At the end of the month I have a laparoscopy scheduled to check for endometriosis.For years I've suffered with painful ovarian cysts and other gyno problems. My pre-op is next week and my doc will go over what's to be expected, but it's always nice to know about other's experiences with a similar surgery.
I understand everyone has different results with surgery as well as other conditions that could make their surgery more involved. But overall what was your pain like after surgery? And did your condition improve once you healed?
I appreciate your responses. I'm scared but eager to have this done to get to the root of my health problems.
Nov 14 12 08:52 am Link
Ferndale, California, US
I had laparoscopic surgery a few years ago donating a kidney to my wife. Had two small incisions for tools, and one larger incision about 3 inches long for the organ removal.
I spent 48 hours in the hospital, helped along by having an annoying roommate that made me want to get out of there as quickly as I could. That and the noise from all the nursing staff, and one totally incompetent nurse.
I was pretty much zonked out on self regulated morphine the first 24 hours, and then started tapering down from there. Used pain killers for the next couple of weeks. After about a month the healing seemed done, but it was a few months before I felt I had my strength back, although I haven't got back to where I used to be, but part of that may be that I only have one kidney now.
Nov 14 12 09:31 am Link
Oh wow God bless you. Not only is that a self-less act, but a brave one. I'm glad the surgery went well!
Nov 14 12 09:39 am Link
Portland, Oregon, US
Most everyone I've heard comment post-laproscopy was pretty happy with the procedures, but it depends on how much poking around they do and how much gas they pump in to inflate your cavities. (At least that is what I think I heard.)
I'm sure it will go fine.
Nov 14 12 11:59 am Link
Fayetteville, Arkansas, US
Jacquie Bourget wrote:
The worst pain was when the gas moved up and around the cavity. Ever have really bad gas pains and you can't take a full breath or it "pinches" under your ribs? It's like that, except everywhere, and ten times worse, and way longer. Like...two weeks longer.
Nov 14 12 12:30 pm Link
Chicago, Illinois, US
Nov 14 12 12:36 pm Link
Nov 14 12 12:40 pm Link
Jacquie Bourget wrote:
The worst pain was when the gas moved up and around the cavity. Ever have really bad gas pains and you can't take a full breath or it "pinches" under your ribs? It's like that, except everywhere, and ten times worse, and way longer. Like...two weeks longer. [/quote
Nov 14 12 12:42 pm Link
Yea I'm not looking forward to being the pillsbury dough girl lol but it's necessary. Glad your surgery went well!
San Diego, California, US
Had my appendix out that way. For my first and only surgery it was quick. I was able to go home in less than 24 hours. Compared to the old way they used to deal with appendicitis I will take 3 tiny holes in my stomach and near my groin anyday
Jacquie Bourget wrote:
I used to work in an operating department doing lot's of laparoscopy work. If you have any questions about the op itself I can more than likely answer them!
Nov 14 12 01:29 pm Link
Bodmin, England, United Kingdom
A Lester II wrote:
That's what I had, you can barely see the two top scars, one on the left side of me stomach and the one in my belly button
Nov 14 12 01:34 pm Link
Howell, Michigan, US
I had my appendix and it wasnt too bad. I was sore and had some burning in the incisions, but that is just the nerves healing. You might have some chest pains, it'll go away in a few days its just the air they put in there. My belly was puffy for a good couple days. Then, once all the gas worked its way out, I was fine.
Don't worry. Out of all the surgeries I've had, that one was by far the easiest.
Nov 14 12 01:39 pm Link
Poulsbo, Washington, US
I've had laparoscopic surgery twice. First for removal of my gall bladder and again for an appendectomy.
The first time warranted an overnight stay, but I was sore as hell for days. Felt like I'd been worked over with a baseball bat. For about ten more days I wore a "grenade bag" attached to a catheter. When the surgeon pulled the catheter, if felt like getting punched in the solar plexus for a long 10 seconds.
The second time, an appendectomy, I was kind of sore for a day, but the hospital stay was so hellish, I checked myself out two days early and walked myself down to the parking lot.
Nov 14 12 02:17 pm Link
I went through the exact same thing as you and have endometriosis myself. After they diagnosed me through the surgery (took me about a week to heal - no scarring or otherwise, it just hurt to laugh for a bit!), I was put on Lupron for a year.
The Lupron was the worst for me. I can talk to you about that in PMs if you want. Hopefully you aren't put on that stuff, but if you are, know it's for the best and you'll feel a lot better once you are finished with your treatment.
I am very functional despite my endometriosis and am no longer in pain anymore!
Nov 14 12 02:26 pm Link
Derby, England, United Kingdom
Laparoscopy and diathermy (burning out the excess tissue) for endo four years ago. The operation itself was OK, although they found twice as much tissue as they were expecting and had to keep me on the table for twice as long as they expected. I then had a bad reaction to the anaesthetic and had to stay in overnight rather than simply being a day case, but that's rare. The recovery was OK, I was given strong painkillers but didn't really need them - the pain was a dull ache, not anywhere near as sharp and intense as a bad endo attack. Moving around was tricky and I found I didn't dare leave the house for two weeks. My stomach felt tight and I worried that if I moved too much something might snap, but I think that was just neurotic. After three or four weeks I was modelling again and even back on stage doing burlesque. I have three scars, all a centimetre long, but I blasted them with Bio-Oil twice a day and they're barely visible now, no one notices them until I point them out. I refused the hormone treatment afterwards (now I'm on the progestogen only mini pill) for personal reasons so I have no idea what that's like. But for me, the worst bit about recovery was the boredom. I was on my own in the house for two weeks and for the first week I couldn't really move. I felt so unfit by the end of it but by god did the days pass slowly. Make sure you have plenty to occupy your mind for those first few days!
Nov 14 12 02:43 pm Link
Fenton, Michigan, US
I had a laparoscopy a couple times. Its not that bad, like others have said the gas pain was the worst part. Mine was in my shoulders. For the first few days stay on the pain meds around the clock and you will be fine. I made the mistake and didn't do that the first time. I was in so much pain I could barely stand it!
Good Luck, its much better than being opened up completely!
Nov 14 12 03:04 pm Link
Huntsville, Alabama, US
gall bladder surgery a few years ago. back in the office 2 days later. minimal pain. a little soreness is all. compared to the 7/10 pain i suffered from the gall bladder flair up it was a piece of cake. fat-free cake, but cake
invasive surgery has one of the hardest recoveries of all the routine surgerie
Nov 14 12 03:40 pm Link
Quebec, Quebec, Canada
it beats the alternative
I have a 1½ feet scar to prove it
Nov 14 12 03:42 pm Link
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Well choose your doctor wisely....... I went in told i'd have one procedure and ended up with a huge cut from my belly button almost down to my crotch for problems I was having when I was very sick in 2005...... The doctor said they would be doing keyhole surgery .. But it didn't end up that way and I've now got an oddly shaped tummy / abdomen area and have never felt perfect ever since..
Nov 14 12 04:09 pm Link
Sarasota, Florida, US
i had a foot of my lower intestine taken out a year ago via laproscopic surgery.
aside from issues related to an idiot nurse who almost killed me, i've healed quite nicely.
no pain whatsoever from the incisions, though it did take forever for one of them to fully heal, but that's because i'm a fatty. you probably won't have the same issue lol.
Nov 14 12 04:19 pm Link
Muncie, Indiana, US
I have had surgery this way twice. The first time was my gallbladder 20 years ago. It was overnight and yes, the gas pains around my shoulder were painful and I had vomiting afterwards.. The second time was an exploratory lap for ovarian cysts. This was outpatient and much easier. I had no complications the second time around and I was up and about exactly as I was told. I have learned to ask for something to prevent vomiting before I get put under. Make a list of questions for your doctor. A lot of how YOU will deal with it depends on what they find once they are in there. The less work they do the easier it will be.
Nov 14 12 04:26 pm Link
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
It's not really necessary to treat endometriosis. Most doctors can accept you have it given chronic symptoms. Being diagnosed with it officially won't really change anything. My endometriosis has been treated without the official surgery to confirm it. I find it really horrible that we not only have to suffer with endometriosis, but have to have surgery just to appease the doctors so they can know what we all already know. My doctor did not insist on it and it's been treated accordingly.
Nov 14 12 04:37 pm Link
Derby, England, United Kingdom
This is why I'm glad I had the diathermy at the same time. My op wasn't just to diagnose, they actually burned away and removed all the built up endo tissue (including cysts on my ovaries) whilst they were in there. Once it was all gone I could actually function during my periods and enjoy sex, which is a bonus! And I didn't need to treat it hormonally for three years - now it's got bad enough that I'm back on hormones to stop me needing a second operation, but those three years were wonderful. The idea of an unnecessary operation is pretty horrible, but it can be very beneficial if you're offered the diathermy at the same time
Nov 14 12 04:59 pm Link
Yelm, Washington, US
I've had this surgery twice. It's very simple, very minimal scarring, and very little pain. Doing crunches will suck for a few weeks, and no sex for a couple more weeks, but still...
I walked out of the hospital and to the car, after my last one, if that tells you anything. I did a job interview (which I got) a week after my surgery.
I'd also wear loose pants and skirts for awhile. I found the button on my jeans fit exactly where my incision was.
Nov 14 12 08:42 pm Link
Anaheim, California, US
I had stomach surgery for acid reflex this way. The weird thing afterward was pain in my shoulders. Based upon my experience they fill the area with a gas so that the surgeon has room to operate. I am told that this is what caused the pain in the shoulders as the gas had to dissipate.
I think the recovery from the surgery depends upon the extent to what was operated on. I took 3 weeks off work and it did take a while to recover.
The good news is the surgical incisions are almost invisible so scaring is very minimal.
Nov 14 12 09:21 pm Link
You poor thing . I have read about the horrible side effects lupron has such as severe migranes. That alone terrifies me. I ended up in the ER tonight and my blood pressure was so high from being in pain as well as vomiting most of the day. I was given fluids/ anti- nausea/ pain meds which helped me a lot. I can wait to get y surgery for this nightmare to be over. Oddly the pain was so severe it was radiating to my groin. Is that common?
Nov 14 12 09:28 pm Link
Jacquie Bourget wrote:
I felt it from my stomach down to my inner thighs area and everything in between. Not sure if it's normal, but I had similar issues.
Nov 14 12 09:35 pm Link
Yea I understand that. The reason I'm getting the surgery is because I've had so many cysts as well as severe pain in the past few months. My doctor said I most likely have adhesions that need to be removed because until she does the surgery she really doesn't know the extent of it. Adhesions could be on my others organs so she's just ruling everything out.
Nov 14 12 09:40 pm Link
Yea I could barely walk because it was a stabbing pain in the groin. I'm relieved to hear I'm not alone with this. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. I hope you're feeling better with everything. Sorry my response is short, I'm not used to typing on my phone and I'm still groggy from the medicine. I'm off to bed. Take care and thanks again hun .
Nov 14 12 09:43 pm Link
Las Vegas, Nevada, US
I had that exact procedure two years ago. Recovery is annoying but it isn't as painful as other procedures. What sucks is waiting for all the air to come out (i.e. gas). It can make it rather uncomfortable to lie on your back/side depending on the air bubbles; and it's hard to stand up straight for the first few days. But other than that, pain levels are manageable with proper pain killers. You'll need to be able and willing to stay down for at least a week-and-a-half and limit the time you spend on your feet since your stitches can rip open and bleed (did that 'cause I was impatient...that sucked).
It's a fast procedure and a super fast recovery process. The scariest part is honestly going to the hospital.
I totally forgot to mention results after the surgery. My endometriosis wasn't "cured" per se; but since mine was minor enough, my OB/GYN cauterized the inside of my uterus with the hope my body would naturally shed the uterine lining that wasn't supposed to be there and heal.
My pain levels lessened for the first month or so afterwards, but like I said, it isn't a cure. I still have pain but not NEARLY as crippling as it used to be. Now I can lie under a heating pad for an hour or so and subdue it with ibuprofen and/or tramadol. I can go to work and not worry about completely losing my productivity.
Nov 14 12 09:52 pm Link
Jacquie Bourget wrote:
No worries. For me, I'm better than I've been in a long time. I struggled with endometriosis from 12 to 19 or so... finally free of it for the most part. It isn't cured, but I feel very regular now and am on a great birth control that regulates me and makes my endometriosis very very very manageable.
Nov 15 12 04:40 am Link
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Jacquie Bourget wrote:
Can they deal with that at the same time as to avoid 2 separate surgeries?
Nov 15 12 07:22 am Link
Likely they'll consent her for the endo treatment (so exploratory laparoscopy and diathermy to endometriosis) as well as removal of adhesions. It uses the same bit of diathermy kit and literally all they do is snip any bits of tissue that are joining things that shoudn't be. You can sometimes be tested for adhesions by a doctor gently pulling your womb left or right during a pelvic exam with their fingers. Generally if you have adhesions you yelp at this point as things tug. For the most part these adhesions are completely harmless, it's just where bits of tissue at some point have merged. Snipping them solves it.
Nov 15 12 07:34 am Link
Oooh a few more things for the OP while I remember...
You may also be consented for a hysteroscopy while you're having your operation. A similar telescope is used to look at the inside of the womb and potentially you can have bits of endometriosis diathermy-ed too. This doesn't involve any extra incisions etc obviously as there's a natural orifice there lol
Please please please observe the nil by mouth regs. We used to have to send patients home because they'd been chewing gum and drinking tea. Nil by mouth means exactly that- don't put anything in your mouth! It sounds stupid and patronising but potentially it could mean you are sent home (it's unsafe to administer an anaesthetic to someone who's been eating, drinking etc) and you'll have to suffer for longer until you can have the treatment.
The anaesthetic will be followed or preceeded by some medication to limit the feelings of nausea and vomiting. You may still feel queasy post op if there's still gas in the abdominal cavity squishing on your stomach.
If you're being treated as a day case (ie they'll discharge you on the same day) you'll need someone to pick you up to take you home or to escort you in a taxi. Our day surgery wouldn't let people use public transport in case they were taken ill en route home. Being in a prviate vehicle or taxi means if anything goes awry (which is extremely unlikely) means you can get back to the hospital asap. This will probably vary depending on the hospital you're attending
Nov 15 12 07:44 am Link