Endometriosis UK
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Laparoscopy is booked!

Hello,

I finally saw a specialist today and she wants me to have a Laparoscopy. She booked me in today and I have 4 weeks until I’m due to have the Laparoscopy. I was not expecting it to be so soon!

She intends for me to be in day care but I am just wondering if anyone has any advice for me at all? I have never had surgery before so obviously feeling a bit anxious about it.

What sort of things do I need to pack? I assume an overnight bag (for just in case) and loose clothing.

Any advice during recovery time would be great too.

Thank you. 🙂

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I've never had surgery either I'm going in 5 weeks time very nervous I'm terrified of needles so not looking forward to preassment blood test. My gynae said I've be off Thursday,Friday and the weekend from work and ok to go back Monday but I'll still be very sore and swollen although he did ask what I do for a living so I don't know if it's based on my job for time off work x

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Thanks for responding.

Good luck for your surgery! I am not a huge fan of needles but I’m better with blood tests. I hope everything goes ok for you.

Hmm... maybe? I don’t think I stated what I did for my job, she just said I’ll be off for a week minimum. I can also work from home if needed so that helps.

Must only be 3 weeks until your surgery now!

Hope you’re ok.

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My surgery has been cancelled unfortunately :( so dunno when it'll be so furstrated the thought of having another period is making me ill 😭

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Yeah, I think it def depends on the job you do- my gyne recommended 4week off for me. I’m a teacher with special needs pupils that need physical intervention.

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I had my first lap (and first operation) last Thursday my main advice is don't panic. You will be nervous but try to stay calm, consider having a pre-med if you feel too nervous. I didn't have one but the lady next to me did and she seemed to have a lot more fun waiting for the operation than I did.

If you have questions for the surgeon or anaesthetist write them down, you might forget what you want to ask.

Take something to take your mind off the operation while you are waiting I took a book and a word search, I left my phone at home because I knew I would Google and I had done enough of that in the lead up already haha.

When you come around from the anaesthetic your mouth will be dry, it doesn't seem to matter how much you drink your mouth feels like it will be dry forever. I had to have water or tea with every mouthful of the sandwich they gave me! For your meal when you get home that night I would suggest something with a lot of gravy or sauce or a soup.

Take some slippers and a dressing gown, they recommend it anyway but it was really nice to have something on my feet that wasn't shoes. I actually kept the slippers on leaving the hospital. Get some where your feet just slide into them, you probably won't be able to bend over (I still can't, although I'm pretty sure I'm not meant to be) and being able to put slippers on yourself is awesome.

They wont let you leave until you pee, I usually go all the time but I wasn't able to go until about half five (my operation was about twenty past nine)! They even scanned my bladder to make sure all was okay. When I finally did pee I was so happy and one of the nurses even gave me a high five, apparently they are used to waiting hours for people to pee. So don't be surprised if it takes you a while, relax, drink tea/coffee/water/etc, chat to everyone until their ride appears and don't stress about it.

The shoulder pain is killer! Mine lasted for about four days. I also had pain in my ribs from the gas, I'm not sure if that's normal or not but I think it was the way I was sat. Some of the advice I got for this was drink peppermint tea, massage it, hot water bottle and walk around a little.

Your stomach will hurt (obviously). Getting up without moving your stomach muscles is impossible, but if you roll to your side and use your arms to push you up from there it's easier to get up. This might be common sense but my mum told me so I thought I would pass on the knowledge. Also no one mentioned this to me and even though it's obvious I didn't think about it and for some reason it kind of made me emotional, but just a heads up your belly button will look slightly different from before.

If your leaflet says "most women are back to work in 5-7 days" take that with a pinch of salt. Go by your own pace, don't stress if it takes longer. I had a cyst and endometriosis removed so it wasn't just a lap for me, I've been signed off for four weeks and I imagine I will need that time too!

I hope this helps and I haven't made any nerves worse! Sorry for all the rambling but this is just the stuff I wish I had known at the time. Did you have any questions you want to ask me?

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That's made me more nervous I can't afford 2 days off my work never mind 4 weeks!! I won't have a choice but to go in still. I had no idea how I'd be after it my gynae asked if I had the surgery done before as he stated that I have a strange belly button!

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It really depends on the individual and whether they remove any endometriosis. I agree that the consultants have no idea about recovery times!!!

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The doctor will come round after the operation and let you know how much time you need off. If they don't find anything then your recovery will be much quicker and let's face it you want them to find nothing!

Is there anyway for you to work from home or to work in a less strenuous role (if you do have a strenuous job)? Maybe speak to your boss now and see if you can work something out so you can still work but without putting strain on your body. If you walk around a lot or lift stuff see if you can have a temporary move where you sit down more for example.

My advice would be to listen to your body, the doctor will tell you how long you need off but you can go back to work earlier. Just remember if you push yourself too hard you might hurt yourself more and need even more time off of work, it's a delicate balance.

Have a look to see if you will qualify for statutory sick pay, it kicks in after four days and it's not a lot but it might help.

gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay

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I work in a call centre so I just sit on my bum all day. I'm only entitled to two weeks statutory sick pay already gone over it with my boss and I can't afford to lose that much money I don't want to risk losing my house or being behind on bills just because I was off post surgery I'm going to try take it as annual leave but if the days aren't available then I can't book it off already worked out how much wage I'd lose and its way too much :(.

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Hopefully that won't be too bad then :). You might find your chair uncomfortable but you could bring a pillow to make it a bit more comfortable. Do you have far to travel to work? Could you get someone to drive you in the early days?

Are you sure you are only entitled to two weeks statutory sick pay? The link I provided says you are entitled to 28 weeks. Your situation might be different but make sure you are getting what you are entitled to.

Even if the days are booked off, have a word with your boss or HR they might be able to do something for you. After all your having an operation not going on holiday!

Don't stress about it for now, ultimately there isn't a lot you can do, you don't know how much time you need to recover until they do what they do.

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I've only been at my place of work for 10 months I need to be there longer before I get entitled to more. I'm going to wait until I get the letter through and I'll show my boss and speak to hr and hopefully get the time off as annual leave so that im not struggling with money x

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Emsky, have you sorted time off yet? I found out my friend had a laparoscopy a couple of weeks ago and there was no way she could return to work after a few days. She said she would suddenly feel tired but not just tired, exhausted. And she would fall asleep instantly.

At my current and previous job, we have to be employed for 6 months to be entitled to sick pay. We can self certify ourselves 3 times in 6 months, if we go over, HR get involved and see how they can help to prevent you having more time off etc... it may be worth clearing this with your HR. It makes me feel really sad that you are so eager to get back to work when you should be resting and looking after yourself.

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Hello RoseM6, thank you for your lovely long message.

I have packed a puzzle book and might pack some cross stitching as the time flies by when I do that! And if for whatever reason I stay in, at least I have it there with me if needed.

I’ve got my bag packed already and I have jimjams, gown, slippers, puzzle book, toiletries (just in case), underwear and pads. I will also pack a phone charger and a hair brush on the day.

Why do you end up with a dry mouth? 🤷🏻‍♀️

I hardly ever wee 🙈 what happens if I don’t go? Admission and catheter I assume?

I have a weird belly button, it isn’t an outty but it isn’t an inny either. It’s an in between type thing. Will they literally go straight in the middle of it?

Sorry, I’ve been too nervous to read all of the responses until now. I know you wrote this a couple of weeks ago but can I ask, how are you feeling now?

Please don’t apologise about the rambling. I asked a question and for advice and you were very kind and answered, so thank you.

I do hope you’re ok and feeling much better. Bless you. Thank you for responding!

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Hi Flossy13

I'm not sure why I ended up with a dry mouth really. I think it was probably where they put a tube down my throat, or maybe a side effect of the anaesthetic.

They won't let you leave unless you pee, I took so long they did a bladder scan to make sure my bladder wasn't too full. I'm not sure what would have happened, I think if my bladder was full or dangerously so they would have done a catheter and admitted me. But it wasn't too bad and even though I was concerned none of the nurses were, they knew I would go eventually it's just a waiting game. Once I started I couldn't stop! Although to be fair I go very regularly too (which is why I was concerned).

My belly button looks like they went in through the right hand side, although it looks very different from before so it's hard to tell where they went in.

That's okay :) . I completely understand! I'm now three weeks and one day post op and I'm feeling okay! I am a lot more mobile and it doesn't hurt anymore to do basic things. Although having said that I can't do too much or it begins to hurt, it's very much a balancing act. A couple of times I've over done it and felt very sorry for myself the next day (or days). I still have to roll to get up but it doesn't hurt while doing it and I can now (very carefully) sleep on my side! Also I had to buy a ton of dresses because when I started venturing outside I found that everything rubbed on my stomach and my stitches.

Good luck for your lap! I hope it all goes smoothly.

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Recovery depends on what they find. I was under for almost 3 hours, they found and treated endometriosis and I was signed off for a month. I would take peppermints with you, as soon as I got back to the ward i started sucking on peppermints and when I got home I took peppermint capsules. I didn’t get any trapped gas pain in my shoulders or ribs or anywhere (they did warn me I might) however the bloating was pretty colossal, I looked like I’d swallowed a balloon lol. try to move about, gentle walks etc. don’t forget to pack sanitary towels as you will probably bleed for a day or two, I woke up from surgery with a huge bulky pad, I was so pleased I could change it on the ward for a slim comfy one I’d brought with me. I also took ages to pee, my surgery was at 8:45am and I didn’t need to go until 4pm so definitely take a book.

Really try not to worry about the operation, it’s over before you know it, the recovery is the tricky part but a good balance between resting and gentle moving helps a lot.

All the best x

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Thank you for responding. I’ve been too nervous to read responses until now so I apologise for the delay.

I would never have thought of peppermints so thank you.

I have pads already packed, I had a feeling I may need them.

I think I’m more nervous about waking up from it. I’ve heard it can be a real traumatic experience.

Did you have a dry mouth?

I hope you’re feeling better now after your surgery.

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Oddly I didn’t have a sore throat until a few hours after I got home but that was gone after a day or two. When I woke up I just had period type pains in my stomach and back and they immediately gave me pain relief in recovery. Honestly try not to worry, it will all be fine and you’ll start feeling back to normal before you know it and wonder why you even stressed.

Big hugs xxx

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I’ll try not to worry but it’s easier said than done. One minute I am fine and the next I’m bricking it! I’m just worrying about possible complications and admissions etc... but I need to try just relax and chill out.

Only 2 weeks to go! It’s gone super fast already. 🙈

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That is wonderful it’s being done so soon; my hospital is quoting a 30-35 week wait 😳

Bring a dressing gown which covers well; the hospital gowns aren’t the best and here’s a heads up you can’t wear underwear for the surgery 😳you also need slippers to walk to theatre .

I’d also bring magazines a tablet phone in case you’re not first on the list.

You will meet your surgeon who will go through the surgery with you and you might need to sign additional forms. The nurse will check blood pressure etc.

You will then meet your anaesthetists.

The anaesthetic isn’t as scary as it sounds; trust me I’ve been under 3 times!! They put a cannula into your wrist ; some will offer a sedative prior to the anaesthetic. You will feel a cold rush through your arm and feel tired then you will be fast asleep! You will wake in recovery room like no time has passed. It’s strange I quite like it 😂

The surgeon will do just two incisions one in your belly button and one over your lady parts; they will only do a third one if they find and treat endometriosis.

Keep a close eye on the wounds and if they look red, weepy and are painful see a nurse ASAP.

Just because it’s keyhole surgery doesn’t mean the work they do inside you is.

If it’s a diagnostic lap ie they find nothing wrong my GP said a week off would be sufficient but as on both laps endo was found and treated I had 2 weeks off and was fine.

Do rest up and you will need a adult with you for 24 hours after surgery due to the anaesthetic.

Good luck with your surgery hope it goes well xoxo

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They made you walk to theatre? I was wheeled in, I don't think I would have made it after they told me it was my turn my legs turned to jelly.

Ah yes no underwear, no one told me and just before I got wheeled off the nurse asked, I had to shimmy out of them on the bed!

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All of my three surgeries I have had to walk to theatre! I thought it was standard!!! I was horrified the first lap I had when I realised I couldn’t wear my knickers more horrified then having the surgery itself!!!😂 the things we have to do xoxo

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Thank you for responding. Wow! That is a long wait. I had in my head that it will be about a 16-20 week wait. I was shocked when she offered me 28th or 29th of June. I had to decline as there is no way I could do a handover at work that quickly. So we went for 2 weeks later which is no time at all.

I have a gown packed, it’s not long but it’s a nice light soft one which will definitely go to my thigh. I also have slippers. I never imagined walking to theatre. That’s crazy!!

Great advice. Thank you so much!

Can I ask, what shall I expect as my pre op assessment? The letter states it’s a 4 hour appointment.

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Thank you.

Because my symptoms have become severe and my GP has written to my endo consultant it is now considered urgent; I was offered a date two and a weeks after the letter!!!Over the moon 😊 it’s happening 9th July 👍

I had my pre op at the same time just after my consultation; I was measured and weighed. They took my medical history’s down , they wanted a list of all my medications I was taking and I had my blood pressure checked and as that was all okay they didn’t need to do any bloods. The thing that took the longest was all the waits between the nursing staff; that’s why they it’s a long time. xoxo

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Oh wow! That is so soon isn’t it and just 4 days before mine!

How are you feeling about it?

How long were you at the pre op assessment for? I know every hospital is different and waiting times will vary.

My partner has taken the day off to come with me so at least I’ll have some company whilst waiting.

I’m feeling more nervous now. It’s scary to think she offered me today’s date and tomorrow’s date which I had to decline due to not being able to do a handover that quickly at work. 2 weeks tomorrow! 😬

Silly question, but what are you doing with your hair on the day? My hair goes down to my bum! I can only put it up if it’s backcommbed, gripped and hairsprayed otherwise it just falls down where it’s super heavy. I can’t even put it in a bun because it just flops down. I am thinking of maybe doing french plaits so it’s out of the way. I assume the last thing I want to do is faff with hair, moving it out the way it putting it back up every 5 minutes so french plaits is probably the best option.

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Thank you.

I am okay but really hope it’s not deep and can be successfully treated a week Monday 😊

I got to the hospital at half 1 for my consultation; I was worried about being late I arrived an hour or so early! My appointment was over half an hour late due having to share the room with about her specialist. Typical! The consultation appointment was about half an hour and then I was told to have my pre op. It was about 2 hours because of the waits between nurses was sooo long 🤦🏽‍♀️ I left the hospital gone 6!

Personally I washed my hair night before my ops and then straightened it so it was all nice for the surgery as it’s such an early start isn’t it.

Be careful not to wear metal as it’s not allowed in the theatre.

It’s not that bad having a lap I promise you 👍if you have any questions please feel free to ask me 👍 xoxo

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Fingers crossed for you then 🤞🏼

That is such a long time, bless you. You will probably be in an out quicker when you have your op!

There is no way I can wear my hair down so I’m definitely going to have to tackle french plaits 😬🙈

Thank you for the positivity. It’s really lovely of you.

Take care of yourself! 🙂

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I took a book, phone/headphones, loose and comfy clothes etc. I also took my mum, because you need an adult to look after you! In terms of recovery, I went back to work after two weeks, but it probably took me just under a month to be back to 100%. I was quite sore, and I struggled to wash and dress myself for a few days, and I found I was very emotional and sleepy for a few weeks. Good luck xx

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Thank you for responding.

As I read that, I was thinking “I need to organise for after surgery too!” It was when you mentioned about struggling to dress yourself. I’m going to get clothes prepared for after as if I asked my partner to get me an outfit, he will pick the most ridiculous outfit ever (probably something like high waisted jeans) so I’m not taking that risk haha!

Thank you for wishing me good luck. Thank you for also responding, I appreciate it.

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Thank you everyone for responding. I have been too nervous to read all the replies so sorry for the delay. I really appreciate you all taking the time to respond. Each and every one of you have your own story and own advice so it’s great to hear from you all and I honestly do appreciate it, so thank you.

One minute I’m nervous and the next I’m not. I think I am just worried about possible complications and being admitted etc... I just want to be able to come home and rest.

If anyone reads this, would you mind answering a query that I have... did you have an oxygen mask on in theatre, oxygen tubes etc... just something I thought of. Can you specify what you had? I get sore throats ever so easily. I am just thinking, if they use a tube or something, I’m probably going to end up with a worse sore throat than I am a tummy! 🙈

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I think they used a tube on me, I was warned of a sore throat before my operation by the consultant and by the surgeon. You aren't awake for that bit though, before the anaesthetic they put a mask on with gas that smelt like rubber to help the anaesthetic. I woke up with a bit of a sore throat but they gave me pain meds because my stomach hurt (mostly caused by the fact I was freezing and couldn't stop shivering). It didn't hurt after that first initial wake up.

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