Excision Laparoscopy: What to Expect?
The 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.
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.
Hospitals are always cold.
- A Buddy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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