Laparoscopy recovery times and tips - Endometriosis UK

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Laparoscopy recovery times and tips

lemon_mint
lemon_mint

Hi ladies - I have just had a combined hysteroscopy (my fourth to remove a polyp) with laparoscopy (my first to diagnose and treat endometriosis found on bowel) on Saturday under general anaesthetic. Stayed in hospital overnight but back home now. Could you please share your experience on:

- recovery times if you had similar procedures

- tips with coping with swelling and pain (apart from using pain killers which I am currently taking - I am on paracetamol as codeine is making me sick)

- tips on getting back to normal ASAP

- how soon you resumed exercising

- how soon you resumed having sex

My hospital discharge nurse suggested:

- to wrap a towel around my tummy in case I need to cough which was a good tip, walking as much as I can to get things moving

- not to bend too much

- keep wearing the compression stockings for approx a week

- eating light / soft and liquid foods and taking mild / herbal laxatives

- drinking plenty of fluids

Anything else you could recommend?

I am struggling to fit into any of my clothes because of the swelling so ordered a pair of maternity leggins with next day delivery - hoping it will help things - wearing wide / oversized pj pants for the time being.

- How long would this type of swelling last?

10 Replies
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I forgot to mention - I had 4 incisions because they also treated endo, so not just diagnostic.

Ambersun1
Ambersun1 in reply to lemon_mint

Hi, thought I would share my experience although you have had more treatment than myself. I went back to work after 2 weeks but had to return in maternity clothes but I had the swelling for about a month. I still wear the clothes now when I bloat as more comfy 😊

lemon_mint
lemon_mint in reply to Ambersun1

thank you!!

Ambersun1
Ambersun1 in reply to lemon_mint

Best thing is take it easy but try and walk a bit as moves gas etc. I was pottering around in my pj's 😂

lemon_mint
lemon_mint in reply to Ambersun1

yes, that's what they told me - I went outside and walked in the park opposite my house a little today, that felt lovely!!! I only booked 2 days off work though with the idea to work remotely after that - now I am starting think I was probably too optimistic 😂

Ambersun1
Ambersun1 in reply to lemon_mint

Wow, I needed two weeks definitely but everyone is different. Outside already, your a trooper 🌼

Mint tea for the gas bloating.

Depending on the extent of the work done recovery/sick leave is 2-6 weeks but you'll probably feel extra tired for a while afterwards. See how you go and get extensions of sick certs from the GP as needed I began exercising again at 5 weeks after as my consultant said it was ok and I should have healed enough inside by then (gentle Pilates). I couldn't deal with codiene so took ibuprofen and paracetamol instead. I ordered jogging bottoms after my opp- never owned a pair before but love the comfort.

Hope your recovery goes well!

thank you! baggy trousers seems like the way forward :)))

Hey, glad you had your laparoscopes.

Recover, wow that's a lot of questions but questions are always good :)

I'll try and answer as best as I can based on my experience!

-recovery times if you had similar procedures

I've had two laparoscpies, one was excision of endo from my bladder and uterus, and unsticking of both of those including ovaries, also had a hysteroscopy. That took about 3 weeks to recover enough to feel a bit better but I'd say a good 3 months to really see improvements and my new "normal". My second lap was excision of endo from the back of my bowel; which took about 6 weeks to recover, and about 4 months to feel my new normal. Recovery is different for each of us depending on: age, hormones, fitness, health, diet, weight, amount of excision, depth of endo, invasiveness of lap, time under anaesthetic. So it's a case of just take it easy, the first few cycles may be awful as your uterus doesn't like being moved around; my specialist and GP agreed to sign me off for my first period after my lap and I sooo needed it.

- tips with coping with swelling and pain (apart from using pain killers which I am currently taking - I am on paracetamol as codeine is making me sick)

I had to go to my GP to be prescribed omazeprole to go with ibuprofen so my stomach was okay. I couldn't tolerate codeine - just kept making me feel spaced out. So ibuprofen and paracetamol both together 4 times a day. They both work better if you keep the doses and don't skip any. If you can manage about 5 days should be enough then you can reduce the dose / less frequent. Long term I have aromatherapy and massage around my periods, and looking into accupuncture as I don't want to take painkillers. Swelling, this just happens, and it's annoying, it's the combination of gas they use to inflate your abdomen during your lap and inflammation. It does go down; peppermint capsules and peppermint tea I found really helps.

- tips on getting back to normal ASAP

Stick to your normal wake / sleep pattern as soon as you can; evidence from the NHS shows better recovery from operations for patients that stick to their normal pre op pattern. Just take it easy, even if all you do is move from bed to sofa and then just mooch around the house. Go for regular short slow walks.

- how soon you resumed exercising

I started back with light yoga at 2 weeks as that allowed me to see what needed stretching and what still hurt. The back to normal exercise / classes at 3 weeks but I chatted with the instructors so they knew and were okay with it. I'd say don't push yourself but do try to get back into a pattern.

- how soon you resumed having sex

the notes on a laparoscopy usually say to wait at least a week until incisions / insides have healed to reduce the risk of infection. I think I could only last a week! We just took it easy, lots of communication, establish a way of saying stop if it's too much or doesn't feel right so it's not awkward, as your other half will be worried about hurting you. We need the sex, it's a healthy part of our relationship.

Additional stuff; yes definately drink plenty of liquids to flush out the anaesthetic and all the toxins your body produces while recovering. Lots of moisturiser on your body and hair ; for some reason I found that my skin and hair became dry while recovering; I guess it's all the healing inside - I use argan oil / shea butter / coco butter. Take a good multivitamin; I also added in biotin for skin. If you need to put anything on the incisions / plaster sensitive areas use colloidal silver (amazon sells it) I found savlon just dissolved the scabs which are there to heal your skin. Plasters - remove these after 48 hours to allow air drying, if the incisions feel like they'll catch on clothes then keep a plaster on them during that time but try to air as much as possible. Clothes; I found the baggier / elastic the better, so leggings, dresses, tunic tops, baggy jumpers. The swelling lasted for me a few weeks, but I was always prone to the bloating and still have it now and then during my period - elastic waistbands are the way to go!

Sorry it's so long!! x

lemon_mint
lemon_mint in reply to farahziya

thank you so much for taking time to write such a detailed post! much appreciated!!!

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