Having a lap for endometriosis : My experience
Updated: Jul 12, 2022
Finally, after 3 months and 2 cancellations, I had my 1st laparoscopy for Endometriosis! I say 1st because another surgeon will be doing a 2nd bigger surgery to address the endo on my colon and look for more in other areas. Since I’m quite complicated, it’s all a little risky, so this surgery was to address the endo around my uterus and surrounding areas, and search for any issues around my bladder and general pelvic area. During the surgery, they poked around my bladder as well, to check on it (it’s a mess, not a surprise there) and I got more Botox in my pelvic floor and bowels. Before the surgery, I had a pelvic MRI with contrast. This showed endo in several places. Even though scans don’t usually show endo, they are still required to be done.
The day of the surgery, I arrived at the hospital for 7.30am, as I was in the morning half. I got changed into the gown and peed in the little cup. After that you just sit in your bay and a nurse comes to check your BP, heart rate, and temp, then asks about any conditions, allergies and medications, then checks the urine. After that, the doctor and/or anaesthesiologist come by to explain what the surgery/procedure will involve and you will be asked to sign any papers.
Then we wait…..
Once it’s our turn, we make our way to the theatre, a cannula is inserted, and it’s sleepy time.
My surgery involved a hospital stay, but most laps are day surgeries; it depends on your medical history and what happens during your surgery.
Since the surgery is listed as a day surgery, you wake up at the other end of where you were in the morning. The tube is removed from your throat, depending on your stats you may or may not get oxygen, and they talk to you so you come to and start becoming alert. It feels quite weird at first. I felt completely out of it. I didn't remember much. Once I was a little more alert I asked for my phone to message my parents - which I don’t remember. You then wait there until someone comes to get you to take you down to the ward. I had a little water and painkillers because I was in pain, not too much, but it wasn’t pleasant, and tried to go to the toilet (not physically getting up because I was lightheaded) but it didn’t work (we didn’t know I was in retention at this point). The nurses said it wasn’t an issue yet as I was still loopy, so we waited.
Once the porter came, we headed to the ward, where I shuffled slowly onto the bed. In the ward, I tried to empty my bladder 7 times and failed. I love the nurses and my doctor for letting me try myself all those times before a catheter was inserted, which didn’t hurt! Going to the toilet did not involve me walking to the toilet because I was quite lightheaded and every time I stood, I was very dizzy. Later the doctor told me this was because they gassed me up quite a lot as they thought the surgery would be very long.
Throughout my stay I was given painkillers, both IV and tablets, plus fluids as I have PoTS so it was required, plus antibiotics. On the 2nd day I tried moving a little, just walking to the toilet with the nurse, so I didn’t fall. I was very sleepy for at least 4 days but nothing too bad. Plus, rest is important! Getting in and out of bed was difficult. It hurt to move, but that’s to be expected. The main thing is to take your time. I swivelled around, slid a little and took my time to get out without using my abdominal muscles too much. When you’re in bed, the catheter is hanging on the side of the bed, so it’s not a problem.
After 2 days, I was discharged with a new medication, antibiotics, and some instructions. These included: no bending, heavy lifting, moving too much too fast, for at least 2 weeks. No exercise or anything inserted inside, and a total recovery time of 4-6 weeks. Due to my HEDS and autonomic dysfunction, I heal slower than others, so I’m trying to take it as slow as I can. Having a few pillows behind you when sitting (not completely straight) and some when laying is helpful. I am now 2 weeks post op and started walking around the house a few days ago, not much just something. Lifting your legs straight can hurt the area around the belly button so be careful. I still have pain and swivel slowly out of bed and can’t sit up-straight and that’s fine.
Heal at your own pace. Take your time