Thyroid UK

Recovery after Laparoscopy, Hysteroscopy. Does thyroid slow the recovery time ?

I had key hole surgery last week. its been 6 days and I am so exhausted and still in a lot of internal pain. I ache from my appendix area to under my rib cage, as they also put a camera inside to checked appendix and gall bladder for endometriosis. Apart from not being able to lay flat to sleep yet, I also cannot dress myself unaided, or pull on any tights, pull boots on, I wanted to know if the general anaesthetic effects your Thyroid Balance. I feel completely sick, and need to sleep. I look and feel like a complete Zombie.

The Occupational Health are wanting a meeting with me this week, I am unable to sit or dress myself, let alone walk 25 minutes to my bus stop, get on a bus, then a tube for an hour, (If I can get a seat) and then be able to stay awake for a meeting to be assessed if I am able to return to work. At Home I am only able to lift and fill the kettle, just about sit on the sofa, if I put 3 massive cushions there, but then I have to go back to bed. I just cannot stay awake, I feel like I have complete fatigue.

Why they have scheduled a meeting like this just one week after an operation is beyond me. My Manager clearly has not informed them I was having the operation although I emailed her this before xmas. My Doctor was furious my Manager was asking me for every detail of what operational procedures I was having done.

Any advise on the recovery time, or how to deal with the Occupational Health wanting me to travel when I don't feel well enough yet?

15 Replies

Something to be aware of... If your anaesthetic included use of the gas nitrous oxide it can completely deplete your reserves of vitamin B12.

Just do a web search for "nitrous oxide anaesthetic vitamin B12" - loads of info about this to be found.

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Completely agree with this, the nitrous oxide inactivates all your B12 (serum B12 result will look normal, but it will all be inactive).

If you live near London and things don't improve I would ask GP to refer to St Thomas' for the Active B12 test.

Topic about this on the PAS forum:



Thank you Hampster1 I am not sure what they used to knock me out, so I will bare this in mind. See how much better I get over the next few days.


Thanks Humanbean thats interesting to find out. I will see how I fair over the next few days.


Hello Tallmiss,

My suggestion for you would be phone or email the Occupational Health Department directly and explain the post op complications and worries you are having. I am an Occupational Health Nurse and would never expect any one to physically attend if they were not fit but having contact will make everyone aware of what is happening and what progress you are making. They can easily reschedule,

The general recovery rate post laparoscopy is 6-10 days. We are all individuals and our bodies will have different rates of healing. Your pain is understandable as the abdomen is filled with air to increase visual capacity whilst they do the investigations. This stretches the muscles and will cause the rib pain and even shoulder pains. Hope that helps, its good to share your anxieties too.


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wise advice take the advice............. I feel your pain as I live with it ...but I am older and it is through spinal problems ...take the advice here and do take care, try to get some help while you try hard to recover ..everyone is different as to how the body reacts................. .God Bless you ...get well .Warm wishes ..Margaret


I had the same op a few years back and felt totally wiped out afterwards for a good fortnight. I don't think that it has anything to di with your thyroid as I has the same op done back in 1996 too when I didn't have a thyroid problem. General anaesthetic by its nature will leave you feeling horrible, it's a strong drug that can leave even the fittest of people feeling terrible for weeks afterwards. Laparoscopy and hysteroscopy done together is enough mucking around with your insides to leave anyone feeling pretty gruesome! At best you should be only partaking in gentle activity after a week and that doesn't involve the travelling that you are being expected to do! You will ache all over from the gas that they pump into you for the laparoscopy and this can take a week to subside, basically it's like having all of your organs squished up into a ball so that they can look at the area they need to get to so that in itself is painful enough whilst everything settles back down to normal, then add in the hormonal side of having been mucked about with in other areas and you will be feeling pretty low about everything...... Sounding familiar?!! Get your doc to sign you off for a week more and by then you should be feeling a bit more human, these things can't be rushed, you have had a big procedure and just because some people can bounce straight back and get straight on the horse you need to remember that not everyone is like that! Be kind to yourself at the moment and tell occ health that you won't be coming to the meeting as you're not well enough yet, and as for your manager, well you don't have to divulge every personal detail to her either, they're not allowed to ask you that, if it is her being generally concerned and she's a friend then different story, but generally she's not allowed to pry. Speak to your HR department/representative and tell them how you're feeling. Make sure you give yourself another week to recover, going back too soon will just hamper your recovery. Hope this helps. X

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more wise words for you ...xxxxxxxxxxxx.


Hi -I had a 2hr. internal repair operation last August which meant a lot of internal stitches. They caused huge discomfort and tiredness but thankfully I am just about back to my old self. I have been told it takes about 6 months to feel really normal after a hysterectomy so you must give yourself plenty of time and tlc. or you may have a lot of problems in the future as you are dealing with a very complex part of the female anatomy. It's been frustrating for me to have to have to take things easy as I am a very active person. I wasn't able to carry anything heavy and my horse had to be away at livery for 4 months. In his book 'Why am I so tired?' Martin Budd says that the metabolic rate can be depressed for 3 to 4 months and your head is titled back when you have a general anaethetic, none of which are good for the thyroid. I upped my thyro. dose before the op. and have kept at that level but will reduce it now as I am starting to feel a bit hyper. I took 75mcg each day instead of on alternate days. I also take Nutri Adrenal as surgery puts a huge strain on the adrenals. Take care Tallmiss and don't try to rush things. Jax x PS- You might like to view 'Hystersisters' website there's a lot on information on there and you don't feel so alone.


Dont like the sound of all this as you sound as though you feel absolutely awful.

I am due to have my ovaries removed on Monday, due to ovarian cysts, and my anesthetist warned me that if a person takes two weeks to recover from something then you can double that for a thyroid patient. Haven't really believed how awful you could feel after an op but reading your post has made me realise how uwell I might feel.

I think the company you work for are being totally unfair with all this and I'm glad your GP is aware of it. You just dont need the worry of this meeting on top of everything else, it is putting unnecessary strain on you, which is unforgivable.

I hope you start to feel more like your old self soon.

Moggie x


Hi Moggie, yes I was feeling really quite well before this operation and due to go back to work. I have been off 6 months. (gastro problems as well) but I had no idea I would be so ill afterwards.

The University are known for being unfair, and pray on your weaknesses, so I will have to contact the union today now that I am able to at least sit on the sofa with a lap top now.

Stress is not going to help my condition or recovery.

I wish you luck with your operation, I hope it goes well, and most of all I hope you have a caring family or someone there to help you through the most difficult days straight after, and have everything you need for after.

Sadly as my partner couldn't stay every night, the main thing was having to set my alarm to wake me up before my pain killers suddenly ended. A few time I woke up in a lot of pain.

I wished I had someone to remind me of the most silliest thing, buy big knickers I realised only afterwards that none of mine fitted and each pair cut onto were I had been cut open. Try sending your boyfriend out for those . I guess you have to see the funny side.

Good luck I really hope your not in too much pain after.

Take Care



So glad you haven't lost your sense of humour - would never have thought of big and I dont have a boyfriend to go out and get them anyway, I do have a daughter who will oblige as she is taking a week off from work to look after her old mum. We both have very firey tempers so dread to think what my blood pressure will end up like.

Glad you are getting in touch with your union rep - lets hope they will sort this mess out for you and take some of the stress away from you.

Good luck with your recovery and no doubt, as we will both be housebound for a while yet, we will compare recovery notes in the coming weeks.

Moggie x


Dear Tallmiss,

I have Hashimoto's and about four years ago had keyhole surgery in the same area. Maybe I was lucky as I did not experience any after procedure pain, possibly because of good pan relief, although I did have some discomfort which went quite quickly.

Since being diagnosed with my condition I have undergone three different types of surgery all requiring a g.a. and speaking from personal experience I know that it takes me a good 2-3 weeks to get over the anaesthetic. I seemed to develop a pattern of feeling very tired, so rested, slept more and then after about 5-6 days felt back to normal so started doing things again, overdid it and felt very tired for about a further week or two. I paced myself and tried to rest for an hour or so in the afternoon and gradually got back to full throttle. I don't think it was my thyroid balance as when that has been out of kilter I felt different. We are all individual and g.a. recovery time will differ from one person to another.

The stress and anxiety around the Occy health appointment can't be helping. I would suggest that you contact them, explain that you are unable to attend because of feeling so unwell and ask them to rearrange your appointment. It might also be beneficial for you to either see your GP or have a telephone appointment with him/her to get some relief for any pain or nausea because that really is horrible to live with.

Don't suffer unnecessarily. Get well soon and very best of luck with everything. .


Aww thank you , yes I have to pace myself, feeling a bit light headed but at least a bit more mobile today. I am still on pain killers ( i got some more) but noticed the intense pain is getting less. Especially the feeling of being punched in the ribs and feeling winded, is not as strong.

You are right though, although I was ill, just having someone come over and stay for a while , was nice but I felt completely exhausted afterwards. It appears to come in waves of 2-3 days. My specialist does think I may have Hashimoto, as I keep getting days of exhaustion, after trying to do a bit of shopping (a ll of this before my operation).

Ar least now the anxiety and depression i felt has gone, so unbelievably intense. Its so hard to think you have no control over your state or emotions.

I haven't managed to sleep right through yet, but its getting better.

Thanks so much for your reply, thats very reassuring.



Thanks to all of you for your replies, very supporting. My partner (who doesn't live with me) emailed the OH and said he cannot understand why a meeting had been scheduled so close to an operation and it was unfair to assume I was well enough to travel across london to a meeting. They didn't even reply, I rang on Tuesday and she was indifferent, but said she would reschedule the meeting for next week, as i won't come, and I can call her on tuesday. I said i was not refusing to come and to log I was not well enough to come, there is a difference. I was completely exhausted, unable to stay awake, dizzy sick and in pain. She was just so cold. I am actually signed off work until February.

Well thats done, but thankfully I have had a friend this week pop over and cook me a meal, and look after me for a few hours (as my boyfriend has to work is self employed). She was really concerned as I had complete depression, yes I was so low, (your so right Gemwright) I cried for days, now suddenly that mood has lifted and its like what was that all about.

I guess as they also went in and looked about my appendix and Gall bladder, I have had a good exam inside, Just so glad the pain is getting better. I am mobile now at least, and able to get on and off the sofa, part dress, but still can't put any tights on or pull my shoes on. But thats a vast improvement on a few days ago. I still am dizzy, I look absolutely awful, still have a foggy head, eyes hurt, and getting nauseous. At least the pain in the stomach is more bearable now, but I cannot lift anything at all. I was due for my routine blood test at the Hospital on Monday but i felt too ill to travel on my own, my partner is coming to take me to the hospital today as he has a break in his teaching to drive me there.

It is shocking how people have not got a clue and just assume you just get well instantly after something like this.

Someone asked my boyfriend how I was and what I had done. They said oh so she's not like she had real surgery then and she's that ill ? He said some people are just so ignorant, he could believe this was came out a womans mouth. He replied and said, No actually she's in a to of pain at the moment, and you don't usually have a general at hospital, for none surgical stuff do you ? He rang me and said 'what is wrong with people?.

But thank you everyone, at least I know I am not alone, such a relief you understand, and have explained a few things to me, I just want to feel normal again. Thanks Eveyone .Ruth


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