Advice needed on whether to have another laparoscopy as the first one failed

I had a laparoscopy in May this year and was found to have severe endometriosis (most of the lesions were on my diaphragm, but had a bit on one ovary and bladder/bowel).

I've been on the OC pill continously since the operation, but when I changed pills (the first one gave me horrid side effects), I came off the pill for a week (to ""clear out the system"" according to my GP!) and depressingly had the same painful endo symptoms (pain under my diaphragm and referred right shoulder pain).

I've seen my consultant and he is recommending another laparoscopy to "have another look around". From everyone's experiences is it worth going through the operation again if it failed the first time? When I'm on the pill I'm 100% fine and in no pain, and the consultant said that I'd probably still be on the pill continuously if they do another operation... In my view then, is there any point in being operated on again if only to get back to this point?

Has anyone else had a laparoscopy but then needed another one as either the endo came back, or they didn't get everything removed in the first op?


5 Replies

  • Hi

    Yes I am in very similar position. I had my first lap end of June and they found some endo.

    The endo pain was still there though post operation and after getting 2nd and 3rd opinion, i found out that the first gynae didnt remove all the endo. (oh well.......)

    It was left inside me and causing me severe pain. Unfortunately i dont have the luxury to get hormone pills as my body and especially stomach reacts really bad at them.

    So I'm going to have another lap next month, already booked.

    What you need to think carefully is what are your plans. I mean, do you want kids, or you have already a family etc etc. If you are young and kids are included in your future plans you have to have the lap. Imagine if you leave the endo to spread and perhaps cause infertility. No one will guarantee you that it will spread but no one will guarantee the opposite too, so its a risk to leave it while you know its there.

    For my case it was a matter of severe pain too since I cant get any pills, but I'm about to start trying for a baby with my husband and I have to make sure that I'm 100% ready and able to get pregnant.

    Jo x

  • Hi

    Yes, it's quite common for surgeons not to remove all of the Endo during a lap and it's not necessarily a sign of incompetence, although it may seem it! Firstlty a lot of diagnostic laps won't involve removing everything, and then other times it also depends on what the surgeon finds and your personal situation. As i havent had children yet my surgeon told me he was going to take a conservative approach to preserve fertiity as much as possible. Depending on what he found this could have meant attempting to remove all endo, he attempted to do this as i was in a lot of pain but due to the way some of the endo is he said it was too high risk in places to be removed/unstuck and was better leaving it for now whilst trying for a baby, for example my ovaries are completely embedded, he tried to free them but decided that there was more chance of this causing severe damage to them and fertility and that actually I had better fertility chances leaving them stuck where they are right now. This all means I'm still getting a lot of pain but as Im trying for a baby all the doctors still think its the best situation. But I will need another lap at some point to remove more endo.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is yes surgeons don't always remove all endo, and the Endo/pain may get worse meaning you need further laps. Also, unfirtunately the lap itself can cause new adhesions. It also depends on how severe your Endo is, my surgeon is firmly of the view that he could have removed all Endo and unstuck things but due to the amount and way endo has damaged me and this going on for 15yrs+, 2/3 periods later I would be back to square one. It's a total bummer of a situation unfortunately !

    Sorry if I been a bit depressing early on a Saturday morning! If I was you I would quiz the doctors fully on why they think you need another lap, what the benefits would be given that the pain came back quickly and if you want a family, what all this means for fertility, before deciding to go through it for a 2nd time so soon.

  • Yes I agree with Hayls, it all depend where the endo that was left inside you is.

    For me it is the right uteroscral ligament, it doesnt affect fertility at the moment but the pain is unreal and if i get pregnant while i have this, the pain could be even worse cause my endo is wrapped with nerves.

    The endo that it was left in me was due to doctors ignorance, he said to me that i was completely endo free and everything was in my head only to get the other opinions and from the lap pics to find out that...hey there is more endo, im not crazy! :/

    Thats why i have to do it before start trying for a baby.

    So the best thing to do is "interrogate" your doctor on whats exactly is going on with your situation. x

  • Hi .there

    this is a really dificult one as endo as i understand it can re grow after lap to get rid of it

    this is not ale ways due to the surgeons ignorance it just grows back even if they feel they have cleared the lot.Ive recentley had my gaeni appointment to try and make a plan for the future a bit he suggested having some rounds of Zoladex as he felt the more surgery you have the more adhehions sometimes grow due to the natural scarring that occurs(ive had 3 laps now)i am happy to give zoladex another go as i had some rounds of it last year and my symptoms disappeard so fingers crossed.I hope you have an opportunity to discuss this further with some one in the know it may be worth them going in and having a good look as to extent of it but if you found the pill helpful maybe you could suggest doing this a of luck with everythingx

  • Thanks everyone for your advice and help! I've emailed my consultant and asked to speak with him/see him again, so will hopefully get some more clarity. As you say, you don't want to risk doing nothing and the endometriosis merrily carries on growing away inside me. The worry I had is that it took me so long to get back to normal after the last laparoscopy (I had a load of scar tissue that didn't heal properly, so I had to be signed off work for an extra 4x weeks!) that now I am feeling fine, I am quite scared to go through the whole thing again and risk being house-bound for another month or two.

    Watch this space...!

    Thanks again for your help :)

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