Chronic Illness & Endometriosis Health

Excision Laparoscopy: What to Expect?

endo-care-tipThe pain has been beyond imagination the last few days. Knowing that my end is (hopefully) in sight, I have been able to breathe through my pain, as much as possible.  My supply of pain medication ran out yesterday, so I am stuck with my heating pad and extra-strength ibuprofen to attempt to feel slightly normal, again. None of it is working.

With the surgery eleven (11) days away, I am starting to worry  about going under the knife. I have not undergone surgery in quite a long time – almost ten years ago was the last time! So, I am doing the only thing that I can do right now, and that is to prepare, prepare, prepare!

I am blessed enough to have my family agree to come down to stay with my husband and I for a few days to help take care of me following my surgery.  From having this surgery in 2007, I do know a few things about it. So let me list a couple of pointers for anyone going under the knife like me in the near future.

  1. What to Bring?

    • A Buddy.
      Even if you have your laparoscopy out-patient, you will not be allowed to drive home. Additionally, you will likely be very groggy from the medication you are given so make sure someone is around to make sure you are getting up, moving around, and taking your medication at the appropriate intervals.
    • Loose Clothing
      This should be self-explanatory. You will have at least two incisions, one on you your belly button and one near your pelvic region, so you will not want to have any clothing rubbing against your incisions.
    • A Pillow
      Not only is it comforting to have a pillow at the hospital, you may want the pillow to place between you and the seatbelt on the drive home. Your incisions will be sore. While you will be groggy from your pain medication, if you are like me and traveling a distance for your surgery, your medication may start to wear off before you get home.
    • A book
      There may be some waiting before you get called back to surgery, so it’s always good to grab a book and make sure your phone is fully charged.
    • Slippers/Socks
      Hospitals are always cold.
  2. Shoulder Pain

    I do not recall experiencing this symptom during my last surgery, but it was ten years ago so my memory is a little blurry. The support groups I am in talk extensively about the intense shoulder pain, though, caused by the CO2 gas used to expand the abdominal cavity getting trapped in the diaphragm. Heat is supposed to help with this greatly.

  3. Nausea

    Now, I experience nausea chronically so experiencing it pre-op is nothing new to me. To alleviate this symptom, the best method I have found is ginger or peppermint tea.

  4. Pain

    Expect to experience pain. This pain will probably feel different than your usual endometriosis pain but may be cramp-like. You may have a sore throat and will usually be cold from the anesthesia. Do not be afraid to ask for extra blankets –
    PRO TIP: Hospitals typically give you a warmed blanket if you ask for an extra one.

  5. Emotional Roller-coaster

    You just had endometrial tissue removed from your body, still wondering why you’re feeling like a roller-coaster of emotions? Each of those cells has the power to produce hormones… remove them and your hormone composition changes… enter the roller-coaster! Give it sometime and you will start to feel better, just be easy on yourself and understand that your body is recovering physically and emotionally.

  6. Length of Recovery

    What I remember is napping a lot. Like, a lot! For the first few days, it is extremely normal to feel tired and groggy. It is best to have your partner or a family member stay with you during this time – think personal maid service, if you can talk them into it.  It is likely you will be restricted from driving, sex, bathing (showering is okay), swimming, or any other physically activity that involves heavy exertion.  Your doctor, though, will likely discuss the importance of taking frequent short walks – even if just to the bathroom or around your living room – this helps to dispel the CO2 gas and can speed up your recover.

 

Are you having surgery soon?
Did you have surgery recently? What helped you?
Feel free to add anything that helped below!




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14 Comment

  1. You are going to be fine, Hun! I had a laparoscopy three years ago. It seemed like the surgery lasted a minute. It’s normal to have a little anxiety, i know i did. I watched Sharknado with my mom, dad, and husband, the night before the surgery. We had such a laugh fast. So that would be my advice watch a really funny movie (I suggest Sharknado). Most important, prayer works. My family prayed with me before I went to the operating room. I had a peace because I know God is with me and He’s with you. I’m considering getting another laparoscopy since my last one was three years ago. It’s something I’m praying about.

    1. I’ll be praying for you. Did you have your endo ablazed or excised? I have been told that excision is supposed to last longer than than ablasion procedure, which is done more commonly (it’s what I had done in 2007). So, I am hoping the excision will last longer. I am definitely going to take your advice on the funny movie… I have not seen Sharknado before so I may have to add that to the list! xx hugs!

      1. I honestly don’t know the answer to the question. All I know is that he cleaned me up. Oh, that’s right, you mentioned in your post you had a lap before. You should choose Sharknado as the movie to watch before your lap! Then we can compare notes. LOL.

  2. The most painful part during recovery was the air bubbles in my chest from the CO2. Those were very painful. It took a couple days to a week for them to dissipate. I remember my mom had to help lie me down in bed the night of the surgery because I couldn’t do it on my own without pain. Each day that passed I felt better and better. At 1.5, 2 weeks: I was feeling 100 %. It’s definitely not a surgery you get on Friday and then you’re back to work on Monday, like many REs tell their clients. At the same time, the recovery time is not long. Everyone’s different I suppose.

    1. This is comforting to here. My doctor told me some people have gone back to work within a few days, but that she would not recommend it. I am glad to hear from others real experiences, too!

      1. At the time, I was underemployed, so I didn’t have to take time off work. I was volunteering at a hospital once a week on Friday. I had my lap the Monday before Thanksgiving. The office was closed on Black Friday. I remember reporting to my volunteer that next Friday (a week after Black Friday), and I was operating at 90%.

  3. I had lap surgery to remove bladder endo a little over a week ago. I’ve never had lap surgery, or any abdominal surgery before, so I didn’t know what to expect. The endo turned out to be a lot more invasive than the doctor had hoped (he thought the mass might be next to the bladder wall, and it was deep in it), so my recovery has been more difficult than I expected. Still, I am up and walking around and feeling better every day. I think the worst thing honestly was the gas pain from the CO2. I didn’t have it in my shoulder, but in my belly, which just felt like a lot of pressure. I had some nausea when I woke up in recovery, and they gave me meds in my IV and that went away. I had some again a few days later after I took some pain meds. I drank some peppermint tea and ate some crystallized ginger, and that helped a lot, but I switched to just Tylenol after that. I wish you all the best for a speedy recovery!

    1. Thank you for reading my post. The scary part about laparoscopic surgery is not knowing what will be found until opened up. I am glad to hear you had a relatively speedy recovery! I will make sure to stock up on peppermint tea 🙂

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