Laparoscopy.. what to expect??: Hi Ladies... - Endometriosis UK

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Laparoscopy.. what to expect??

HarrietGrace
HarrietGrace

Hi Ladies!

I’ve been back and forth to hospital and doctors since last October, and finally got my letter through on Saturday for my laparoscopy 2 weeks today! To have an endometrioma removed and any possible further tissue.

I was just wondering if anyone could help on what to expect after the procedure? And any tips? How long the bloating lasts, and what the deal with exercise is?

I have a holiday booked for 6 weeks after surgery, and with not much notice for the op (although I am so so happy something is being done!) I’ve gone into panic mode!

Thanks!

4 Replies
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Yay!

It depends on how much is done during surgery as to what to take; day case or a few nights. Plan for an overnight; change of clothes (baggy), pjs, slippers, mini shower gel and shampoo, face wipes, baby wipes, pads (some women bleed after), peppermint tablets for the gas.

You'll be put under, and then they do the op; make 3 holes (usually or just one for diagnostic) in the belly button, on the bikini line and in-front of hip (about a cm length) - they may do up to 5 if needed. They put the instruments through these including a camera and lights). You're abdomen will be inflated a little so they can see better, at the end of the op they'll take the gas out and either stitch or glue the incisions, and the nurses will put plasters on them. As they can never remove all the gas that's what the peppermint is there for; it helps shift gas reducing pain. You'll come round but wont remember, that's when they take the tube out, quite often we wake up a little and hear people muttering, bleeping machines, then drift off again.

You'll wake up fully in recovery where they'll keep an eye on you before taking you back to your ward / room where you can rest. No one told me that your bladder is slow to respond due to the anaesthetic so it takes a while to wee!

Your surgeon should come round later or the next day to explain what they've done. The nurses will let you know what you can / cannot do and give you a leaving pack (mine did). Then it's up to you.

Recovery wise, a lot has been done even though it doesn't look it, so expect to be in pain the first few days directly around the op sites and inside. You should try to move around as much as you can bear, moving helps flush out the antibiotics (can take up to 48 hours to get out of the system) it speeds recovery too; so even if its from the bed to the sofa and then potter around the house, doing some moving helps. But take it easy, stock up on painkillers, you can take ibuprofen and paracetamol at the same time if you're okay with them. Hot water bottles help but use it after 2 days; the drowsiness from the antibiotics can cause you to fall asleep with it and possibly burn yourself.

Have a shower on the second day after the op; you can get extra plasters; I got hypoallergenic non woven ones from amazon (I just looked up the brand I was given in my post op pack) Change your plasters once a day for about 4 days. If they're healing fine then take them off and let them air dry - I have colloidal silver spray (amazon) that I use for all wounds as an antimicrobial as I find the creams like savlon make the scab soften and so it opens, this stuff doesn't do that. If any cuts look like they're red / weeping white / yellow then see your doc. Any dissolvable stitches can take a few weeks to go. Keep plasters on any cuts you think will catch on your clothes.

On the note of clothes, wear baggy ones, I wore leggings, and nighties, or size up jogging bottoms and pjs. Expect bloating as your insides are healing, this can take up to a week to go. You should be able to move around normally after about a week, but take it easy as some stuff may still hurt. In the second week start doing more exercise, yoga I found helped with stretches and breathing. The second week you'll feel more drained and annoyed with yourself; if you have removal of endo the pain may feel like it's back, it isn't, the body can't tell the difference between removal of endo pain and endo pain. Two weeks is the usual for time off work, but you may still feel tired.

It may take up to four months to be back to 100%.

You should have a check up apt 2 weeks after op and another 4 months after (not all places do these)

I had a diagnostic and removal (excision) of endo lap, was back at work on the third week after op, I went back to full exercise and sports clubs 5 weeks after, and three months later I'd say I'm almost back at 100%.

My pain from endo has almost gone, the lap allowed me to work out my cycles, when the pain and other symptoms were happening so I could better plan around it.

Exercise; I was told by doc, and read up that if you can get up and about as soon as possible it helps recovery as it improves your circulation. Moving about even if it's just from your sofa to the kitchen and toilet all helps. Try not to spend all day in bed, leave that for the night time, stick to your normal daytime pattern, it helps you cope mentally. You'll find you get tired quickly, so if you go outside, do say five mins after a few days but have someone with you and take it slow. After the first week you should be able to move around with little assistance but using your core muscles may still be difficult - take it easy getting out of a chair / toilet / bath / bed etc. Try not to overdo stuff and listen to your body - if it hurts go slowly or stop. I started back with my yoga on the second week as it helped me to feel what my body could cope with. I went back to my usual sports; self defence and HIIT four weeks later, but made sure I'd talked to my instructors and class partners so they knew what I could / couldn't do - they look out for you! I was fully able to do sports at about 6 weeks, but it's taken me probably 8 weeks to completely recover enough to not worry, and 4 months to feel 100%.

Holiday, just take it easy, plan and take the usual stuff you use to manage your symptoms as it may feel horrible for the first two months like stuff hasn't changed, it has, don't worry! It's expensive to buy medicines abroad so take what you need.

The op may change your cycle as it's all being poked around in there, so be prepared. Hope all goes okay xx

Wow that's a long post, sorry!

Thank you so much for your reply that was perfect! The doctors haven’t been the best at information so far so it’s lovely to hear it all first hand! Totally put my mind at rest.

Really appreciate you putting the time into doing that.

Thank you!!! Xxx

i didn't realise it was that long until I typed it! glad it helped!

I've got my second op just to remove endo off the outside of my bowel, I thought I knew what happens (they didn't tell me much and I've had one lap); oh nooooo I have an enema before, and two nights in hospital - last time it was a day case. aaah, so i know how you feel when you've not been told much!

xx

hello!! I have had two surgeries along with a D&C and a colonoscopy. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do a bowel prep before the surgery. try to clear out as much from your colon as possible. with my last surgery, I was constipated SO bad from the surgery and medicine that I ended back in the hospital and I had to do 2 enemas and drink a lot of miralax. take your medicine around the clock. take it BEFORE any pain starts. this will keep your pain at (hopefully) a lower level. take sleeping medicine at night to keep you asleep because pain can keep you up! ALSO, people don't talk about this much, but PLEASE listen to this carefully. during surgery, they blow you up with gas in your stomach, you will be VERY BLOATED. because of the gas, one of your shoulders will hurt a lot! I believe its your right shoulder. this is because the gas rises somehow. the gas will go under your rib cage and hurt as well. for me, the gas pain was worse than the surgery itself. I want you to be prepared for that and ask your doctor what you can do to prevent it as much as possible. if you have any more questions, do not hesitate to message me at all! I would love to help :)

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