Endometriosis UK
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When to go back to work?

Having laparoscopy next week for first time, so am a little clueless as to how much time I will need out of work? I am a full time care assistant in a nursing home, it’s a heavy fast paced job just am anxious as to how I will be feeling? I have told my job I will get a note from the hospital as to how long I need but does anyone have any advise or information from there own experience.. thanks

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I am a primary school teacher I was advised 3 weeks. I told them what job I do . If I was you take no less than that . I’m currently on my 2nd week off , you definitely need the rest . You could take 3 weeks then have a phase return back to work or take longer. It depends on how you heal . The outside heals quicker than the inside. Feel free to message me this was my first Laparoscopy too. X

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Thank you for your message! Oh wow really.. i hope your feeling better! You must of had alit removed poor lady! I have been told it can be a long recovery it’s different for everyone isn’t it. Depending what is being removed.. I just know my job is very heavy and I don’t want to rush back and hurt myself.. my job have already rostered me in for the week after surgery after me explaining I don’t know how long I need out.. and I am panicking I won’t be ready.. but I shall listen to what my doctor says and how my body feels and bring sick note in.. that’s all I can do xx

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Bless you . Yes definitely listen to your body , especially with the job you do, it’s hard because we can’t see the internal stuff of our bodies. You must take it easy though and please don’t rush back to work. I had a 7cm dermoid cyst removed and they burnt away endometriosis behind my uterus not sure how much was there.

Luckily I don’t do any lifting other than school books to my car.

Xx

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I’ve had 3 laparoscopies to date - each one I was back at my desk after two weeks but my job didn’t require me to lift anything or move too much, I’d say assess things after two weeks and see how you feel. Everyone heals at a different pace so only you will know if you’re ready.

I’m having a hysterectomy in 3 weeks and was told I won’t be back to work this year - not sure how to tell my boss that bit!

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Oh wow I think I have really underestimated what I’m having done.. I thought I would need at least two weeks off and I work 6 or 12 hour shifts full time on my feet all day, it’s a very heavy nursing home too, a lot of hoisting and we are under staffed as it is so very fast paced! I am anxious as they have put me in for the week after my surgery after me explaining I need time off, I will just have to get my partner to bring doctors note in, I will just listen to my body as I don’t want to go back and tare my stomach or something else! Oh Jesus I’m sorry to hear that! Good luck with telling your job hopefully they will understand xx

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Honestly, don’t worry. And don’t rush.

The first few days you’ll be tired and your stomach will hurt - the CO2 in your body will also cause some pain in your upper chest and shoulders so don’t be alarmed by that - it’s quite unpleasant though.

You might find after two weeks you’ll be fine for light duties at work - talk to your surgeon and doctor and take all their advice.

My work have told me I won’t get paid because I’ve not been there a year yet - how rubbish is that! So I’ve got to try and get back ASAP after my surgery - with Christmas coming up we can’t afford to be out of money for too long, but I can do some days at home which is good.

Good luck

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Thank you really nice to hear from so many lovely people.. thank you for all your advise and heads up on the pain.. I live over in Ireland and only have my boyfriend here my family are back at home so I’m nervous to go in alone as it’s first operation I’ve ever had, I have some friends from work going to come check in on me though.. yeh I will just have to play it by ear I’m totally un aware of how I will be feeling so I will just have to wait.. oh no that’s rubbish will you get any help from social? Yeh I understand with Christmas coming you feel in a hurry to go back but take it easy and like me just see how your body is feeling First, thanks again and all the best to you also x

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The surgeon will normally give you a note for 2 weeks. You must take it easy for those two weeks. And see how you feel... listen to your body if your concerned about work ect speak to your GP after the op. If you have occupational health speak to them too.

As for the pain not every body gets shoulder tip pain.

Have a chat with the surgeon and anaethetist if you are concerned.

Hope this helps

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Hi there i had my first lap this time last year end of october i had whole of novemeber off work with a sick note.. i also work as a care assistance in a care home doing 12 hour shifts.. i still felt a little tender when i went bak but my work were understanding and didnt make me do the hoisting and jobs that are heavey so it was okay.. sick pay is rubbish thou.. but had to manage.. and a year later i feel uta back but we are about to have our first round of ivf.. 😀 if you have anymore questions im always here to answer any i know or just for a chat i was so scared b4 hand and after i didnt know why i was so worried lol xx

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Hi! Thank you for your message, oh wow I really have no idea what’s ahead of me after reading all these messages :/ Jesus.. so did you have a lot removed and that’s why it takes longer to recover? What if they do the laparoscopy and find nothing would the healing process be quicker like does it depend On how bad it is or just the laparoscopy in general you need a lot of time off.. yeh I’m glad you understand my work place is very very heavy they would try there hardest to make me do light duties but I don’t think it’s possible with the amount of residents to staff we have it’s so heavy! I don’t get sick pay unfortunately.. will have to put sick certs into social as need to provide and live still, glad your feeling a lot better and that’s awesome with the ivf good luck!! Xx

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Hi I haven’t had a lap so can’t really advise on that bit. But I do the same job as you, Part time and understand the pace and repetitive physical tasks you’d have to do daily. It’s going to be really important for you to set your own pace when you return, but in that kind of job you have no chance especially if you’re under staffed. Don’t let your boss fool you into returning on ‘light duties’ because in that environment you’re bound to take risks that will hinder your recovery.

Take care of yourself x

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Yeah it does i was ment to be in for day op i was in all weekend.. i was ment to be under 4 45mins to an hour i was under for 6 hours as it was 16cm on my overy.. yeah i wouldnt return to work until you feel better. All i know is i knew what i could and couldnt do by just listening to my body.. xx

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Hi! Oh god that’s awful! Hope your ok! And did you have ultrasounds before that? Did you know that was there before you had the lap? Or was it a complete surprise? I have had scans and been told it’s all ok nothing there all looks normal.. the laparoscopy is the last resort to get to the bottom of why I’m in pain! Thanks for your advice xx

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Hello sorry to hear you need to have one :( hopefully it gives you some answers! I’ve had 11 laps and as much as I’d love to tell you they’re ok... you need the rest afterwards. As people have said take 3 weeks & listen to your body.

Also, buy some windeze or peppermint because the gas afterwards is 70% of the issues.

I hope they find something that works for you, I ended up with hysterectomy and worse now than I was before :(

Make sure you have someone helping you afterwards. All the best xxx

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Thank you, I am anxious to have it it’s nerve racking but I have been in pain on and off for so many years now And it’s effected my personal and sexual life with my partner it’s been so tough, I’m in my mid 20’s and feel as if I have missed out on some years because of pain .. Jesus 11! You poor lady I’m very sorry to hear that! Such a nasty disease! I will take your advise and see what they say and what they find and how I feel, I have stocked up on peppermint tea and charcoal tablets for the gas, got a few girls from work going to check on me whilst my partner is in work but I’ll be ok XX

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I was informed by my endo lspecialist that recovery time is 2 weeks for non-active jobs... I’m a massage therapist and yoga teacher with a very active lifestyle and job so I’ve informed my work that I’ll be out for a month. I’m due for my second lap this November. My dr told me it takes around 6 weeks to fully heal. Don’t push it! I went back after two weeks the first time (I had an emergency lap to remove an 8 cm endometrioma off my left ovary they thought it was twisting my ovary...) I didn’t even know why my pain was so bad or that it took 6 weeks to heal! No one told me 👎🏻🤦🏼‍♀️! Rest and heal up! You don’t want to cause more scar tissue or more pain! Trust me taking norco at work wasn’t my finest moment!

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I was signed off for two weeks by the hospital post-op, tried working from home for two days then took the rest of that week as well signed off by my GP. I have a desk based job but drive a lot for work and sitting down for too long ether driving or at a computer was really uncomfortable.

I also like to keep fit and my surgeon told me that I could go back to swimming and spin class after 3wks, but it took at least another 3-4 before I was back in bodypump (weights class) or bodybalance (yoga, pilates, taxi chi mix), the latter because of the fact it was abdominal surgery and there's a lot of stability through the core required.

Given your job is active and requires you to do a lot of lifting, I'd say you'd need at least 3-4wks off, but your surgeon will advise you. I agree with everyone else though, you have to listen to your body, if it's telling you it's too early after 2wks, listen to it. Your GP should be able to sign you off for a bit longer.

Hope your lap goes well.

Xxxx

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Thanks for your message. Oh wow 3weeks until going back to the gym I did wonder when I could go back training after opp wasn’t sure, I imagined it would be long after all your muscles are being cut through.. I have everything written down that I need to know and if I’m in no fit state after, I’ll get my friend to ask the surgeon, shall see what they say on Tuesday 😨xx

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Ask your questions before you go in, your surgeon should come to see you beforehand to go through things, that's the time to ask. You'll be in no fit state when you come out as you'll be groggy from anaesthetic.

Yep, I was just back into fitness at the time so 3wks didn't bother me too much, but if it was now, I'd be climbing the walls! That was 3wks to low impact though, it will depend on how fit you are, generally speaking the fitter you are, the quicker you recover.

Xxx

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Hi, I’ve had two laps to date. The first was only exploritary and I went back after 1 week. I work in a bank so not too much in the way of heavy lifting but I found the anaesthetic really took its toll on me. The second I had stage 4 endo removed from various areas, appendix removed, diaphragm stripped and my bowel detacthed from my uterus (as they were stuck together and in the wrong place) My surgery took almost 5 hours and I am going back to work on Monday after 4 weeks off. I would say it really depends on how much you are having done and how the anaesthetic affects you. Definitely listen to you drs though. There was a girl in my room in hospital who’d had a similar op the week prior to me who was back in due to infection from doing too much! You want to avoid that hun. Good luck with everything...you will be totally fine x

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You poor lady! That’s a terrible ordeal you’ve had! Hope your feeling better after opp! I thought it would depend on what they do on the day like how severe it is, but just curious to see people’s personal experiences too give me an overall opinion on what I think will happen, I can compare then see how long I need out, can they keep you in longer then if it turns out to be really bad? That’s a long time for you under the knife 5 hours! You needed the time to rest! Thanks for the heads up after all the comments I will defiantly be listening to my body before I think about going back! Thanks for the good luck I need it 😬😳xx

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Hi. I work with children so I’m in a very get up and go job too.

I’ve had two laps. First was just to have a look and drain fluid from my tube and I had 4 weeks off. The second was more complex as I had my tube removed, cysts removed and endo burned away etc so I had 7 weeks off. It all depends on your body so don’t push yourself. Good luck with your op! x

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I agree with what Apollo_blue said. Minimum 3 weeks. I wish I had had 4 weeks if I’m honest as walking at any pace, lifting, etc was all still difficult for me at week 4 and I had lots of ‘twinges’ and soreness. Now at 5.5 weeks post op (had cysts, fibroids and endometriosis removed) and working full time in office job - nothing as physical as your job! I was terrified too but the surgeons are skilled and there has been no damage to other structures. The hardest part for me was 2nd/3rd week when I still felt so drained and had random cramps around abdomen (sharp stabbing pains) which came and went at intervals and I didn’t know the cause or if they would be permanent. Doctor speculated it was just a consequence of surgery being bruised/scar tissue and nerves reforming - but everything is back to normal now thankfully!! Just give yourself lots of time to rest. I hope it goes really smoothly for you. 🤗 x

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Hi Sian, I had my Lap 3 weeks ago today! I go back to work Monday, I totally underestimated how long I would take the recover, I have horses and thought within like 3/4 days of the lap I would be back doing everything with them including riding, how wrong was I! Haha! Honestly you need the rest, the first few days I was so sore and tired, I was also giving codine which made me 100% worse and I was throwing up so in the end stuck to paracetamol. I could cope with the discomfort as I was expecting that it was the not feeling with it and wanting to sleep all the time. After 3 weeks I am ready to go back to work, there is only so much time you can spend in the house without going crazy! Just listen to your body and don’t rush back to work! Good luck xxx

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Hi Sian, don’t be too nervous, it will be over before you know it and the nurses will look after you ☺️ In terms of recovery, I have just returned to work after 5 weeks off.

My op was 3 hours of endometriosis being excised. I self certed for the first week and then had my GP write me a sick note and she signed me off for 4 weeks before I even got to talk to her! I thought that would be too much but honestly I needed it and I work in an office job!

Even now I’m still getting random twinges and achy pain when I do too much (heaving lifting/ I went on a giant trampoline the other day 🙈) or even at work when if I don’t get up and walk every now and a again. BUT, I must say my pain overall is drastically reduced from before the surgery so it’s all worth it ☺️

Obviously it will depend on how much/how long your surgery is, how active and fit you are before the surgery and apparently excision takes longer to heal that if they burn it away.

Just don’t feel guilty if you need to take more time than you thought, you will do yourself more harm than good if you do too much!!

Good luck! You will be fine ☺️ Xxx

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Hello!!

I currently work in an office and had my surgery last Tuesday! They found endo on both ovaries but couldn’t remove it completely from one of them. The hospital have only provided me a sick note for 1 week.

Personally I don’t feel ready to go back to work this Tuesday, as I’m still severely bloated (and was told by the hospital that I have chronic constipation which is a symptom of endo) so I’m trying to do a course of laxitives to relieve it. They also pump CO2 inside which hasnt helped. The bloating is pushing against my insides and stitches making it increasingly more uncomfortable. If they do provide you with codeine, please be aware that this will make you constipated!! So I’d only recommend taking it for up to 3 days at most!!

But I’d definitely recommend at least 2 weeks, when you are in the hospital advise the nurse/doctor when you ask for the sick note that you work in a fast paced job and are on your feet for 12 hours, they will take into consideration that you may need a bit longer!!

Hope everything goes okay!

Holly xx

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Hi siani3. Normally docs advice two weeks, but it depends on what you have done and if there are no complications of course. I'm having my second Lap. next week too.. and last time I was up after a week and feeling like fine to walk but being careful at the end of the second week. So it wasn't too bad. best of luck!! xxxxxx

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Thank you very much, yeh I did kinda think two weeks because of my job I understand it’s going to be different for all women as it depends on what you have done and how bad it is and as well we all recover differently.. but will just wait and see! God I’m so nervous now I’m having it done on Wednesday and you know my biggest fear is being told they find nothing I’m so worried they are going to say I’m fine when it’s been a battle for so many years! Oh god I’m anxious about it all really.. never had anything done like this a smear is frightening enough for me.. but an actual op and anaesthetic ahh.. I’m more anxious just in finding out! I want answers at the end of the day.. my job will just have to understand If i need time out then I will be taking it xx

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Yes, try not to worry too much about your job.. I know it's hard but you are sick and need answers and help! So this is most important.

Also, take two weeks but also say that you'll let them know how you feel by the end of the second week as it depends on 'what they find' and 'what they did during the lap'.

Make sure that also they know you won't be able to lift weights of bend for the first 4 weeks at least. Cos you don't want your wounds to suffer.. After that you can do a bit but still be careful.

It wasn't too bad to be honest. And with the anesthetic is alllllll so much easier, cos it numbs you a great deal! the worst pain for me was the gas that they inject inside the tummy. That was horrible for me personally, but it's fine for most women and only lasts 5 days for most people. it lasted way too long for me. Other than that the actual operation didn't cause too much pain afterwards, just some discomfort really.

Did they find nothing with your ultrasound?! Did you have an internal ultrasound? What are your symptoms?

I really hope you get answers after this lap. xxx

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I’ve just had one done last week. 10cm cyst removed as well as loads of endo. They were shocked. I’m still trying to get my head around what they found. I was told off work for 2 weeks, no heavy lifting for 6 weeks. It hurts afterwards for a few days. On day 6 now and it’s not so bad.

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