Normal wound healing after laparoscopy? - Endometriosis UK

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Normal wound healing after laparoscopy?


Hi all,

It's a week today since my laparoscopy and I have some questions about wound healing.

My two lower incisions seem to be healing fine - they're scabbed over below the butterfly stitches so I haven't had a look at them, but they only hurt if I directly press on the incision and I have had the dressings off for a few days without any discharge or anything.

My belly button incision had seemed to be OK until last night, when, apparently unprompted, it bled a little. This was NOT a lot at all - I noticed it looked a bit shiny, realised it was bleeding (dark blood though, rather than bright fresh blood) and put pressure on it using a sterile dressing. I then washed it with plain water, dried it, and put a dressing on it overnight. I took the dressing off this morning and it looked OK, maybe a little wet again but nothing excessive, and there was nothing on the dressing itself. The wound itself is difficult to see as it's kind of in the fold and I can only really peek in, but there's no pain, spreading redness or smelliness, just a bit of skin that looks dark red/yellowish and seems to be where the blood has been coming from. Does this sound fairly normal? I was very worried last night but have calmed down this morning as it was such a small amount of blood and the incision doesn't seem to be any more painful or exhibiting any real signs of infection. Plus I think I may have bumped/accidentally pressed my belly button with my laptop prior to it bleeding, so perhaps it wasn't as unprompted as I thought!

How long did it take your belly button incision to heal properly, and what did it look like a week after the surgery? I know people are very different and have different healing rates (I've also had a cold this week so that will probably have slowed the healing process down), but it's good to share knowledge and have other points of comparison!

16 Replies


I have had 2 and mine was more or less exactly how u explained. The belly button one was worse but i think it because how deep and when u sit or crease u bend in that area, i always used to feel mine was pulling.

I think a week is very early i had my two lower ones took out on about day 10-11 but they said just keep my bellybutton one in until it comes out and it came put on holiday on the beach 7 weeks later??

So not everyone the same but all what ur explaining is totally normal.

I didnt touch mine, didnt clean it or touch just let it do its thing..

I think alot of people clean it and stuff and u really shouldnt as thats how u get infections, ur body is a amazing machine the less u mess about with it the better it heals itself. A scab or a clot is made by body to protect the cut or sore and then u heal underneath once u healed scab falls off so if u keep cleaning it or taking the dry blood off ur taking longer to heal it

Aphra in reply to Lulububs

Hi, thanks for the response! I have been leaving it well alone, except for using the sterile dressing to apply some pressure last night. I certainly haven't touched it with my hands and have been really careful about washing my hands properly before changing the dressings even though I'm not touching the skin.

I'm glad to know that this sounds normal - my belly button doesn't feel like it's pulling now but it definitely did earlier in the week, and it's definitely the most tender of the incisions (although it doesn't hurt unless something presses on it). I feel much better now knowing that it will take a while to heal! X

Lulububs in reply to Aphra

Yeh ur fine !

my consultant said “ oh ur back to work in a week”!!! So as u can imagine when i still was swollen and bruised and was still hurting i went to my GP and she said “ that was utter crap!” She had 3 in her life as she had endometriosis and she said ur looking at 4-5 weeks for total healing internally and externally.

At the end of the day they have probed about in ur gut for 30-45 mins that is not good.

So i think these consultants should not lie....

I went back to work on week 2 and still didn’t feel great. I was tired and my head weren’t really with it.

So there no set time on it or how ur supposed to feel!

I had one friend on her first one was back at work within 6 days! Then she had another one done about 8 years later and 3 weeks for her to go back... so just take it all in ur own time

Aphra in reply to Lulububs

I do think some consultants can be very casual about it and that I wasn't really prepared for the fact that it is still major surgery, even though the incisions are small! I am mostly just tired now; I feel normal but doing anything, like popping to the shops, just exhausts me so I know I need to take things steady. I do wish there was more information about wound care/healing as there's a lot of contradictory information online so it can be hard to know what is normal and to be expected.

Lulububs in reply to Aphra

It because it there job they prob do about 30 laps a week! It nothing to them so they think it nothing to us!

Luckily i have a good gp who actually been through it all so u get the true story from her that is isnt a small minor op they are exploring u stomach bladder uterus ovaries so there all getting jigged about and thats a big thing.

Plus the anaesthetic which in it self is not good that take 48 hours to get out body and the air they blow ur body up with to b able to see that took me ages to get that bloating out.

So u take time... like i said a good 4 weeks to u start feeling more urself.

I went through stage a week after id keep bursting into tears ! I never ever cry! Im 44 and ive prob cryed 3 times as a adult.

So it effects us in many ways


4-6 weeks healing time INSIDE AND OUT- any signs of smell or redness, puss or bleeding go to g.p soonest to check for infection...

Aphra in reply to Hidden

Hi, I do understand that and I haven't had any of those except for minor bleeding, but now thinking about it I wonder if it was just normal fluid mixed with old blood, caused when I bumped my laptop into my stomach. I'm going to keep an eye on the incision and if anything else develops or the bleeding/weeping happens again I will call my GP X

Hidden in reply to Aphra

hi again- yes you could have dislodged the scab, that keeps the wound from infection so dont be tempted to peel it off BUT if you can smell an odour from it then get it looked at.

Aphra in reply to Hidden

Currently no odour but that's certainly on my list of things to watch out for and get it checked if it happens!

Hey :) I found my bellybutton wound to be the most problematic, however this was because one of the dissolve-able stitches decided it didn't want to dissolve properly! I had to get it took out by the doctor! My only advice is to just not mess about with the wounds / dressing and leave them to heal. Hope you feel better soon :) xx

Aphra in reply to MeganR93

Thank you! Do you know how long it should take for the stitches to dissolve normally? I've had them before in my mouth and those dissolved fine, so fingers crossed there won't be any issues this time either!

MeganR93 in reply to Aphra

I'm not really sure tbh, if I remember correctly mine took about 2 weeks. I say this but my memory has gone to pot in the last year hahaha! xx

I let warm water run over my stitches in the shower and never cleaned it apart from that, I was advised to take the dressings off the next day. I ended up with an infection in belly button. It was red, a bit sore and oozing not very nice stuff. If you have the feeling something isn’t right, go to your nurse so she can check it over x

Hi, were you told once it got infected how you should have cleaned it instead? I would have thought salt water but apparently there is no difference in the rate of infection between saline and tap water (according to 2013 article published in BMJ Open).

Hi no nothing, I got antibiotics and continued to shower in the normal way. I think we all get told different information when leaving hospital but I found it soon cleared up after taking antibiotics. Have you been to the nurse? X

No, I decided as I didn’t have any definite markers of infection like pus or redness to wait until tomorrow morning. If I have more drainage then I will go as obviously that looks less like I’ve just bumped the healing wound and it’s reacted and more like it’s infected.

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