Endometriosis UK
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Recovery after laparotomy

please help! I had a laparotomy nearly 4 weeks to remove endo and large cysts. Over the last week my stomach has become huge, bloated and have had sharp spasm type pain on my right hand side of operation site. My tummy feels hard when I stand up as its so engorged. People keep asking if i'm pregnant. I'm not constipated. Is this part of the normal healing in other peoples experience? I've been moving around alot more in the last week which might be affecting me. What are other peoples experience of healing?

5 Replies

You should expect some swelling if you have had a lot of work done, but not to the extent you are describing (my impression from your description at any rate).

Sharp spasms and twitches and tugs and so on I certainly did have for 3 months or so after, and especially if I had overdone the activity by lifting something too heavy or straining on the loo or trying to do too much generally. Even reaching over my shoulder for the seatbelt in the car could have me wincing for a few hours in the first 8 weeks.

If your bloat is really tender and hard and swollen then it suggests you might have got an infection in there, and to be certain that you don't please see your GP to be checked or call the gynae ward that looked after you, to get their opinion. They might want you to come in and be checked over by their staff who are experts in gynae surgery and what is normal and not. There should be a telephone number for the ward on your hospital discharge form.

It doesn't sound quite right to me, I certainly was very sore and tender for several weeks, but not with a hard swollen tummy. Swollen yes to a small extent but i could still do my regular jeans up, though prefered to keep the flies open when no one else was around, so probably a 2-4 inch expansion of my waist from normal. About the same as the premenstrual swelling I would get before periods.

Hope you can get satisfactory answers soon and the problem resolved asap.


it sounds like infection...i had endo removed,a laparoscopy and my fellopian and ovary removed due to a ugly cyst...at the sametime..although i did feel some of wat your describing..i didnt get a huge bellly....defo get checked...xxx


Thanks for your responses. Its so hard to know whats normal and whats not. The pains were really worrying me too. I rang the nurse last night at the hospital and they've asked me to go in. She said the pains are normal, Its only been 3 weeks, so I know i've got a way to go yet. I just feel like its 1 step forward and 3 back at the moment. I feel like a flat slug to be brutally honest!!! xxx


That's good news, the hosp staff are the experts.

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Im at the same stage as you, I had a lap done three weeks ago on Tuesday, had bladder/bowel infection the second week which sent me totally mental.

I also had cyst removed and endo treated and my Merena coil removed.

GP has put my on the pill for three solid months no break so i wont have a period then will introduce short breaks to have few days bleed.I had a bad night on friday as i think my body thought my period was due. My GP also said to me that you have to remember that that treated the endo and it will have to scab over and fall away, if your outside is still a bit bruised and marks where they went in image what your insides must look like.My GP has been fantastic.

Think positive is my new attitude !!!!! x


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