Support after laparoscopy: I had a... - Endometriosis UK

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Support after laparoscopy


I had a laparoscopy on Friday, which determined endometriosis and removed it too. So it was a positive op! However, this being the only ever surgery and hospital experience I’ve ever had, I wondered if anyone could help me out with how low I’m feeling.

The shoulder pain had me in tears but that’s mostly died down now, but I’m feeling really low about bloating and my wounds. I’m terrified of knocking them and it hurts my belly button incision when I bend so am off work for a few days, which I hate as I’m so bored at home!

I don’t wish to sound ungrateful - I know that the surgery has been hugely important and has thankfully ruled out my worry of infertility, just I am kind of hoping that some of you who’ve been through this can help lift me a bit. How long until the bloating goes and the wounds start healing? Just don’t feel myself at all :(

17 Replies


I had my second lap 19th, still recovering now. Any questions do message

Your still very early days don’t worry! Im 11 days post and I’m not right yet others will agree I’m sure that each person takes different times to recover and it depends if you had a removal of endo or if you had a diagnostic

With mine they removed a lot so my recovery might be slow.

Watch plenty of Netflix, lots of TLC and snacks...

I’m still bloated now but it’s gone down a lot. Each day it will get easyier and you’ll get better but don’t rush it take your time some take a week some day 6 weeks I think the average is 2 -3 weeks

Amycafc in reply to Kate345

Thank you! I’ve just noticed some of your posts and it’s so good to speak to people who understand!

He found and removed endometriosis during the laparoscopy and assured me that fertility will be fine for the time being, so that’s good.

I knew I’d have some pain but I wasn’t prepared for the bloating and I’m scared to look at the wounds (squeamish) 😕 when do I take off the bandages because they didn’t really say but gave us a couple of spares!?

Resting as much as I can. I’m a teacher and the kids have their exams in two weeks. Being off work is not what I want right now :( needs must! Xx

Kate345 in reply to Amycafc

Aww hopefully my posts are helpful in some way hahha

That’s really good that they got it

With the bandages I left mine for a few days I then cleaned them with warm salt water then I recovered for a bit mainly due to my dog but they do like people to air them ...but honestly I’ve only just stopped wearing dressings ok mine are 11 days post now and I re dressed my belly button today as it’s not fully healed and I hate looking at it.

I think it’s each to there own with the wounds but keep them clean fresh, don’t get them wet within 48 hrs and don’t get baths.

I just would get a shower without dressings on clean with salt boiled water then pat dry and the re dress.

I know honestly I’m so bored if will be 2 weeks on Thursday since mine and I’m not ready at all yet. If you need more time make sure you ask for the extra. But your still very early days

Aisha12 in reply to Kate345

I had my surgery on the 19th too, and am 11 days post op. The bloating was just awful, but it does go down. I’m still having gas issues 11 days on! But it is becoming less. First few days I couldn’t even use the toilet by myself (tmi), but by the 5th day I was able to, which means my incisions had started to heal and I had more movement from that. If I’m standing for longer periods of times or sitting funny I get pains in my side. I had endo and cysts removed, and had more work done to my right side which is why I have a lot of pain there.

I changed my dressings after 48 hours making sure I didn’t wet them. After which I was given waterproof dressings to keep on for 7 days. I took them off, but have been reapplying them to shower as my belly button incision is healing a little slower.

It does get better ! Just rest plenty and drink loads of water. I found taking wind settlers helped me more than the pain killers did the first few days. Really eased the pain from the gas. I can’t recommend them enough! X

I remember it hurting around my belly button for the longest, i think it must have been the deepest. Plus it's right at the centre of you so is used in all movements so you will really feel it. It does get better, though. I had surgery in Nov and by my holiday in July you couldn't even see the incision wounds. After a couple of weeks I was able to gently walk round the block and wear jeans rather than leggings because of the bloating. It does get better but I can't promise you it's linear, overall it was an upward trend but I had some up and down days. Supermarket shopping with my husband was great as I could push the trolley and rest on it if I needed, plus I had the cafe in case I needed to give up; I never did but it was nice to have that back-up.

Easier said than done but try to relax; how often do you get time to just chill out? Get onto Netflix and watch daft movies or weird documentaries. My daughter and her friends recommended RuPaul's Drag Race as cheer up fun TV. I watched some when I was in a lot of pain tucked up in bed and loved it in the way I like Portrait/Landscape Artist of the Year and GBBO. What about reading that book you've always meant to? Hop onto Amazon and get a head start on Xmas shopping.

Hi, I had my second laparoscopy last February to remove extensive endometriosis. This time I was advised by the nurses to go for short frequent walks with resting times in between. Apparently movement helps the body getting rid of pockets of trapped gas/anestetic. I started in hospital and built it gradually. It worked for me. Yoga breathing also helped and drinking water, green tea and infusions. Sunlight and fresh air helped with low mood.

Even though my second laparoscopy was a lot longer and extensive than my first one, my recovery was faster thanks to better advice I was given this time.

I hope this helps you too.

Mint will help get any air our of your abdomen, so mint sweets, mint tea or peppermint cordial.

Vitamin E moisturiser helps heal any skin cuts or grazes and is fine to put on surgery cuts after a couple of days.

Don't be to paranoid about knocking the incisions, at this stage it would take a fair bit to do any damage.

It would be good to get some gentle exercise, just walking. So go out for walks in your local area, maybe do a few short ones each day at first and then go a little further afield. You can spend your time in doors learning more about endometriosis and looking up self-help such as diets that can help.

I had my op 6 weeks ago and I would say it's only the past 2 weeks I have felt like myself.

Plenty rest and peppermint tea! You will feel back to yourself in no time Xx

You poor thing, it really is hard! You really gear yourself up for the surgery but it's so much harder for the recovery because you just don't know what to expect!

I'm also a teacher and I had my op on the 10th, 3 weeks today! I totally understand you wanting to go back to work. I've just renewed my sick note for another week and HOPEFULLY I can go back next week part time or something. I just know I'm not 100% and get tired so easily that working with kids will exhaust me and set me back. Only go back when you're ready and trust that they're being looked after. They may have exams soon but you've done a good job of prepping them for it. They will surprise you!

My bloating went down after a week and a half but if I eat too much I do feel bloated again. It is normal to be bloated, just think that they did so much work inside and even though you only have a few insicion sites that need healing it will be all your insides that need to heal.

I had my friend change my dressing after 3 days as I too didn't want to look! She said they were fine, have them a little clean and redressed them. I then took my dressings off on day 6 for another clean and actually they didn't look too bad so I have left them to air. I wear a lot of stretchy trousers so the waist band doesn't irritate my stitches but I'm ready for them to dissolve now! They're annoying!

The first few days after surgery I had got Netflix ready and thought I'd just watch films all day long but I honestly couldn't face watching tv! Luckily I had very supportive friends who brought me puzzles, jigsaws, colouring, crafts and books so I didn't have to veg in front of the tv. I found that having alternatives helped and now I've found a good Netflix series that I'm addicted to! When you feel up to it, start off with little walks out of the house as it makes such a difference to your mental health. I went and sat outside when it was sunny and my mood lightened so much. I'm hoping this week I can get into town!

We're all here for you and 100% understand what you're going through. Take it easy and make sure you rest xx

Morning UK time! Sorry to hear you're feeling so down. This is all pretty normal to feel low after a general anaesthetic and the shoulder pain is the gas working it's way out of your system post lap. Get walking if you haven't already - every half hour do a little. Will help her rid of all above. Any signs of infection go to a nurse. Hope you feel better soon x

Hi Amy, I had excision surgery 6 weeks ago and this is the first week I have felt ‘good’. Try not to worry about your incisions, I was extremely squeamish with my first operation in November (diagnostic) I wouldn’t look at the incisions and the thought of the cut in my belly button actually turned my stomach! So dramatic! Just keep them clean and you’ll be fine, it is amazing how tiny the scars become. The anaesthetic will leave you feeling low, try not to overthink or stress about your recovery. Having a positive attitude will really help aid your recovery. Second time around I relaxed a lot more, (I noticed I was tensing my muscles because I was anxious, which meant I felt achy all the time!). I tried to move often, stretch and little, eat well and drink lots of water. I have no doubt that in a few weeks you will feel great, these feelings won’t last forever! X

Its still early days, you will no doubt be feeling back to your normal self after a week and will notice the difference your op has made. I had two weeks off work under doctors order but was ready to go back after one, chin up your nearly there! x

Hello Amy,

Please don't apologise, i'm sure most of us have felt how you are feeling now. I certainly have :) after my first op i had excruciating shoulder pain (the surgeon says that it was very common after surgery) and the best thing i found was to slightly move my shoulders around. Apparently it's the gas from the operation and does clear.

Don't be too hard on yourself, you'll soon get better. Very pleased to hear you've had a diagnosis, that does seem an obstacle.

You'll be fine :)


Posting on here was clearly the best thing I could have done! You guys have made me feel so much better and it’s great to hear from people who understand! 🤗

I’ve been going for little walks as instructed since day 1 post surgery but do wonder if I’ve been doing too much too soon! I prefer it when someone is with me though. A friend recommended the mints too and they’ve been helping.

I’m just a tiny bit concerned that my surgeon and all the nurses seemed to think I’d be fine to go back to work after the weekend (two days). Most people are saying it’s taking at least a week to fully recover. Had I realised then I wouldn’t have opted to have it at such an important time at work, and am worried that I won’t be able to do the 10k run I’ve been training for at the start of June 😕 sigh!

Thanks soooooo much for all of your support!! Xxx

Nkemdilim in reply to Amycafc

Hi Amy! I had a laparoscopy for endometriosis where they removed an ovarian cyst and endometrium tissue, they also inserted the mirena coil as I have heavy periods. I was told by my surgeon prior to the operation that my recovery time would be 1-2 weeks before going back to work. I work in a factory so do lots of walking and lifting. Regardless two days is not a realistic recovery time at all so please do not feel disappointed that your recovery is longer!

I had 2 weeks off initially and went back to work, a bit too soon in hindsight. As after 2 weeks working I had a massive increase in pain and was off for another 2 weeks! I think If I had another week off before going back and gone back via phased return my recovery would have been less up and down. So don't be concerned that your recovery is taking time.

In regards to exercising I did walks straight after surgery and felt a lot of discomfort and exhaustion after each one, for the first 3 weeks, regardless of distance. So I would pace yourself. 4 weeks post I started doing pilates, yoga, and body balance classes. In addition to pelvic floor exercises from a physio. I also so an osteopath 5 weeks post. I exercised through the pain and I found this helped me dramatically long term, physically: improving my posture and providing me with things to look forward too, which in turn improved my mental health and reduced my pain. I am now 7.5 weeks post op and can do gentle exercise e.g. cycle 10 minutes low resistance.

I am still in pain but it is manageable, everyone is different, so try different and see what helps you :)


Hi Amycafc

I hope you start to feel some pain relief soon and that your swelling goes down.

I had laparoscopy surgery on Friday as well.

I was very sick and vomited 4 time after drinking peppermint tea and eating 3 ginger biscuits after the operation. I believe it was a combination of the peppermint tea and ginger reacting with the morphin and the gas. I haven't has to much trouble with gas shoulder pain just some burping and a few bottom burps haha. The nurses wanted to keep me in hospital over night as I kept vomiting , was very white and could not urinate. I had operation at 8:30am. I left the hospital at 7pm in the end.I went home to bed and slept. I felt much better the next morning.

I've applied arnica cream to the areas on my stomach and pelvic area that are not covered due to surgery. ( Do not put on stitches) 4 times aday since I had the operation.

It is now Day 5 since surgery and My swelling has been reducing daily. The arnica cream works with your body . With our white blood cells and helps to bring out bruising quicker and to reduce swelling naturally. I am able to move about easier today. But it's still very sore from the 3 different cysts and a fibroid that was removed.also from were they placed the instruments used for surgery.

I was given a copy of a letter sent to my doctor and some leaflets with after surgery advice which I have read and followed.

I have been taking bromelain (pineapple) , papain (papaya) , ginger and turmeric tablets. These all help your body heal inside out, they reduce scar tissue and are anti inflammatory. They help with nausea, swelling and pain relief. They help IBS, digestion and more.

I am taking ibroprofen when the pain is bad as well. This just numbs the pain and helps with inflammation. They don't really work that well with my body.

I have a electric heat pad. (Better than a hot water bottle as no chance of burning your self with to hot a bottle) I use for 20 minutes at a time through out the day. (Best to start using 24 hours after surgery)

I alternate with a ice gel pack wrapped in a towel. (This one is best to use for first 24 hours after surgery to reduce swelling)

Both the hot and cold pads reduce swelling and help numb the area so it is less painful.

I'm drinking nettle tea or camomile and honey tea.

Freshly squeezed lemon in water. For vitamin C to boost my immune system and to help my electrolyte. To stop dehydration and headaches.

I make sure I drink something every two hours. I also walk about for 10 minutes every two hours to help loosen my body as instructed by hospital.

I'm not lifting anything heavier than a bag of sugar. Hubby won't left me anyway.

I've also been eating half a Papaya and two slices of fresh pineapple a day to help my digestion, stomach and bowels.they are natural pain relievers.

The nettle tea is good for helping to keep urine infections away after surgery. It's a natural pain reliever.

I am also taking cramp bark tincture daily to help with to stomach muscle spasms and cramps while healing . It helps my IBS and to prevent urine infections. It's a natural pain relief.

I have been listening to hypnosis audio's to relax , for pain control , sleep and anxiety. I use Glenn Harrods ones. But YouTube have a large variety of them. I put a timer for an hour or half an hour as I have my hypnosis audio's with audible and then if I fall asleep it doesn't wake me. They help with body and mind.

I have either lemon, orange or frankincense oils in a oil burner to help lift my moods.

I even put it in the washable filter in my hoover. So when my husband Hoover's at present it lifts my spirits what ever room I go in. We use the lemon and orange essential oils to clean with. These all help lift our moods.

I've followed the advice from my surgeon. I also asked my surgeon and anesthesist if I was ok with taking these natural treatments and they said I was not on any blood thinners so they were ok.

Natural pain relievers do not work the same way paracetamol or ibroprofen do. These drugs numb pain and help with inflammation. Natural pain relievers work with your body to heal you. They take longer to work sometimes but that's because they heal you inside out.

Hey Amy!

I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having a tough time. Post-op blues is something that many of us go through because of the trauma of the op, feeling low during recovery and also being pumped full of general anaesthetic and pain killers. I had an op 11 days ago and definitely had a few sad days and it’s rubbish and completely frustrating... and then you almost get more frustrated at yourself because of this! But you just have to try and stay positive that it will pass and you will feel better but do need to give yourself time to heal without putting pressure on yourself by saying you ‘have to be recovered by this date’. Doing too much too soon will ultimately mean you have more trouble in the long run and possibly more time off and although I know teachers always put their students first, I think you need to take this time for yourself and do what’s best by your body.

Shoulder pain though! It’s the worst and I found it excruciatingly painful possibly worse than the actual surgery recovery of the wounds. But it sounds like you’ve got your bases covered on that!

I hope you start to feel a bit brighter and stronger soon and in the meantime there are a lot of websites that can offer holistic ways to manage endo if you are interested - my favourite is ‘endo resolved’ so perhaps when you have a bit of time where you are up to it google that and go on the website as it has lots of great tips on.

Gentle hugs xxxx

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