Endometriosis UK
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Laparoscopy or open surgery?

I had a laparoscopy in January as I've been TTC for two years and they suspected I had endometriosis, I was assuming they would fix it when they did the lap but I was told afterwards that it was stage 4 endometriosis is too much work to do by lap. I have a large cyst on my ovary, damaged tubes, my ovaries are stuck to my pelvis and also my bowel. I've been told that I'll need open surgery to fix it, my concern is that open surgery might not be the best option for me and I feel a laparoscopy could probably fix but perhaps it's too time consuming to do on the NHS. Has anyone had any similar problems/concerns.

5 Replies

I am not a Doctor but I have seen lots of private consultants and if the endometriosis is this bad I am afraid you probably will need open surgery so they can make sure they get it all. You could push for a lap but you may find you have to have the open surgery anyway as they just could not get to all the endometriosis.


My lap turned in to big hole surgery. The recovery was not much different to what would have been the case for a lap. Because the pains after the op I was gettng, were for the most part related to what had been done inside me not the holes themselves which did heal up without much bother quite quickly. About 8 weeks and i was driving, about 3 months before I was able to lift up a toddler, about 6months before I could do regular things like moving furniture, turning mattresses over, that sort of activity requiring core strength..

I had both lap holes and then the big hole.after the discovery that the endo was so extensive and so much needed doing. I had already consented before the op to them doing anything necessary when they got in there, because at the time I was suspected OC.

So felt it best the surgeon was not restricted in what he could do if urgently required.

It gave him the peace of mind to decide what was best as he went along and he did a pretty decent job considering all that he managed to get done.which was a lot. I don't regret that it was a big hole, as the scar was across my bikini line and is barely noticeable now, and I felt so much better afterwards, after I got over the pains of the recovery, my bowels work a lot better than they did because they had been glued to everything with adhesions and the surgeon had cut all the adhesions back that he could.

It is not a walk in the park op, it is very sore and it does take a long recovery time because a lot has been done on organs that remain inside and need to heal. The recovery from organs that are removed is quicker. Whether you have a lap or big hole should be a decision taken by the surgeon and I would recommend if you are undecided then ask for a 2nd opinion. but it is unlikely to be any different to the 1st one, given how much work you clearly need to get done, and would be wise to get done before attempting to carry a pregnancy to term.


I think that whether or not you have open surgery depends on how good your surgeon is. The best surgeons never use open surgery, whilst less skilled ones can't do it by keyhole surgery so use open surgery because its easier. You should try and avoid open surgery like the plague.


If you can find a good endo specialist who is also a specialist in laparoscopic surgery they will want to avoid doing open surgery at all costs. I've been told I will only need open surgery if something goes very wrong during my op.


What about getting a second opinion?


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