Endometriosis UK
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I am awaiting my first laparoscopy, what is the recovery time like after?

I was recently examined and the doctor says she thinks i may have endometriosis, never heard of it before so don't know how serious it can be! But from just being examined she said if the laparoscopy proves endometriosis, then i will have to think about having children sooner, can she tell how severe it is just from an examination??

5 Replies

Hi Natalie1234.

In answer to your last question, no a gyno cannot tell how severe it is from just examining you. A Lap will do that. But they can diagnose you as most likely having endo if they believe your symptoms fit. I have not had a lap but the gyno I saw diagnosed me as having endo due to all my symptoms. As I have had no lap, I am sorry but I cannot advise about the recovery time from it. I would guess there is an average but basically it is very much individual.

Endo and fertility has mixed stories. I would suggest looking at sites such as Endometriosis uk.org which talks about it and has a info sheet they can email to you about it.

Endo is a chronic illness but not fatal. There is no cure. Just ways to try and help with the pain and other symptoms. Again there is useful info at endometriosis uk. It is a rollercoaster ride and not everyone is the same.

I hope you get some answers soon. This site is wonderful for support, advice and understanding which will help you too.

Best wishes x


hello! thank you for replying. yes I've been looking at those websites so I am becoming more familiar with what to expect! I'm waiting for my lap appointment so shouldn't be too long! As I'm only 21 the prospect of dealing with fertility issues is quite scary! but I'm hoping I get all my questions answered soon, and the lap is successful!



Lap op recovery time varies a lot depending on what the surgeon did to you while rummaging around in there. A basic diagnostic lap op (look and note down the patches of endo but not do anything else) is minimum 2 weeks might take a bit longer, but not much more.

As soon as you add up the other things that can be done then a few weeks. Probably up to 2 months for a lot of work, and sometimes longer.

We are all different and we all heal at our own pace so it can vary by quite a bit, and you won't know in advance quite how much can and will be done, so planning for these ops is a bit of an issue.

My 1st lap op was supposed to be keyhole, but when I awoke it had turned in to a laparotomy (big hole surgery) and it was rather inconvenient to discover my expeceted 2-3 week recovery turn in to about 4 months. Ya just never know with endo.

You could have adhesions cut back, endo patches lasered back or surgically cut out, cysts drained and removed, Ovaries and Fallopian tubes cleaned up of endo and adhesions, or removed entirely, it might be necessary to unstick several organs which have been meshed together with adhesions (scar tissue glue) so that can affect the bowel, bladder, appendix, intestines, cervix, vagina, uterus, ovaries, tubes etc etc.

There could be a huge amount done with just keyhole, so while your holes are stab wounds and recover pretty quickly, inside could be an absolute mish mash of procedures which take a lot longer to heal and recover from.

Even with surgery on endo, it doesn't necessarily mean all your pains are gone once you recover. There certainly is a chance some of them will be much improved, but endo can affect so many organs and some are simply not safe to have surgery or lasers on, for fear of causing much worse collateral damage.

In answer to your question no examination on the outside and no ultrasound scans can tell if you have endo and how much there is or where it is. It doesn't show up on scans any different to regular tissue for the most part. It isn't 3D it is a flat lesion on the surface of things. The only elements to show up in a scan are endometriomas or cysts from endo which are filled up of old blood and because the blood is old it has turned dark brown and is called a chocolate cyst. These do show up if found, but sometimes they can be hidden away in sneeky hidey holes, most commonly the POD or pouch of Douglas which is the gap in between the bowel and the uterus. endometrioma cysts down there are not always easily spotted on scans, even big ones.

If you are family planning then the best time to try for a baby is after you have recovered from surgery, provided it was not just a diagnostic and the did actually clean you up inside, cutting away adhesions (which will regrow eventually) and freeing up your organs from being stuck with adhesion glue to each other. General advice is to try for a bay within 6 months of the op, or wait till next op.

also avoid the hormone treatments on GnRh drugs which are not safe if you get pregnant while they are still in your body.

Definitely take the lap op if you are offered it, you need to know if you have endo and also how far it has progressed too, and the only way is by having a lap op.


Hello, I was just reading through this forum as I have tried Mirena to stop heavy prolonged bleeding and cramps and I'm still bleeding for around 10 days every few weeks.

I just wanted to say thanks for this reply, it's really helpful and informative and has helped me understand Endo a lot more.


and i will add too that sometimes the Laproscope cant find any evidence of endo anywhere the surgeon looks....that happened to me however he quickly added that isnt common not to find any . My only dx was chocolate cysts and now adenomyosis (which is related they told me).


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