Laparoscopy recovery time? : Hi everyone... - Endometriosis UK

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Laparoscopy recovery time?

bbundey profile image

Hi everyone,

I'm just posting to ask a quick question to the ladies who have had their laparoscopy done - how long did it take you to recover? How long did you take off work/school/college?

I'm a student nurse and I'm going to be on placement for the next 10 weeks so it's really not easy to take much more than a few days off.

How did you guys feel after the surgery? Just any tips really on recovery etc.

Thanks so much,

Bibby x

24 Replies

Hi there I took 6 weeks off but I suffer with chronic pelvic pain.

Tips:-

Pillow for car ride home

Faux silk sheet on bed for moving

Plenty of pillows in bed to buff u up

Lactulose for your bowels. You will be constipated after op.

Be wary of painful gas in your upper chest side or arm after op

Mobility grabber so u can pick things up

Support from a loved one

Painkillers on standy

Hot and cold packs for pain

Xx

bbundey profile image
bbundey in reply to Boodie

wow that's much longer than i expected! Hopefully i will be arranged for in the holidays because i can't take that much time off!

Thanks so much for those tips! I will keep them in mind, hope you're feeling much better now lovely x

Sar_ profile image
Sar_ in reply to Boodie

Aw these are great tips Boodie. I’ve had 3 ops, with another one for some bad adhesions needed - I didn’t think of all these ☺️

Hi,

I think it various on the person, the surgeon and what they do in there. I had mine 2 years ago & it was just exploratory. I only had 1 incision in my belly button. For the first 3 days I really struggled with moving and needed help to sit up and walk. I was super swollen and couldn't really wear normal clothes. Cushions & pillows is a great suggestion to help prop you up. I was also completely exhausted.

I think it took me about 2 weeks before I was fully mobile again but bending over or having anything press into me was painful for many weeks after that. As a nurse, I think you need to be really careful as you'll likely be quite physical and in your feet a lot. I'm sorry to say that I think you're being fairly unrealistic if you expect to be on placement a few days after surgery. You'll likely still be on some heavy painkillers. Also, I couldn't drive for quite a few weeks.

This is still surgery. Although it's a small incision, they do have a right poke around inside you and that's even if they're just looking. It's really important that you give yourself sufficient time to recover.

Thank you for your reply!

i definitely think i underestimated the recovery time, but you're definitely right, need to put my health first and give myself enough time!

It is just frustrating because once you've waiting on the waiting list and finally get the date you don't really want to mess about with it and delay even more you know?

Thanks for your tips, hopefully my date will come at a easier time for me when i can take more time out

I’ve had 4 laps now and have answered this question a few times so if you were to look through my ‘replies’ there will be a number of threads where myself and other people on here have given our ‘tips’ which you may find useful.

A couple off the top of my head however are to take a pillow to hospital so that for the car ride home you can put the pillow between your stomach and your seatbelt as it is quite uncomfortable.

One of the worst pains after the lap is, in my opinion, the trapped gas pain in your shoulder blades as they fill your tummy up with gas to see better. Peppermint tea really helps to disperse the gas as does little walks around the house whenever you feel able.

Also your tummy will be very swollen probably for 2-3 weeks. This is completely normal but it’s good to have clothes ready that aren’t constricting in any way (I like dresses because of this reason)

After the lap you will be quite constipated from the general anaesthetic and the pain killers so until your first bowel movement don’t eat anything too stodgy. I tend to stick to veggies and light meals. Also ask for some Lactulose or Laxido which are stool softeners. The ease the pressure on your tum and make everything a lot easier. And also drink lots of fluids. This helps your digestion but is also just a good idea.

Don’t be surprised if you have a bit of a hard time emotionally after the lap for a couple of weeks. Post-op blues are experienced by many people and it can be quite unexpected. Just try and stay in as-positive-a-mindset as possible. You will get better but you need to give yourself time to heal.

In regards to healing. Best not to put too many expectations on yourself such as you *should* be feeling better by this date. Everyone is different and bodies heal at different rates. I usually take 2 weeks to feel better in myself but 6 to feel totally back to normal. By week 3 I can usually leave the house to do a few errands. Others will bounce back a lot quicker (maybe 2). But don’t overdo it. Ive just had surgery the other week and out of frustration have been doing too much... and now I’m paying the price 😂 it’s not worth it! Round about 2 weeks off work/ uni/ life is about right, but 3 is more realistic.

Take your painkillers regularly as opposed to chasing the pain when it comes on. This way you will be far more comfortable and your body won’t have to catch up.

Take some sanitary pads and big comfy Bridget-Jones style knickers to hospital. You WILL wake up with the megalodon of sanitary towels stuffed downstairs and being able to change into something more discreet just makes you feel better or at least does in my case 😂

If possible have someone at home to help you for a few days. It’s just a lot easier if you don’t have to worry about cooking or fixing yourself a meal as those first couple can be a little disorientating and tough. Also it’s just nice to be looked after for a bit!

Also try and remember to ask if you will need a check up with a nurse for wound care, and whether you arrange this or if the hospital does and also when your post-op check up will be and who arranges this.

I hope you find some of that helpful and very best of luck xxxxxx

Thank you so much for this, this is super helpful!

i'll take it all on board, but definitely feeling that i need to plan more time to recover than i thought! but like you said, no point rushing anything better to let your body do its thing

Catness profile image
Catness in reply to bbundey

Yes definitely! And not being too hard on yourself if you don’t heal as quickly as others or how you would expect. It may look like nothing on the outside, just puncture wounds, but inside there’s been a lot of trauma so always be gentle and kind to yourself 😊

For my next lap I’m going to get loads of really good films that I love watching ready and a bit of choccy and things that just make me feel more comfy. Comforting things xxx

Hi.. I had a lot of work done (total hysterectomy plus removal of both ovaries, fallopian tubes, large cyst and all endo which was stuck to pelvic wall and bowel thanks to stage 4 endo and frozen pelvis) took 6.5 hours in surgery. I've been told I'll be off work for approx 10 by my surgeons and my gp. 4 weeks ago today I had this.. I'm moving around, still not comfy going outside feel very vulnerable really. It aches a little lying in my side in bed still.. so. All depends what.toure Having done.. you def Need to put your health first. As.i read where, you only get.one shot to get healed properly! Look after yourself and yes the gas is the.most painful thing! Peppermint tea worked.for me. Good luck and make sure you take the. Time you need xx

Hello ,

I had the laparoscopy surgery done twice and each time I was advised to rest for couple of weeks.. after a week you would start feeling less pain but it does take two weeks to properly be back to full active .

It does vary I had mine done monday last week and I feel fine now, I'm back to work. Everyone is different. 🙂 Best of luck

I had mine 4 weeks ago, stage 4 Endo with 4 incisions. I needed help getting out of bed, couldn’t carry things, bend down etc for about 3-5 days but after that recovery was quick enough. I had 2 weeks off work. Just be careful if you’re a nurse what duties you’ll be asked to do as I found I couldn’t lift heavy things or have anything touch my incisions for another few days after work. It really wasn’t as bad as I expected though! Good luck

I am having my first lap in a couple of weeks so am wondering the same. I’ve got a friend whose had a few laps now and said that the recovery time has been very different for each one. I’m also hoping that the recovery time is fairly quick as i’m Having it done on the Monday and have concert tickets for the Friday! I also am planning on being back to work on the Saturday so hopefully the recovery is quick, or maybe i’m being ambitious!

HarrietC profile image
HarrietC in reply to El_mai

I think giving yourself a plan gets your head in the right place then your half way there! Best of luck I hope you feel strong for the concert x

El_mai profile image
El_mai in reply to HarrietC

Thank you!!

Hiya, you've got some great replies and tips here, all of which I would echo.

As the other replies have said, your recovery really will be individual to you. I had a diagnostic lap and I would guess they did a moderate amount of "rummaging around", and I was off work for 2 weeks. I was signed off for 2 weeks by the surgeon, so I used this as my gauge. To be honest, though, if I hadn't had a big project at work that I had to get back for on the third week, I would've definitely had just a few more days, as I was definitely still a little distant during that third week. That said, about a month after my lap I met a friend of my Sister's who was visiting my Sister with her Daughter and she'd had a lap just a few days before and was fine! She didn't have the same amount of "rummaging around" so I really think that how you recover is a) totally individual to you, and b) dependent on how much they look around and how invasive it all is. I think someone else said this too, however although on the outside it's just one or a few small incisions, there's a lot more that went on inside thatneeds to recover and heal (I've just remembered you're a student nurse, so I'm sure you know all this 😊)

Anyway, definitely some baggy clothes for both going home in and also the following couple of weeks. Dresses would be perfect for this lovely weather we've got at the moment. I brought a couple of cheap pairs of baggy lounge pants a couple of sizes larger than normal and literally lived in them for 2 weeks, they were such a godsend!

Make sure everything is all done at home, house cleaned, washing done, you could make some meals and freeze them. Depending on your living situation, it may really help to have meals prepped.

Peppermint tea for the shoulder pain afterwards. I didn't get this too badly, however it's another individual thing and I know some ladies on here did.

Also I remember thinking that I wished I'd done some upper arm weights leading up to my lap just to strengthen my arms a little - I found it tricky to sit myself up in bed. My partner would pull me up for the first couple of days, however if you live on your own, you will definitely master your own technique 👍🏼

Watch Netflix, learn to crochet, write letters to everyone you love, read books, magazines. You will definitely want some things to occupy you. I remember thinking before my lap that I'd try and learn a bit of Spanish, however I was far too distant in my mind to be able to focus and concentrate to do that. Films were really easy to just watch.

And, positive people only to visit afterwards. I found I took on the mood of whoever came to see me and so it really is so important to make sure your friends and family are being upbeat for you.

I'm sure with everyone's messages you've got lots of good tips and bits of advice. And I'm sure you know this already, however the mind you go into your op with is the mind you will come round with. Do your best to relax and be calm. I found a pre-surgery meditation which helped me a little. Deep breathing too.

Remember surgery is an event and recovery is a process.

Other than that, good luck with your recovery and with your career too.

Take care xx

Hi!

May laparoscopy was two weeks ago now and I’m definitely feeling myself again! If you look back to a post I’d posted three days after however, I was an emotional mess!! Prepare for that!

The bloating and shoulder pains were the worst things. I’m still very bloated and struggling to get into some of my work clothes! And on that note, I’m a teacher (another job where I don’t want to be off for long if I can help it) and I went back after a week. I’m fine as I can get away with lots of sitting and get the kids to pick things up for me (they love that!) Apart from the bloating I’m feeling absolutely fine in myself, my wounds are healing well, but I’m still taking things as easy as I can as I’m aware I could overdo it too quickly and am aware that other people were off for a lot longer! Have my follow up appointment next Friday!

Hope this helps x

As others have said, it's a very individual journey, based on so many things, like whether they remove anything, or how you respond to GA, or how run down you are before the procedure. My recovery was 2 weeks. If I wanted to push myself, I could have been back within a week, but remember, a GA really knocks the stuffing out of you, and it was day 3 post op before I could attempt a shower.

As a previous student nurse, please just be honest with them about what is happening, your health is the most important thing. Good luck!

Hi

I had my latest laporoscopy on the 30th April and they have me a week off work. I was still struggling with pain so have asked for another and have only started to do light exercises such as swimming.

My job is sitting in an office so I should be ok to go back next week but if you have manual work I would strongly suggest wait until you feel 100% as you will suffer later on.

Also as peole have already mentioned beware of the shoulder pain it's horrible. I stayed in bed for 3 days after the surgery as I felt awful. Although it's only keyhole it aggravates an area that already hurts so be kind to yourself and take as much time as you need.

Good luck with the surgery and hope it all works out 😊 x

I’ve just had my first one on tuesday and i’m still very sore today. I’ve been told to have two weeks off cus I’m a nurse and do manual work, and that’s how long they put on my sick note for work.

I had a lap on 23 April. I felt well enough to go to a shopping centre the next day to buy some leggings and had a coffee. That night the shoulder pain from the gas hit and it was awful I was whimpering in pain. Peppermint tea helped. My advice would be not to take codeine like I did because the next two days were spent with the most awful constipation that was only relieved by a night doctor giving me an enema. I've taken it easy for the rest of the time and I feel ok now if not easy to tire. I've put jeans on today for the first time since op and I can feel it pulling on my wounds so deffo still tender. Obviously everyone is different and I'm probably a fair bit older than you (45) but I'd advise not to overdo it. The incisions may be tiny but you will be sore and still healing inside. Good luck x

It's fairly standard advice to avoid lifting for 6 weeks after any kind of surgery to avoid risk of hernia. I think it would be reasonable to expect to be able to back to work after 2 full weeks if you can avoid manual work such as moving patients, heavy lifting or anything too physical. You might need to rest a lot if you're on your feet. Speak to your surgeon or someone in the department if you can. It is really important to take it easy and not to push yourself, because it will set back your recovery in the long term.

Personally, I didn't find the shoulder pain to be significant compared to the endometriosis-related pain, bloating and discomfort I had already been experiencing prior to surgery.

Hello! I'm a nurse so understand the time off during placement.

I was meant to have 2-4weeks off work but they did a lot more treating during myop so I was off for 6weeks and did a paused return. Its such an active role that you need to be slower to begin with.

Good thing about student nursing is you can always make up your placement hours another time.i hope your uni are understanding? I would expect 4-6weeks minimum. You'll be surprised how much you can't do when you have your op and are recovering.

Best of luck xxx

I am 1 month post-op today and feel good! I would say a good 2 weeks of laying low, you might need someone to help you get off and on the toilet, get in and out of bed for the first week. It really is not a bad recovery, just keep in mind no lifting over 20lbs, and listen to your body!! Good luck!!

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