really well and I got really effective pain relief from it (although did have a 10cm cyst).

If I could change one thing, I wish I had worried less before the big day as it ate up a few weeks of my life. If I was to have another lap I think I'd be much more chilled having seen how worthwhile it was for me the first time round, and how manageable recovery has been. It's 4 weeks down the line now and I'm still more tired than previously, but getting better every day.

They will give you antisickness drugs during and after the op if needed - so let them know if you're nauseous. In terms of pain relief - again just tell them what you need and make sure you are given plenty to go home with. If you see that the supply from hospital isn't going to last, get in touch with your GP ASAP so you don't have to go without.

Hope things go well and do ask if you have any questions.

xx

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Thank you so much for your reply! :) it might be worth telling them I’m already a little nauseous on a day to day basis so anything they can give me for that would be great. And laxatives hadn’t even crossed my mind despite having had problems with that before! I’m glad I asked you guys to chip in as there’s quite a lot of stuff I hadn’t considered. Thank you 💕 xxx

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This is very helpful thank you so much ♥️

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Hi Tasha! How are you feeling with only a few days until your diagnostic laparoscopy?

I had a diagnostic laparoscopy in November last year (after years of abdominal pain) and I was excited too, I had no concerns about the actual operation; as like you I just wanted to know what was going on. The anxiety of not knowing if something was seriously wrong was really making me unwell. They found adhesions and some endometriosis in November and I had excision surgery 3 weeks ago. Still early days but I feel well.

Do you know for sure if they will be removing anything as part of the diagnostic laparoscopy? As that may affect how you feel afterwards because if they are just looking your recovery may be quite quick.

All the things the others recommend are really useful.

My tips in addition would be:

- Stay calm and relaxed before the operation, read a good book, listen to music. Things may not go to plan during the day, I arrived at 7am to be told I wasn't supposed to be there until the afternoon and that I wouldn't be seen until at least 1pm to then be sent down at 11am!

- Make a list of any questions you have for before/after, and make notes of what they say to you afterwards because you WILL forget!

- tell the anaesthetist you suffer with nausea and he will dose you up with anti sickness meds for afterwards. This was something I learnt from my first one. Felt very sick when I woke up but on my second one I didn't at all as they'd given me something while I was asleep - amazing.

- Drink lots of water afterwards, obviously keeps you hydrated and you will need to wee afterwards before they will let you go home.

- Try to get up and walk a little as soon as you can after the operation. This will help with the gas and just in general. After my first lap I was very conscious of the incisions and my belly felt sore so I stayed in bed a lot and don't think that helped. 2nd time around, I was up and walking around the ward (extremely slowly! and carrying my catheter!) within a few hours.

- If the pain relief isn't touching it, ask for something stronger. This will take the edge off and allow you to move a bit more which is only a good things. Use your arms to lift you up out of bed, this will take the strain off your tummy muscles a little bit.

- I could go on but one last thing, I didn't need this for the diagnostic lap but for the excision I found my tummy more tender and my friend lent me her pregnancy cushion. AMAZING for getting comfy! See if you can borrow one if you have trouble sleeping.

Sorry for the essay! If you've got any questions let me know x

p.s. enjoy the new PJs!

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Thank you so much for the advice! I'm actually quite excited to have the laparoscopy... and looking forward to (hopefully) not feeling this constant pain when i come round. Hoping the pain from the incisions will be a walk in the park after this 😂

The surgeon has said he will remove bits 'within reason', as I am 28 and looking to preserve my fertility for when this ordeal is over. He has said if he sees an obvious cause of pain such as a fibroid or any adhesions that he can break up or remove to reduce pain then he will do. Although to be quite honest i'd comfortably lose the right ovary (this area is where i suffer the constant throbbing pain and when gets the most severe it turns into a breathtaking stabbing pain) if fertility is still unaffected with one ovary left? 🤔 If the ovary is completely messed up that is...i'd like to keep everything in tact of course, but the pain has been so life altering I will quite honestly do anything to have it gone.

My partner and I have had talks, and although we are not ready to start a family for another year or so at least, we are not expecting it to be easy anyway, and are mentally prepared for if the worst happens (I know i sound all doom and gloom, but when the doc suggested endo and explained roughly what it was, i flashed back to my GP doing an examination when i was approx 17-18years old saying I had a very scarred cervix, but not to worry...so i switched that off in my head and thought no more of it 😕, but then I have also had a few cervical issues with CIN3 and don't have much length left on my cervix now after a few extensive procedures to remove the cells, so you know when you just have a gut feeling that your damn vagina and reproductive system in general isn't going to work properly??😣 i just like to be mentally prepared for disappointment i guess..) Doc said he can't do anything that might affect fertility or anything too drastic while he's in there without my permission... But I've the right mind to speak to him beforehand and potentially give consent for him to sort it... but better not get ahead of myself i guess. I just want this procedure to be as productive as it can 😁

Do you only have to have a catheter if you can't pee straight away? And also sorry to ask but do you start bleeding vaginally instantly after the op?

I'm anticipating needing some stronger pain relief than my co codamol, as that barely touches the suspected endo pain at the moment, it just makes me all fuzzy and care less. I have had to take morphine before which took a while to kick in but I imagine thats the level i will need. Do they send you home with a bottle or just a prescription?

Pretty much all of my friends have just had babies so hopefully I can get hold of a cushion 😁

I really am grateful for this site and you guys responding. I find the support and positivity here so uplifting. Hoping i can help some others feel the same by sharing the knowledge after my procedure 🙄

Xxx

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Well I am glad you are feeling excited, your attitude will really help your experience as you aren’t over thinking about all the what-ifs before you’ve got the facts.

I have always thought the same, from a young age I have felt I would have fertility problems but I think in my case it was more paranoia due to the pelvic pain and pain during intercourse. It sounds like you have been through it so I can see why you are ready to find out what’s going on now!

I almost ended up having a catheter after the diagnostic lap as I couldn’t wee! It was a psychological thing. I tried for a couple of hours and the nurse scanned my bladder and said it was completely full and that I’d have to have a catheter but I got a bit upset as that would mean I’d be staying over night and I really didn’t want to (I don’t know why!) I asked for a last chance to wee (!) and she let me and I did one! Hooray! They have to be happy with the amount before you can go home!

I woke up with a catheter in after the excision surgery. I didn’t know that would be the case and I have to say I couldn’t feel it at all. I was very comfortable and not having to get up in the night to go to the toilet was great! I had an overnight stay after that surgery which again was great as I was topped up on drugs (liquid morphine and codeine) through the night and I could ask the nurses questions if I had concerns.

Don’t worry about the personal questions, it’s important that we talk about the reality of things! I only had a small amount of blood after the operation. There was a pad between my legs when I woke up. Take some pads with you for going home.

I didn’t have any painkillers prescribed after the diagnostic lap, they just said take paracetamol and ibruprofen.

They prescribed codeine for the first few days after the excision surgery.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that all goes well for you next week, make sure you put your partner to work, plumping your pillows etc!! Xx

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Thank you ❤ i feel surprisingly at ease, i'd rather not stay overnight so i'll be trying my best to pee 😂 but I do have a bag packed just incase. Thanks again, I hope your recovery continues to go well and you get fixed ❤ xxx

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If someone hasn’t mentioned it to you before try get peppermint tea the nurses should have on hand to drink but it helps with the pain from the gases they use during the operation. Movement is key as much as it sucks Cos I found the gas to be the worst. There is the expected post op pain but the gas is different pain and cannot be helped by pain killers. The pillow thing is a good idea. I’m due to be discharged today form my op and wish I had thought of that. Maybe I’ll nick a pillow from my hotel lol. Good luck anyways xxx

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Thank you ❤ i've just ordered some peppermint capsules off eBay, it does say they help with gas and bloating so hoping that has the same effect. I didn't know that the painkillers wouldn't be so effective with the gas. Aww, are you having to stay in a hotel? Bet you just want your own bed! Wishing you a speedy and comfy recovery ❤ xxx

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Yea kind of want to stay in hospital as weird as it sounds. But I’m in a good one and I can be left alone from kids ect. And the bed helps me be able to get up and down. I think I’ll be a beached whale at home. And thanks hope yours goes well

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That must be such a relief for you tasha-marie after having had endometriosis sugery a lot off surgery s I found arnica homeopathic pills 200cc help reduce swelling and bruising they made my healing a week quicker than without .also cook and freeze some meals in preparation then you partner/husband will find easy if you have children ECT. Really hope all goes well try to get moving to shift gas and do take laxatives.

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Thank you, i had never heard of those pills before! Fingers crossed I get some answers ☺ i'll certainly be filling the freezer this weekend ❤ xxx

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I had excision lap on Tuesday and I'm doing ok! I packed a huge bag as I was told I would be in hospital for a night or so depending on my recovery, turns out all I actually needed was facewipes, my headphones and my phone. I brought books, magazines and all sorts but I just couldn't focus or give enough attention to anything and I slept for most of my stay in hospital. I agree with most of what has been said above but I would add to buy some bathroom wipes, it makes going to the toilet a lot easier especially if you're a bloated whale like myself haha! They also smell nice and refreshing as I haven't dared to get in the shower yet, I'm really gearing myself up for that one.

I found I was nauseous the day after my surgery and threw up 3 times, my nurse was so so kind though and gave me a rolled up towel to press against my stomach which really helped to stop the pain. She also gave me different anti sickness meds so I wouldn't be sick anymore. I hadn't experienced nausea after surgery before so I'm not sure if it was from the anaesthetic or from the morphine or from not eating for 24 hours!

After surgery they gave me morphine which was a blessing and kept me on it overnight. They wanted me to be on tablets for when I was discharged though but my pain was fine when I was in hospital. Now I'm home it isn't too bad but I'm either on the sofa or in bed, I know I should be moving more though.

Hope your surgery goes well! Feel free to ask any questions if you have them xx

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