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Laparoscopic Surgery When Endometriosis is Suspected

By Royalyne

Why would you be having laparoscopic surgery?

Laparoscopic surgery (often referred to as “lap”) is the only real way to diagnose endometriosis. Your gynecologist or even family doctor may have made an assumptive diagnoses based on your symptoms, but a true diagnoses can only be made when the endometrial adhesions are seen. The description of the surgery (-scopic) suggests that the doctor intends to merely look and see if adhesions are present, but once adhesions are found they are removed during the same procedure. Endometrial adhesions are most frequently found on the ovaries and fallopian tubes, but may be present anywhere in the abdomen. Endometriosis on the ovaries can form cysts, called endometrioma.

What you can expect

You will need somebody with you, whom must remain at the hospital throughout your procedure to drive you home.

Each hospital will have its own standard operating procedures (SOP), I can only write from my experience, using the SOP of my hospital. Your lap will be performed in a hospital by a gynecologist as an outpatient surgery. You will be placed under general anesthesia for the procedure. You will be asked to follow their standard pre-op procedures, such as fasting the night before. Beforehand you will have an IV started and provide a urine sample for a pregnancy test. The doctor will brief you on his/her plan for the surgery and what will be done if adhesions are found. The anesthesiologist will also speak to you about the anesthesia that will be used and the endotracheal tube (the breathing tube they put in). A few minutes prior to being moved to the operating room you will be given a shot of a medication in the category benzodiazepines, most likely midazolam (brand name- Versed). This medication is a relaxant and also an amnesic (reduces your memory of events while on the medication). You may begin to feel drowsy and “stoned,” which is normal for this medication. Once you are in the operating room and transferred to the operating table, additional medications will be administered and once you are completely unconscious a breathing tube will be placed in your throat.

A small incision is made in your abdomen to facilitate the insertion of the laparoscope. There is a camera on the laparoscope that allows the doctor to see your internal organs without making a large incision. Another incision, this one much smaller, is made to allow a tube to be inserted. Sterile air is pushed through this tube into your abdomen. Once your abdomen is inflated, the doctor can see the entire area much easier and access areas that would have otherwise been blocked from view. The doctor will basically look around for anything out of the ordinary. Endometrial lesions and endometrioma will be removed with a laser, but also shifted ovaries can be returned to the correct position and anchored, and likely many other beneficial procedures. The doctor will take many pictures, both before and after shots, for your patient file.

Once the surgery is complete, the air is released and your abdomen deflates. The incisions are sealed externally with glue, probably stitches internally, but for the life of me I can’t remember what they said (that darn Versed). The breathing tube is removed and a medication is administered to slightly reverse the affects of the anesthesia. You will be moved to the recovery area until you become more fully conscious, and then returned to the outpatient area that you started in. The doctor will then come speak to you about the surgery: what was found, what was done to treat it, your prognosis, etc. You will be given a prescription for painkillers, and if you are in pain (anesthesia is very much different from painkillers) you will be given a dose of the medication prescribed. Once you are able to sit up and feel ready to leave, you will be taken by wheelchair to the car.

You will be under restrictions for 2 weeks following your surgery. Abdominal surgery requires cutting abdominal muscles, and the abdomen is your core, it is used when moving almost any part of your body. The restrictions are in your best interests, and in the best interests of your healing body.

Problems that may arise and ways to troubleshoot

You may notice pain or cramping in your neck, shoulders, or upper arms for a few days following surgery. This pain is a result of the trapped air from the inflation of your abdomen. Some air gets trapped and is not released when your abdomen deflates. This air “floats” in your body, moving to the highest part of your body. Lying as flat as possible, or with your legs elevated will disperse this trapped air, spreading it out and not allowing it to concentrate in one area. The air is gradually absorbed into your blood stream and released within a few days. A way to encourage that absorption is a heating pad and/or massage. When the area has a greater blood flow the trapped air is absorbed faster.

As with all surgeries, your incisions are very important. If they become more painful, red, swollen, or begin producing a discharge, see your doctor immediately.

My personal tips

My procedure took an incredibly long time due to the amount of adhesions I had and where they were located (one ovary was ripped from its proper location with an endometrioma, minor adhesions on the bladder, lots of adhesions everywhere), but was not difficult at all. When I was awake, though, I did notice an odd taste in my mouth (from the breathing tube) and my mouth felt incredibly dry. Be sure to have a nice cool bottle of water nearby once you get home (or for the drive if it’ll last longer than 10-15 minutes).

The person who drives you should be somebody you trust enough to have with you when the doctor comes to give you the post-op report. You will likely be very groggy (I don’t remember seeing my doctor afterwards, but I’m told he was around for 10-15 minutes telling my husband about everything). This person should also be taking notes, because you will want every detail and their memory may not be perfect enough for your liking if they don’t write it all down.
The trapped air was my biggest complaint afterwards, and the painkillers I got (darvocet) did nothing for that pain. Apparently the main use of darvocet is for incision pain, of which I had almost none. Needing darvocet was my downfall, but I’m allergic to vicodin (apparently their drug of choice post-surgery). I ended up taking either Tylenol or Advil liquigels for the air bubble pain, whichever was closest to the couch. My husband was nice enough to give me twice-daily shoulder rubs and keep my microwavable heat pad nice and warm for me. The pain lasted 3 days, including the day of surgery, but after the second day it was more like the pain of an overworked muscle.

My main incision was less than an inch long, inside the bottom of my belly button. It felt like a cat scratch, and within a week I didn’t feel anything at all. The second incision was un-located for 2 entire days, as it was located below the pubic hair line and caused absolutely no discomfort. The only time I had any pain in my main incision was during the process of changing positions (i.e. sitting to standing and its inverse, rolling over, etc.).

Don’t wear a belt for a while, especially one with a big, cute buckle. Pressure on that navel incision is not a good idea; it hurts. All of my pants are low-rise, but sitting down or bending over with a belt on pushes the buckle right into that incision.

Restrictions exist for a reason. You use your stomach to wiggle your toes and pick up your head off the pillow, and just about everything else. The 20lb lifting restriction extends to the vacuum cleaner, even if you’re just pushing and pulling it across the carpet. Take advantage of your restrictions, they really are in your best interests. I was back to basically my normal routine about
4-5 days after my surgery, except for strictly following the restrictions. Once my restrictions were lifted I had no problem going back to that routine, including shoveling 2 feet of snow in my driveway. You know your body best, you know how slowly to ease into things once the restrictions are lifted. But don’t rush the restrictions, they were put in place by somebody who has seen your insides, and if you trust them enough to let them cut you open you need to trust their judgment on restrictions as well.

84 comments

1 C { 09.12.06 at 1:41 pm }

I just had a lap, and wanted to add that if you’ve ever had PID or other abdominal infection, a lap is a good way to rule out (or diagnose) scar tissue that could be blocking your ovaries from your fallopian tubes.

On the subject of neck/shoulder pain from the trapped air, my nurse told me to cough every hour or every time I felt the pain. I have no idea how or why, but it really worked.

2 natalie { 03.30.07 at 10:42 am }

I had this done a couple months ago and to be a wuss, it freakin sucked. The actual procedure was nothing, and left me with two small scars – one inside my belly button, and one off to the left that’s no longer than the entirety of a fingernail. It was the pain after that surprised me. I went in thinking it’d be nothing, and pain in my shoulders – who cares? I stupidly didn’t even pick up my prescription for painkillers until that afternoon when it became awful. I couldn’t lay on my side or my stomach without crazy pain in my shoulders and back. I couldn’t sit up without feeling like aliens were attacking my shoulders. And standing was useless. I didn’t sleep for two days because even with the drugs, I was really really uncomfortable. So pick up the painkillers and in two days if you’re like me, you’ll get through it. But it was way worse than I cold’ve ever expected.

3 jerri { 07.19.07 at 7:29 pm }

Hi I had this done a couple of weeks ago. The surgery was fine, the gas in my collar bones was out of this world. I slept sitting up for four days and took gas ex 3 times a day. It eased up 1 side at a time. The incisions were a little infected and the Dr. took out the dissolvable stitches. Only severe itching from healing occurred after that. My left fall. tube was blocked and the Dr.made no mention of trying to clear it. This makes me very nervous since that is the side where a small spot of endometriosis was found.
I had completely regular cycles until Jan. where I just never stopped bleeding.

4 Ann { 06.11.08 at 10:26 am }

I just had this done 2 days ago – uterine ablasion w/ tubal ligation.
OMG – I did not see this trainwreck coming!!
I have lived through eight major orthopedic surgeries in the last 5 years with nothing more than a tylenol for the pain (unheard of according to my surgeon at Duke).

So, naturally I thought that this little procedure would be a breeze. OMG WAS I WRONG!!!
I hate to sound so wimpy here, but that freakin’ trapped air is the most painful thing I think I’ve ever experienced!
I had some after my c-sections and I remember this very distinct pain very clearly…but after this small surgery, my neck and shoulders feel like I have major whiplash from a horrible car accident. There is air trapped in my upper right shoulder and in the middle of my breastbone area.
I cannot rest, cannot sleep, cannot take a deep breath, cannot move around without huge pain.

As for the surgery…no problem whatsoever. No pain at either bellybutton or pubic incision sight. No discharge from the ablation (very lucky I am told)…basically no complaits whatsoever regarding surgery.
Just this horrible, painful trapped air!!!
I am going to try the walking thing as suggested by the rest of you, to try to dissipate or release it. So far simethicone and Gas-X has done very little to relieve it. It sucks!
If this trapped air was gone, I would be feeling probably close to great right now – just 2 days post-op.
I was instructed not to swim for 4 weeks, no tampons, no sex, no exercise, no heavy lifting for the same amount of time. It is VERY important to follow these rules. You might start to feel great, but my doctor said that it is very easy to rupture the surgical site, or herniate something inside…no good.
So everyone hang in there, we will all soon be on the road to recovery…wish me luck!
Ann

5 Anonymous { 11.21.08 at 12:09 pm }

I had a lap and hysteroscopy about a month ago to check out uterine conditions and to remove a vaginal septum. I have to agree with the surprise at the pain in my back and shoulders from the gas. It took almost three days to dissipate completely.

I also had lots of pain with the bellybutton incision. All of bottons of my pants, barring seats, hit me right at the bellybutton. For almost two weeks after my surgery I had to unbutton my pants at work. Thank goodness for a desk and a door to my office.

The doctor has declared me all birght, shiny and optimized. The next step is to Clomid or not.

6 Anonymous { 12.12.08 at 11:37 am }

Just had thermal ablation and tubal ligation. Glad I found this website. I was in so much pain on my right shoulder and neck also. They kind of down play this trapped gas angle in the hospital huh? I am 4 days out and only have the pain in the morning now. Hoping tomorrow will be all gone. Good Luck everyone!

7 Michele { 02.07.09 at 5:58 pm }

I know it is an old post, but I think this is a really informative post. I wish I had read it prior to having mine done 1 1/2 yrs ago. I may link to it on my blog just so more people read it!

8 TRACY1044 { 03.27.09 at 1:49 am }

i had a tubal done 15 years ago and remember the trapped air was the worst thing ever.  yesterday i had to undergo this again to remove an ectopic pregnancy and the trapped air is still the worst.  The nurses didn’t even know what i was talking about which makes me feel like a real wimp around my boyfriend but the pain is excruciating.  One of the sypmtons of an ectopic pregnancy is gastritis which started with me on Sunday before my surgery on Wednesday.  I haven’t slept in 5 days and he’s in there sleeping away.  My doctor told me to go back to work on Monday which is less than a week after surgery.  Im a retail shoe store manager and do a lot of heavy lifting.  I just don’t understand this.  I wanted to stay in the hospital another night but was embarrassed to.  I have no place to get comfortable here at home because of the pain associated with the air.  I hope this helps out others who are looking at this procedure in the future.

9 Laura { 04.14.09 at 9:51 pm }

I had a diagnostic laparoscopic surgery done yesterday afternoon, but my RE wasn't able to finish the surgery for some reason. I haven't found out yet. When my RE came to talk to me in recovery, I was out of it so I don't remember much of what he said. He mentioned something about my weight. I asked the nurse when I got back down to the same day surgery unit and she tried her hardest to read the doctor's notes, but wasn't able to get much out of them. All she really could read was something about insufflation. I'm not even sure what that all means. They couldn't get the gas in to inflate my abdomen?? I'm around 5'9" and weigh 300 pounds. I know I'm overweight, but I've never heard of this happening before. I had a post-op appointment scheduled for 2 weeks, but called and got it changed to this coming Monday. I can't wait this long for answers! I'm so confused & discouraged about it all. Now I'm scared that he is going to want to do an open laparoscopy. I've searched the net for a long time & haven't really come up with any real explanations of failed laparoscopies. Anyone ever heard of this??

10 B { 04.16.09 at 2:11 pm }

I had a lap done last month. The hardest part was the no food no water for over 15 hours. Try to get an appointment as early as possible in the day. I had never had surgery and it scared me but it was a failry easy and quick procedure. I thought they would ask me to count backwards from 100 as they do on TV but they didnt. One min I was awake then next I wasnt…
Wear something super comfy to the surgery. Nothing with a tight band around your midsection. Avoid jeans.
Before going to the hospital you should have your pain medication prescription filled out and ready, food like soup ready at home, your bed made up and your fav book or DVD at hand. It sucks if you have to go get take out/stop at the pharmacy on your way home.
As for the shoulder pain…it goes from minimal to very painful. The pain medication doesnt seem to help that one, just your tummy region. Lying down with your feet propped up may help, alternate cold & hot packs really help.
By the third day you start feeling almost normal. Within a week you are completely better.

11 Gina { 06.13.09 at 6:09 pm }

I had my lap 4 days ago, and the trapped air in my shoulders, neck, under my breast and ribs was unbelievably painful. No mention of this by my GYN prior to the surgery. Couldn't lay down my shoulder hurt so much so I took a muscle relaxer and 600 mg of Ibuprofen to sleep. The doc said this pain is unusual as she always gets the trapped air out. Right..

My doc didn't even give me a post-op report, never even stopped by after the operation. I was out of the hospital less than 2 hours after the surgery.

Boy do the nurses want to rush you out. I told them I was having trouble taking a deep breath, my neck was hurting and my legs were shaking, they responded that I should get dressed so I would be out by 11:30am. I would recommend to anyone who goes through this to make sure your not rushed and tell the RN that you want to rest for a while before they throw you out.

12 Anonymous { 06.22.09 at 6:10 pm }

I had a diagnostic lap in November 2009 and developed cellulitis, a post-operative infection with a creeping red rash and fever. I also had severe pain at the belly incision site for 2 weeks, although my doctor said both situations are highly unusual. Whatever you do, listen to your body. You may be the exception to the rule, and if I had listened to my doctor's lecture on the rule of averages, I may have let my infection linger to the point of danger.

13 Anonymous { 07.17.09 at 12:42 pm }

I know this post is old, but I have also had terrible experiences with the gas pains after lap surgeries. I ended up in the hospital after one of them for unrelated issues, and the nurse there at the time told me to drink hot tea or hot water to help with the gas pains… IT WORKS!! Heating pad and hot tea are the only things that got me through my subsequent lap procedures. Hope this helps!

14 Anonymous { 07.31.09 at 1:42 pm }

had a lap done two months ago and didn't really notice the gas pains. It was a little difficult to walk the first few days and I slept sitting up for a week. My biggest problem was an infection in my belly button.

Word of advice…keep some peroxide handy! :)

15 Anonymous { 08.04.09 at 6:20 am }

WOW! Thanks for all the post. First let me say, I am in pretty good shape from years of running, and I like to think a high pain tolerance. I had this done yesterday, and woke up felling great, sore, but great. However, sleeping was a totally different story!

I wondered if they released even half of the air they put in, because I walked out looking about 6-7 months pregnant. I even walked a little to try to relieve the gas pain and felt a little relief. However, I can not get comfortable enough to rest longer than 2 hours at a time. The air has moved between my shoulders and lungs, my breast plate and skin, and is resting on top of my abdomen. Someone mentioned thier nurse said to cough every few hours, my nurse said the same thing, and I have found that standing or sitting up when coughing helps more.

So if you are planning on having this surgery, then ask them to please take a few extra moments to release as much air as possible.

16 Anonymous { 09.16.09 at 6:35 am }

just wanted to thank you for all your comments. I had a lap done yesterday (supracervical hysterectomy)I felt great the day of surgery up until about 12 hours post-op, then the should pain hit so severe that I thought I was dying! walking, coughing nothing worked. pain pills perscriped did nothing. 600 mg of motrin is helping a little. The insicions don't bother me at all.
I feel much better after reading all your posts to know this is normal. My doc call to check on me and did say it was normal, but I was really worried do to the serverity of the pain. Hubby has been massaging my shoulder, keeping the heating packs hot and plenty of hot tea at the ready now. thank you.

17 Guera! { 09.23.09 at 6:43 am }

I have had both a laparoscopy and a laparotomy for endometriosis. Even though the laparotomy was a bigger incision, an overnight hospital stay and four weeks off work it was much better than the laparoscopy. I woke up from the laparoscopy in so much pain I could hardly catch my breath. The laparotomy was a breeze in comparison.

18 Clarissa { 10.12.09 at 3:30 am }

I had Laparoscopy last monday and didnt go toilet till friday evening,then it wasnt alot,still havent been properly,i hurts!!!! Got to see doc tonight,doubt will be back to work tomorrow which they said i would be. I cant stand behind a till alday learning backwards and forwards,i will be in hospital again by end of day. I was signed off for week but have heared of other women,my sister included being signed off for 2. It not nice and i feel useless,feel better at times and think can do bit of housework but get tired and feel sick. I would have op again because it got rid of cyst ive had on my ovary for two years,yes might grow back but atleast it has gone and know everything that is wrong down there. Got hospital in 12 weeks to discuss the results. Good luck to anybody having it done,it worth it in the long run.

19 Joh { 11.13.09 at 11:34 am }

I had a lap 2-3 weeks ago and I may be completely imagining it but I still feel as if there is air trapped inside my body! I still have intermittent pain on my shoulders and in other odd areas. The op itself was a breeze compared to a bowel op I had three weeks prior to the lap – which still gives me a lot of discomfort (it is in fact a literal pain in the ass!), but I wondered if anyone else had experienced the lingering air sensation. I also feel constantly bloated and still (alarmingly) look 6 months pregnant! I know this can’t be related to the bowel op as I was not feeling like this until I had the lap. Weird.

20 Lulu { 03.25.10 at 6:04 pm }

I had a lap in Dec 2009, however it was extensive! I decided to go to an endometriosis specialty center in Atlanta to have the surgery done. If anyone else suspects endometriosis I would highly recommend that you find an endo specialty center close to you (one’s in Atlanta; others are in Oregon and NYC). Though regular gynecologists know about it and can treat it, the specialists have MUCH more experience in treating the disease, as that is the only thing they treat. They don’t dabble in a little bit of endo, a little bit of pap smears, a little bit of obstetrics–no it’s all endo, all the time. Anyway, my first lap put me at Stage IV. That gyne didn’t do much to remove it, which as it turns out was a blessing because he didn’t do much damage to my insides. I got no relief from this surgery, physically or mentally. These many years later having a specialist perform the surgery to remove it, I am so much the better for it. The adhesions and endo were cut out rather than lasered out. Part of my colon was removed, too, (by a colon surgeon during the same operation) as the endo had damaged 5 inches of it (yes, BMs during menstruation were painful). My internal structures were returned to place as well. Like I said, it was a lap, but it was as extensive as they come (more than 3 hours, without complications). I spent four days in the hospital. I took a month off work to recover (and wished I had taken longer, as sitting for long periods of time was still uncomfortable at 5 weeks out). However, as I write this message, I feel terrific! I had to stay on BCP for 3 months following surgery so that ovulating wouldn’t interfere with my healing. And after having a period for the first time this month, my pain was controlled–a first for me. Usually the pain was a 12 out of 10 (even prescription morphine couldn’t control it). This month it was a 2. Big improvement! DH and I are trying for our first baby now. Inside the 2WW and am bursting with hope that it worked!

21 Stephie { 04.22.10 at 6:56 pm }

Raise your hips and lower your shoulders, let gravity do the work to take the air out of your shoulders and into your abdomen where it doesn’t cause you so much pain. Sitting up, standing, walking all keeps that air at the highest place it can go, in your shoulders and causing you pain. I have had 5 laps for endo and my gall bladder removed. I have always raised my feet and lowered my shoulders in the hospital bed as soon as the shoulder pain starts, after it is down you will have some time to sit up, walk and so on but when you feel it coming back up get tilted again and push it back down. Simple gravity… and it is the only relief you can get from it.

22 Constance { 05.14.10 at 4:44 pm }

Well I had the same surgery done on me a week ago. I had no time to think about it because it was an emergency because my right ovary was twisted and had no blood flow. I did not even know I had endo. until he went in and told me. Believe me I had no idead. The pain before surgery was unbearable for me. I thought it was my appendix not my right ovary being twisted. But THANK GOD that I was alright. At least yall knew about endo and the surgery I went in the hospital and had no idea what so ever.

23 Constance { 05.14.10 at 4:49 pm }

All I can say is just be bless and thank GOD each and every day for your lives. Every body is going through the same thing except different situations so encourage one another and be there for one another. Just think about it no one else understands our problems with endo excepts the ones that been through it

24 Lori { 06.20.10 at 7:34 pm }

I just wanted to add my experience to the mix. I had a lap last Monday, almost a week ago. Everyone’s experience is different. I was very nervous before because I had never had surgery. My recovery has been very easy. I got everything ready before the surgery – good food, a clean house, and pain medications. I took the pain medications for the first couple of days, but the pain wasn’t bad – I have worse cramps during my period. The burping from the gas was the worst thing really, but I had very little shoulder pain. Sometimes on the internet you only hear the stories of people who had trouble. Of course, they didn’t find any endo in my case, just a cyst on one ovary, so maybe I had less pain because of that.

25 Anonymous { 08.26.10 at 1:47 am }

I appreciate every person’s thoughts regarding this procedure as it has given me a lot to consider. I was informed my tubes are blocked and after researching, it has been determined the LAP seems to be a wise choice for consideration. I will be doing further research before making a final decision but what I have read has helped tremendously thus far. I must admit however, it is difficult to endure this issue plus stay positive without feeling without providing a child I have lost the only man I have loved for over 10 years. It is very difficult indeed.

26 Cheryl { 09.24.10 at 5:43 pm }

This isn’t intended to scare anyone — but I certainly wish I had been better informed. Though EXTREMELY rare, there can be complications with laps. And I was lucky enough to have complications with 2 out of 2, believe it or not. There is a bit of a blind entry involved (with a very sharp instrument–almost nail-like–called a trocar) and sometimes key parts are nicked. My first lap was just a diagnostic procedure. The doc hit an artery and after two surgeons failed to fix it through the small incisions, a third surgeon opened me up and was able to fix it. One blood transfusion and 5 days in the hospital followed (and the doc still sent us the bill). My second lap — to close off an infected tube — was a few months later — I was terrified, but reassured. This time, my new doc hit my bladder (I had to wear a catheter and bag for 5 days for it to heal) and the thermal instrument malfunctioned, leaving a horrible, deep burn in its place that had to be debrided over weeks to heal. Conveniently, that instrument is disposable, so it couldn’t be “confirmed.” Anyway — just make sure your doctors are straight with you and understand that despite how it’s presented — there are risks and complications. I’m fine now — mom to a beautiful baby boy. Just sayin’…

27 Post-Op « Eggs In A Row { 06.07.11 at 1:38 pm }

[...] taking my breathing tube out.  Scary.  But besides that, I was fine.  Because I had read up on the most informative website in the world, I knew what to expect.  I had gas-ex ready to go for my shoulder pain, and I told [...]

28 Bri { 09.13.11 at 11:57 pm }

The reason gas x doesn’t work is because the gas is in our abdominal cavity not inside the bowel. Gas x works on gas trapped in the stomach and/or intestine itself-caused my certain foods etc.

29 Alyson { 05.19.12 at 2:15 pm }

I’m very grateful for this site, it helped me prepare for my first lap 3 months ago. I imagine estimating recovery time is tricky and varies from one individual to the next, so don’t be too hard on yourself if your recovery takes longer than the pre-set timeframe. My doctor was adamant that I’d be back to normal activity in 4-5 days, but even by days 6-7 I was nowhere near normal activity. I found that a week of bed rest (with bits of walking around the house) plus a second week of only the lightest activity (no driving, no lifting) fit my needs. Laparoscopy is minimally invasive, but it is still a surgery. Let your body recover in its own time. If you can get two weeks off from work I’d recommend it.

30 Alyson { 05.19.12 at 2:57 pm }

To deal with pain from the gas, I’d recommend a supersoft sleeping surface. I found that all the pressure from the gas made my head, back, and neck extremely tender, and my normal mattress suddenly felt too hard. So I went all princess and the pea and slept on 16 strategically placed pillows, with a heating pad under my shoulder and a heating blanket on top. Layers of fleece blankets might also work too. The softer the better. Also, for the scars, I’m using a 100% silicone scar gel and silicone adhesive pads and they seem to be softening the scars. I’d say they’re worth a try right after the incisions heal if your dr. says it’s ok. I got ScarAway from Amazon.

31 Marcia { 05.24.12 at 8:45 pm }

I had a TLH (Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy) on March 6 of this year. To be perfectly honest, the surgery itself was one of the least painful I have ever woken up from…except for the CO2 gas. Without that, I’d have classified it an outpatient procedure. But, the night nurses on the ward would not let me get up and start walking the evening of my surgery. I knew I needed to and pleaded with them, but they refused to unhook my DVT boots or IV. So, I ended up having terrible body cramps by morning, and was held an extra day in the hospital because I could not move my bowels or pass the gas. Finally, a veteran nurse on the obstetrics side gave me some of her extra-strong coffee and some fantastic tips on passing the gas (lay on your back and slowly pull your knees up to your chest one at a time, hold, release, repeat), and the mail finally moved about 3:00 AM on the second day. As soon as you can, get UP and get moving. Walk as much as you can.

I recovered very fast once the gas began to work its way out. Within a week, I was back at work (I’m an office manager), and within 2 weeks I had resumed all my activities at home on the farm…but I am VERY physically active on a regular basis, and not gym stuff; farm stuff. Heavy lifting, physical labor. It helped my recovery, that I had that sort of background.

Every person is different. My results ought not be used as your potential results, and yours may or may not reflect mine. Being active is good, but overdoing it can ruin everything and set you back. Mind what your body is telling you!

32 Heather { 06.02.12 at 3:21 pm }

I just had robotic (DaVinci) lap for endo and a fibroid. Surgery was fine, only complications were due to nausea from pain meds administered right after surgery, lengthening my recovery time at the hospital. Surgery began at 7:30, ended at 10:30, and I left at 4:30. The gas pains began late at night, but due to my research, I was forwarned. It hasn’t been too bad, most of the pain is in my neck, and the actual surgical site doesn’t hurt as much as its achy-sore. Nothing compared to the pain I was in before surgery. I took Vicodin for 12 hours, and now just Advil/Tylenol.

33 Heather { 06.02.12 at 3:26 pm }

Also, I was told its important to keep walking to reduce soreness and keep your plumbing moving. Everyone heals differently, but you usually hear the extremes online, so I want to add my voice to the mix that it wasn’t bad for me–not perfect, but not bad, and I would do it again.

34 Lisa { 07.09.12 at 1:12 am }

Wow! I am amazed that it is an outpatient procedure where you guys are from. I just did mine on the 27th June, was on drip for 24 hrs and I had to stay in hospital for 3 days. My Dr did not allow me to leave until I could stomach some food and walk around by myself without help. He also gave me 3 weeks medical leave and told me he will extend further if I need it.

I was whimpering in the hospital with the gas inside my body. A kind nurse even came in at 3am to give me a massage, I was deeply grateful for that.

I salute all of you who did the lap and left on the same day and those who are already back at work after a week.

All I can say is you guys are warriors!

35 Erica { 07.15.12 at 3:50 am }

I just had this procedure not even two weeks ago, along with a D&C. I had the belly button incision and 3 smaller incisions along my pubic line. I also had 4 needle(?) marks under my belly button. I was able to have my family in the pre-op room up until I went to the OR. They gave me an IV with fluids and antibiotics in my pre-op room. They let me say goodbye to my family then wheeled me to the OR. I talked until finally they said ‘okay, Erica, you’re going to fall asleep soon.’ about this time my Dr. came in the room, gave me a reassuring pat on the shoulder and told me he was going to take care of me. Next thing I know, I’m waking up in recovery saying I’m in pain. Note- when I usually wake up from anesthesia, I’m normally sobbing, but not from pain. This time I was in pain, but it was only maybe a 7 out of 10. They gave me medicine, I said I was itchy so they gave me Benadryl and some othe pain medicine. They made sure I was okay, and wheeled me into a private room. They gave me a cookie and a coke and let my family come in. Then they gave me MORE medicine. (Last time I had surgery they did this too.) I stayed in recovery long enough to make sure my vitals were good and was released. The drive home was fine. I took a pillow and my bf drove slow and watched for bumps. We stopped by the pharmacy and I actually walked around the store. (I definitely recommend this!) we went home and i slept in and off until it was time to eat. I ate, watched some tv and actually took the garbage out! The next few days weren’t too bad. More uncomfortable than anything. I’m normally a smaller person and I was VERY swollen. My doctor explained that the fluids and gasses used to pump me up were more noticeable because I am small. I seriously looked pregnant for a week. I was also given narcotics. I didn’t take them often at first. However, our house has stairs and that made me sore so I started taking them. I didn’t have a bowel movement for a week and a half! I finally had to take a laxative. I had staples and had them removed a week later. Doctor said I’m healing well. I’m still a bit swollen and haven’t reached my normal weight but the doctor once again said it was because gasses and liquids affect me because I’m normally not puffed up. It should be noted that the dr thought I may have had a hernia because things poke my stomach out during my period. Turns out something in that area gets swollen and is just noticeable. I know this is a long comment but I wanted to share my experience. The only complication I had from this was depression. I’ve had surgery before and never got depressed. This time, I didn’t want to get dressed or shower for the week leading up to and following my surgery. Finally one day I just cried a lot and let it all out. If you feel depressed after or before, I would highly recommend talking it out with someone. All in all, I’m grateful I had this surgery.

36 nina { 07.18.12 at 8:13 am }

I had my lap done yesterday.
I definitely suggest showering before going in for lap since you can’t shower for 24/48 hours.
I wasn’t given instructions to have blood work done so I did that just his before surgery. The guy collapsed my vein and I ended up having to get blood drawn from a vein in my hand. Try to get blood work done the day before because your veins hide when your dehydrated, didn’t help that my veins are already hard to see.
Waiting took very long and I went in for surgery about an hour and 15 min after scheduled.
Ended up that I didn’t have an ovarian cyst, I had endometriosis. So now I also have to take birth control to regulate the foundation of any more in the future.
Today my Lower abdominal area is sore when laying and painful when moving around. I only have minor discomfort in my shoulder but I usually have knots so I may be used to it. My mom also massaged the area. The first time you urinate after surgery does sing and hurt because you have a catheter during the surgery. While I was in surgery my dad dropped off the prescription so we picked it up on the way home. When I got home last night I tried using the restroom but couldn’t then felt extremely naseous, felt like I was raidiating heat and looked pale. We flushed my face and neck with child water for a few minutes then I was good. Unlike some, I was starving when I got home so I had some soup, a few strips of grilled chicken and some tortillas. I took my time eating as I occasionally felt some pain.
I only have 3 small incisions and the most painful one is on my left, where I had the endometriosis on my left ovary (from the ultrasound they thought I had a cyst on my right ovary but it was just inflamed the size of a golf ball).
I have to say I learned more from reading and doing my own research then from the actual surgeon. She didn’t even talk to me about what happened, she spoke to my parents (I’m not even a minor so I feel as though she should have spoken to me as well).
There are no written instructions as to what you can/can’t do while recovering, just vague instructions. Not crazy about that.
Also, most people say they are very sleepy and sleep a lot. I have barely slept 4 hours since I got home, which I only read about once. I don’t even feel very tired.

37 JacQuetta { 07.21.12 at 7:22 pm }

I had my lap and D&C yesterday and the pain today is worse than yesterday. I am hurting! I have 2 Weeks off from work and I think I’m gonna need em too!

38 Kary { 08.04.12 at 3:31 pm }

Had laparoscopy yesterday to remo ovary, Fallopian tube and cyst. Sore in surgical area in recovery room, felt like overfull bladder but pain meds stopped that pain. 2 hours later I went home. Abdominal area is sore but the shoulder pain is excruciating. Only relief is when I lie down. I’m walking when it dissipates and coughing and drinking. No solid food today (day after) and tomorrow very small amounts. I expected more abdominal pain and discomfort while sitting, so pleased that its not much at all:)

39 Caroline { 08.08.12 at 3:55 pm }

I had a Lap today! I had a dermoid cyst on my right ovary which I discovered last week after extreme cramping! As I am 18 I was extremely nervous but my older sister also had a Lap in January and she said that she had no pain what so ever just the shoulder pain from the Gas.
I woke up after my op and I had the most terrible pain on my lower tummy! It wasn’t constant but it was enough to make me cry! The nurses wouldn’t let me leave until I had been to the loo which was hard because you get nervous to tense your tummy muscles! I had my op at 10 30 am and was home by 5pm! The shoulder pain is by far the worst! I was told to take deep breaths in and press under your ribs while breathing out! I am a complete baby when it comes to pain and from what I’m experiencing now I wouldn’t say its anything to stress over :) xx

40 Tina { 08.18.12 at 1:30 am }

I know this post is old but I had a laproscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy 17 days ago. Feeling pretty good. First 12 days were the hardest. I have the tummy incisions, one in the tummy button. Two lower abdomen. I also have one where my cervix used to be. Still have some slight pinky liquid coming out, but only when I wipe. Take the pain killers…keep on top of the pain is my advice. At home, I took hem religiously and hd no probs. i stayed 2 nights in hospital an had bad nausea, but a home, that wasn’t an issue.

41 Kim { 08.23.12 at 5:55 am }

I had a laproscopic surgery a little over 2 weeks ago to remove chocolate cyst and endometriosis. My doctor said I could start doing yoga after 2 weeks. Because I was feeling normal and was eager to return to my yoga routine, I went back to my yoga class one day before it reached 2 weeks. I thought it would be ok as it was an easy yoga class (they call it a Yoga Therapy class) but it did include some abdominal work. The day after, my virginal bleeding (which stopped one week after the surgery) came back. It’s not heavy but it still worries me. It could be from the abdominal work I did in my yoga class? Today is the second day after my yoga class and I still have some virginal bleeding. Any thoughts on this? I called the nurse and she told me to stop doing yoga and to monitor if the bleeding gets heavier.

42 terry garde { 08.26.12 at 4:09 am }

Hi I have been getting un diagnosed pain now for 13 yrs its a pain in my right shoulder and chest worsen when I deep breath also I bury slit .. I seem to get it when I’m due my period .. I was on the deppo injection gore 2 yrs and I never got the pain but once off it it came back I have the marina coil now I don’t get a period often but I still get the pain my doc always sends me to hospital because the symptoms consist with same as blood clot but it never is this . . can someone please let me know if u had same symptoms

43 Brenda { 08.30.12 at 9:19 pm }

Had my lap surgery yesterday for cyst on left ovary and to remove both left and right ovary as I no long need them. I had hip replacement surgery on June 12 and had no pain compared to this. Think I’m lucky as so far no shoulder pain but it’s the pressure in the stomach. I’ve never been known as a baby and can take pain but was very surprised at how much pain this entailed considering they went through the belly button with 1 stitch and two other places. Was so glad I found this place and told my husband about it. Don’t feel near as bad about the little complaining I’ve been doing!

44 Cindy { 09.08.12 at 6:05 am }

Hi, I just had my lap to remove chocolate cysts from endo on both ovaries today. I was totally freaked out about the surgery since I’ve never had any before. My surgery was at 10:30 this am and I am surprised as to how pretty non existent the pain is around the incision area. It’s kind of like the sore feeling in the abs you get the day after a really good ab workout when I try to stand up or sit down or use my abdominals in any way.

Urinating is somewhat difficult and a slow process. I actually didn’t leave the hospital until 7 pm because I was having difficulty urinatin and the nurses wanted me to go before I went home.

After I left the hospital I felt well enough to walk around the mall slowly for a half hour or so as we waited for my T3 prescription.

I have some discomfort from the residual gas which kind of bubbles around my right rib cage and causes a bit of achiness in my neck and shoulders. But I would say the achiness is worse when I have the flu.

The most discomfort I have is a sore throat from the breathing tube. I could barely talk after surgery and now it feels all scratchy and dry all the time.

I’m a big baby when it comes to pain too and I was super scared going in but I havent even had to take any pain meds yet and I feel fine. So if you are reading this and about to have a lap for endo, it’s really not bad at all!

45 K { 09.26.12 at 12:45 am }

I had lap and hysteroscopy about 3 weeks ago to remove 2 endometriomas and extensive endometriosis. The gas pain in my shoulders was the worst! A good heating pad really helped and so did walking around as much as possible. I had the procedure on a Friday and was back to work on Tuesday (easing back into it by leaving early). Everyone is different, so listen to your body and doctor’s advice. I am back to my normal routine, but still doing less strenuous workouts to be safe. Still have little tinges of pain on my right side every so often which dr says is completely normal.

46 christine { 09.27.12 at 1:01 pm }

Hi, I had my opperation yesterday…. I am 48 years old and it was 3rd time in 23 years … pleased to say this time nothing to report… I had the myreena coil fitted only to control my periods in the future ,,
I have experienced mild shoulder pain .. but nothing serious. I am using paracetamol /ibrufen pain killers as recomended. Just because I have been throught this twice before I have hindsight to draw on, I am able to move around but bending over is not easy…. you are the one who will know what your limits are…. get up and walk about if you can but you must not lift or push and pull things around for several weeks.. this afternoon my shins hurt so I have put on the surgery socks issued pre surgery (precation against dvt)…
I would say try to relax… but do move about,,, hope this helps……….

47 Jean { 10.24.12 at 12:04 am }

Hi thanks for this site . I learned a lot I just had my lap done one week ago everything went well except they took out my left ovary and left falloptian tube . I stayed at the hospital for 4 days due to my anemia so far that gas thing didn’t really gave me a lot of issue it’s do minor thanks God ! But Now I noticed a piece of nylon sticking out in my side belly where they have that radiation insertion because first they tried to drained abscess but didn’t work so they have to do the lap. Any idea if is dangerous or my docs appointment is in one week what should I do

48 Heidi { 10.25.12 at 7:58 am }

I wished I had read this blog before my surgery today! I also had excruciating pain in my shoulder, collar bone, neck and ribs. I mentioned it to the nurse and she said she had no idea what may have caused it! I actually thought I had been dropped off the bed in theatre and broken a rib as I also have grazes, red marks and bruises in the same areas, but it must all have something to do with this horrible trapped gas. My 2 incisions aren’t too painful but the areas over my bladder and R ovary is the worst as that’s where the most laser cutting was done. Just getting up off the couch and clinging the stairs too the bathroom is painful and squatting down to sit on the loo is something I am trying to avoid! The panadene forte only slightly helps the pain, the pain killers they gave me in the hospital worked much better. I wished I had been informed of the possibility of this gas pain as its now obvious that its not uncommon and everyone here has mentioned it! Oh and the clear fluids diet for 24 hours before is not something I wish to repeat, if I ever see a bowl of jelly or broth again I think I will hurl! But absolute worst of all is the bowl prep mixture that gave my explosive diahorrear for 12 hours! I even had it before going into theatre. My stomach was so flat it was concave ( and this coming from someone who has gained a few kilos recently and suffers from food intolerance bloating and endometrial bloating on a very regular basis!) pro: flat tummy con: tied the toilet up all night, only 3 hours sleep and a very sore, scratched and red bum! Not to mention the spike in my water rates and the use of an entire pack of toilet paper! Best part if all was receiving a large bunch of flowers and box of chocolate from my partner and a foot rub and the promise of champagne tomorrow when I can have alcohol again :)

49 jessie messer { 11.08.12 at 3:41 am }

I just got this surgery done at 7 this morning and like all y’all said I underestimated the pain not only in my stomach but as well as the gas pain in my shoulder witch some papers I got before surgery spoke briefly about but then was never verbaly spoken about with me from any of the nurses or dr.s with I think is BS and should be the 2nd or 3rd major subject they talk to u about they also pissed me off in a couple of other ways 1 they told me about the tube that they would have to put in my throat but insured me I would be asleep when they put and took it out well I was asleep when they put it in but was still in when I woke up and I knew better then to try to talk so I raised my hand and 2 nurses was standing and get this so close to my bed that one was leaning on the foot rail and amazingly I had my hand raised for about 2 or 3 mins wile they continued to gossip I snapped my fingers at them and finely had to clap quite loud before they looked over and was shocked to c me awake and quickly took the tube out. But a little advice if it ever happens to u never try to talk it will hurt ur throat 10X more and it will also cause u to start coughing and chocking witch will also cause the extraction to be more painful not to mention coughing is very painfully on ur stomach as y’all all probably know by now. A 2 nd thing they really pissed me off about is that they asked who to tell verbally about my at home care instructions well I told them to tell me 1st and then tell both my dad and boyfriend at the same time ( they r both very redneck like me if y’all haven’t cough on lol but they both do NOT lissen good and have a hard time understanding some of the larger words the nurse and dr.s use and will not ask them to dumb it down like I will for ex. My dad told me I was not aloud to take any of my loratab that they prescribed me for use after the Sergey and no tylenol and to take ibprofren for the next 24 hr when actually they said not to take ibprofren b/c its a blood thinner and to take my loratab and no tylenol if I have taken my loratab with in 4hrs. So good thing I know a bit about pills.) But they told my dad and boyfriend the instructions but argued with me and refused to tell me the instructions BC they said the meds I was on would cause me to not remember them when I clearly remember alsome everything that was said to me and that I said maybe not word 4 word but enough to know what it was about so I would have remembered most of the instructions expectly the major ones. But as far as pain I have the trapped gas in my shoulders (very painful) pain on the cut in my belly button witch has swollen slightly but not to bad my stomach muscles r very tinder more so the closer u get to my belly button and also under my right rib hurts very bad it think its rather trapped gas or where she took the large chunk of scar tissue out I’m not sure BC my dr didn’t talk to me after the surgery just my dad and boyfriend and again pissed me off BC all my bf and dad says she said is that she took a peice of scar tissue out and burned a couple of other pieces so yet again I’m left wondering and trying to figure it out by my self I also wish i could have found this site before my surgery took place there was alot of helpful things like takeing gas x I will confirm that with my dr when I can get intouch with her before I take it but most of all I wish I would have known how bad the gas pain really was so I could ask questions before hand also acouple of people said they feel like sissies or said something about there bfs of hubies calling them wimps don’t ever believe them BC they have never even had so much as 1 period cramp witch even the really bad ones ain’t got shit on this pain we r all super women for going through this and all the semtoms before and after so if ur man is complaining about u or having to take care of u just tell them they r the weak one can’t even make u a glass of tea and a bole of soup without bitching and u r in dieing pain and haven’t even complaining that much so they need to shut up and get or do what u say! I hope this post even tho its super long helps some one with their surgery or the side affects and remember girls stay strong and take care of your selves!

50 Matt { 11.12.12 at 12:39 am }

My wfe had lap last tuesday and cannot use her right arm and leg as of today, 11-12-12. We had a neurologist run tests and nothing came back abnormal. They released her Saturday morning. If you hold her arm up and let go she can continue to keep it up. She can barely move her fingers and toes. We are going to get a second opinion Today. She was healthy person before te surgery and now she can’t walk or do anything normal. Has anyone expeirenced this?

51 Debbie { 11.13.12 at 3:13 pm }

I had a lap surgery 2 weeks ago, they removed right ovary, tube, endo, and appendix. I am feeling good at incision sights and shoulder pain is gone but I am having terrible gas cramping in my lower abdomen, lots of pressure and cramping…anyone else experiemce this?

52 tio { 11.13.12 at 10:14 pm }

Had the same procedure done back in aug. 2012 . The difference with mines is that I had to get cut open due to prior surgeries. The recovery was painful & Im still recovering now — here it is November. My stomach is extremely sore & I have little to.no feeling in my left thigh. It might take a year for the feeling ro come bavk but I still have cramps from time to time

53 Julie { 11.19.12 at 7:50 pm }

11/8/12 LAP was performed. Mine was similar to Debbie, but dead black fal. tube all twisted up needed removed, both ovaries needed cut apart since a 9 cm grapefruit size cyst was on both, my appendix was covered and needed removed, my cavity from ovary to ovary behind my uterus was full of a large cyst, endo was on my uterus, etc… everywhere… I had procedure done 2 years ago too. That time had it just about as bad except tube was alive but twisting and appendix was not touched, though they said it was appearing to spread out to organs, liver had cysts…I took progesterone and Lupron and BC, stopped to try to get pregnant and it came rushing back in 8 months. I’m on tramodol (tried everything because for 2 months before surgery, I was not walking and working from home- too much pain and insurance is awful to find coverage)… Last time took 6 weeks to feel like I could do normal things, this time I think will be less but not like all the posts I read. I don’t have gas pain, I know my pain is post-surgery… I had a fever 102.7 after this surgery…. Always monitor your temperature 2x a day, drink lots of water (not tap), ask for tramodol if bad pain, use Tylenol if on antibiotics – Advil bad with antibiotics… This is my experience . I had a great BF to bedpan me for first 2 eves I could not move. But day 3 I forced myself to start walking, burping a lot, taking dulcolax 2x a day and gas was gone by day 5 and bowels were working. ALWAYS work with your doc on recovery if complications…

54 Julie { 11.19.12 at 8:10 pm }

Sorry, antibiotic not good with Advil is Ciproflaxcin that I was on. Doctor told me to take both Advil and Tylenol while on it and try to limit my Tramadol when could, but I had another doctor tell me Advil was not ok, and then looked it up and saw Advil was not good to take. Word of advice is do research after get your doctor’s instructions for recovery – doctors don’t know everything for post-care. Educate yourself on this condition, Also if know younger women, they may have this start at age 16, but obgyn will just keep passing it off as normal…I recall I had this happen to me and went along with doctor but I was around 25, I complained all the time how my stomach hurt and periods were bad even on BC, and pain in lower right side would make me cancel trips sometimes… All I got was motrin 800 for cramps and was told cysts are normal and common to get. if I would of known my chances are now 1-10 percent to get pregnant because of this condition and lack of good information when I was younger, I would of gotten pregnant earlier in life. We need to be explained the future possibilities that may happen to some cases…

55 Sophie { 12.13.12 at 5:08 pm }

Hello!

I haven’t had a chance to read all the comments so I don’t know if anyone has already said this;

With regards to the gas they pump you with? And the horrible aching you get afterwards, I was recommended a cure by a friend of mine that had a C-section!

Peppermint!

In any form; tea, a packet of mints whatever. If you have it shortly after you’re a bit more conscious it eases the main immensely.

I returned home in agony, barely able to stand up! And not even because of my surgery, just the horrible crampy shoulders.

I lay down. Crunched my way through a few strong mints, fell asleep for an hour or so and woke up pain massively reduced!

It might not work for everyone, but for anyone going in for this surgery I would massively recommend trying it.

xx

56 Lariah { 12.14.12 at 2:02 am }

I had this surgery down about 6 months ago! I have to say I 100% agree with a lot of the stories I have read. The pain I endured was absolutely awful. My doctors made the procedure sound very easy and I was anxious to get it done. I had scarring which is why I needed it done!

There was trapped air in my shoulder area and also around my breast area. That was the worst pain I had ever experienced. It was constant and if I moved the wrong way I would really regret it!!

I had no pain during the actual surgey might I add. The scars left over were very simple and that I am pleased about. But I will not forget the pain the trapped air caused and I would like to let you all know about it just in case your doctor fails to mention it like mine did!!!!

57 Kari { 12.15.12 at 7:35 pm }

I had this procedure done eight days ago. The worst part for me was that I fully woke up in the OR after the surgery while they had me on my side (I think they were removing the catheter). I was in EXCRUCIATING pain (felt like the worst period cramps ever, and I’ve had cramps so bad I’ve blacked out before) and started to cry and hyperventilate. I tried so so hard to just say “it hurts” but I was in too much pain and too groggy from the anaethesia. Finally I was able to get the words out and they gave me FOUR doses of morphine before I finally settled down and wasn’t hurting anymore.

My surgery was pretty intense…I had endometriomas on both ovaries. The one on the left was the size of an orange and was adhered to my bladder, intestines, AND the back of my uterus (didn’t know that was possible). I vaguely remember my gyn telling me that the endometriosis was “extensive”, but I was incredibly groggy at that point. My follow-up appointment is in a few days, so I guess I’ll find out the exact extent.

Yes, the gas pains in the shoulder were terrible! But coughing really does help, and so does a heating pad. Other than that the only really bad part of the recovery has been the general soreness and exhaustion. I took a full week off from my desk job and am I glad I did! I’ve slept 13+ hours a day for the past four days (didn’t sleep much in the beginning). The incisions haven’t bothered me at all except when I shower they get itchy.

58 Kari { 12.15.12 at 7:38 pm }

Oh, I almost forgot the worst part! I was constipated for 5 days even though I was taking stool softeners 2x a day. Finally I tried prune juice…I felt 100% better after. I wish I hadn’t let it go as long as I had, because once I wasn’t backed up anymore I was far less bloated and uncomfortable.

59 OMGIM40 { 01.18.13 at 9:51 am }

Glad I found this site. My lap. Is Feb 6. Right after procedure a partial or complete possible radical hysterectomy will b performed! Welcome to the big 40! :-/. The pain I have now is like early onset of labor pains. And accompanies with wild mood swings and dislike of spouse. Lol. Anyway at atleat ill know what to expect from lap however naturally pain after hysterectoy. And most likely immediate menopause. I picture myself looking possessed after surgery and possibly sounding like it as well. Thanks for the heads up for a lap!!!! ;-)

60 OMGIM40 { 01.18.13 at 9:53 am }

Sorry for misspellings very hard to use this site on I phone lol

61 Katy { 02.17.13 at 5:09 pm }

I’ve just had a diagnostic lap done 2 days ago, my dr says there’s no endometriosis but he says something about the lining of my womb and that a hysterectomy is best. I can’t for the life of me remember what he called the condition he thinks I have. I’m 29 and think a hysterectomy is very drastic. I’ve been steralised for 3 years and suffer terrible abdo pains on a daily basis but I want to know what I have and do some research before I decide to have a hysterectomy!!

62 Blaine { 02.22.13 at 10:18 pm }

I’m having this procedure done next week and its my first surgery. I’m 21 and have had severe pain for over two years now from what my GYN says she’s 99% sure it’s endometriosis. Well I know this surgery is only temporary so how long does the pain from endometriosis usually stay away? I’m putting my email on here in hopes that it will be used for the right purpose. If anyone can help ease my mind I would greatly appreciate it. My email is blaine_elizabeth@yahoo.com

63 Brenda { 03.16.13 at 2:29 am }

Hi, I had a laparoscopy on 3\4\13 it’s been two weeks and I find myself still in pain. I feel bloated and look five months pregnant, I have a feeling it’s because of the gas! It’s gotta be. I still feel pain because of the gas but it’s in my belly. I felt great after surgery, a little sore but good, now, I feel uncomfortable and I had some discharge from the belly button incision, called the dr and he said it was normal drainage as long as I didn’t have a fever it wasn’t an infection. Funny thing is that it’s been two weeks and I feel the same as last week. I figured I would feel better. My belly button feels like it’s going to pop out when I try to sit up, it feels like its pulling from the inside. Im ready to feel back to normal, please tell me if I will soon! How long before I feel normal, no bloating, no pain? To anyone fixing to get
This surgery make sure that you stay away from doing chores, lifting, etc. even little things! I know, I know, if you are anything like me it’s going to drive you mad not being able to function normally, but trust me, it will pay off in the long run with less recovery time! Try to watch tv or read books so you won’t get bored but have hubby or the kids or family help with the chores, trust me! I felt better after a couple of days and started with the chores even painted some furniture and cleaned washed etc. and now, I’m paying for it! Good luck!:-)

64 Claire-Louise { 05.25.13 at 3:52 am }

I wanted to write and share my experience as I have found this blog really helped me understand a patients view.

I’m in the UK and had my lap on the NHS three days ago, as it was described as day surgery I was expecting to return home that day and head on back to work the following. Little did I know how different that would be. After the op; which went to plan having had two incisions, nothing was discovered and no onward procedure needed, which for me was great, I assumed that I would spend a few hours recovering then off I go.

The operation was delayed and I had to wait till 5pm to go to theatre, by now having had no food and been admitted since 7am I was already feeling I wouldn’t be heading home that night, I came around at 6.30pm and was moved onto the ward. After a while i tried to get up to go to the toilet and nearly passed out, followed by a round of being sick, at that point I actually asked to stay in, I felt awful.

My tummy didn’t really have the pain I expected, it was the gas moving around that got me, my shoulders were agony and I felt like my chest was being compacted. I was given pan relief and attempted to sleep, it was a long night, I felt like my whole upper body had done a round with a boxer, I couldn’t lay on my back, my side or m front so was very fidgety.

The next morning I felt a little relief, having called work to say there was no way I could come in and being completely honest with myself by saying I really didn’t know how I thought I was going to go in, fortunately I work in a school so having had one day off already the next was a teacher training day so had that day to recover too (yesterday), today is Saturday and after 3 days not being able to open my bowels I was woken up in a hot sweat needing to use the bathroom, the relief was lovely albeit painful.

To summarise its not a day case for many I’m sure, two very painful days after surgery, not being able to move, stand up straight, roll over etc. but today I’m hoping will be the start of feeling better. Not everyone will experience the same issues but I wanted to share my story and make those who have no idea what to expect (like me) a little bit more aware of whats to come. It was necessary and it was painful after surgery but I am fortunate that all is okay. To be able to move forward knowing that was worth the experience.

Hope this helps others too.

65 Nirvanika { 08.21.13 at 8:15 am }

I had my diagnostic laproscopy yesterday. I was in the operation theatre from 11 am to 4 pm. They removed some ovarian cysts and uterine polyps. I don’t feel very strong pain in the three holes they drilled into my stomach, two on the side above each ovaries and one below the belly button. But I felt severe pain my right arm, chest and ribs, from all the gas they use to inflate your abdominal cavity during the lap procedure. I also felt less control on my bladder post operation. I am from India and I have grown-up hearing about the benefits of taking warm milk with one spoon of turmeric powder twice a day for healing internal inflammation and wounds. I have been taking it along with 24 manuka factor honey and drinking lots of fluids (peppermint and green tea) to minimise postoperative infection and support my immune system for speedy recovery. Please sleep as much as you can, even if you feel that you are strong enough. In any surgery first week of recovery is most crucial. I am sad that I can not go to the gym but I think I will not be tempted to do so for first two weeks, given strict orders from the doctors. For gas induced shoulder pain try the following: keep your legs above the shoulders level by using cushions under your knees and sleep on heated blankets for extra comfort. It helps to relieve trapped gas. I am also dabbing the area around my dressing on the stomach with tea tree and lavender oil to keep dust mites or detergent pathogens from causing infection. Please listen to your body and be kind to it. Above remedies work for me as I try them at my own risk. But everybody is different. I wish you all a smooth recovery and good health. Thanks to all for sharing their experience, it was a huge support reading your posts to be more informed and not feel alone in this postoperative painful state.

66 gogo { 11.25.13 at 1:16 pm }

Just had my surgery on 11/21/13. I did not need to take any pain meds and was back to work on day 3 post surgery. My surgeon has 30 years experience with this procedure and used a laser to remove the endometriosis. I don’t know if that made a difference. I was also in excellent health, physically and nutritionally prior to surgery. I think that having a strong “core” ( ab and lower back muscles) definitely helped. I am 40 years old, so no spring chicken, but my recovery was a piece of cake. I ate fiber rich, nutritionally dense foods post surgery and having regular BM’s by day three.

67 Sarah { 12.03.13 at 3:49 pm }

I had my laparoscopy done six days ago in the UK. Had a cyst and some endometriosis removed. Today, apart from one of my three incision sites being a little itchy, I feel completely recovered.

First night I was so tired I ate a little dinner and then slept most of it. The second day and night were awkward as it hurt to turn over in bed and hurt my tummy when I lay on my side. I certainly needed the help of my relative who stayed with me for the first two nights.

On the third day I could walk around the block, shower, do dishes, and other light housework as long as I sat and rested a little afterwards. It was a little uncomfortable to bend over or reach above my head so I avoided those things. Yesterday, day five, I walked up the hill and attended a concert and felt just a little tired when I returned home.

I wouldn’t describe myself as fit, but I’m healthy and not overweight or obese either. I was in hospital about three hours before I was allowed to go home and I certainly didn’t feel rushed to leave.

For the first two days I noticed pain in my shoulder and also on my side just under my ribs but, apart from taking one painkiller tablet to help me on my second night, I’ve not needed any since. Stitches, eating etc all fine. The worst thing I found was the stuff they gave me just before putting me to sleep – made me feel very dizzy and unable to focus my eyes on anything, scared and upset me a bit!

I was told a week off work but I could have gone back today with little trouble. My advice would be: have someone looking after you for at least a couple of days afterwards, wear something that doesn’t have a tight waistband for your trip from the hospital and for the first few days at least. Drink lots of water, stay warm and make sure you’ve got a DVD player or something similar beside your bed – I certainly used mine a lot in the first few days. Avoid bread, I reckon. I found it gave me hiccups on a number of occasions and hiccups and tummy stitches aren’t a good combination (they hurt!).

Some others have recommended coughing to relieve the gas – I personally found I couldn’t cough in the first few days because it hurt my tummy, felt like I’d pulled a muscle down there, so I avoided it.

Good luck to everyone looking at this page who is about to have the surgery. I hope you all recover as quickly as I have. :-)

68 mandi { 12.20.13 at 2:51 am }

Hi I’m having a lap done in a month for endometeosis, I’m so happy because I have my monthly I can’t even get up to go to the kitchen I’m in so much pain that I can’t wait to have this done and thank you all for giving me ideas and a calmer since of mind this has been very informative for me thank u all and good luck to you and marry Christmas

69 Christine { 12.31.13 at 12:01 am }

I had my surgery exactly a week ago…. I had a softball size cyst on right ovary and tons of scaring from emd. The first few days didn’t have discomfort from gas but third day had bad calf pain in right leg so dr told me to go to Er right away cause fear of blood clot. They didn’t find one but told me to get another ultra sound in a week to check if it was there but to low on the leg to see it. So that’s freaking me out then jus a hour or so ago I started getting really bloated after eating to much (probably) and had a warm sensation then pain under right breast and I see red little veins? Am I jus worried that the clot moved up and its jus the gas finally moving up?

70 erica { 01.01.14 at 11:30 am }

Wow, ok glad to see I’m not the only one that may have to go through this, I have had several surgeries (foot) but for some reason this one scares me, I’ve had abdominal paid since 2008 to where it becomes debilitating and i stop eating for several weeks at a time, The doctors are not 100% sure what is causing the pain but they are telling me its Endomitriosis, and that I should consider the lap surgery, how ever finances are tight as it is I’m part time employed and a full time student, I was wondering if any one could tell me if there insurance covered the procedure or if it was paid all out of pocket… I have to do something of this pain, especially since all the testing I’ve had done has found nothing except cysts that are two small to cause any problems, but they keep telling me theres nothing there that should be causing the pain but yet I’m in pain at least 24/7

71 Christine { 01.11.14 at 8:47 pm }

Ok my lap surgery was three weeks ago on this coming up Monday. Before the surgery I complained to dr after dr about this pain I had and they all told me it was in my head, a ghost pain, and there’s nothing they can do for me! One dr even sent me to physical therapy 3 times a week for 6 months and while doing these leg and ab and stomach exercises the pain was getting worse cause I had a cyst growing inside of me attached to my right ovary Fallopian tube and bowel! They sent me in for a MRI finally for my spine and discovered the cyst in the x-Ray! I was so upset that these drs had me doing these things that could of popped my cyst and ovary( which is what happened 5 years ago to my left ovary almost killing me from internal bleeding) and the horrible part is that this cyst got so big cause no one believed me about the pain that it got so heavy that now my Fallopian tube is to weak and I can’t have children! My only ovary and chance I had and these drs took that decision of having kids away from me. They said the scar tissue was everywhere and it was a mess inside of me. I’m happy to be alive but to all you women out there that have a pain and the dr says no its nothing well u go and find a new dr and keep looking for a dr that finds out the prob cause u know ur body and know that pain is not nothing! If any one would like info how the surgery is can email me I’ve had both lap surgery and like a c section surgery. Would love to help with any questions or concerns. Cmmbifu@yahoo.com

72 cicely { 01.18.14 at 5:50 pm }

Hi, I just had the lap 4 days ago this is the 3rd one I’ve had. I had this Surgery because i had an dilated fallopian tube that needed removed when they went in they found a large mass that they remived and did a biopsy on. My doctor is releasing me to work monday 5 days after the procedure without being checked and no restrictions. That’s in two days and I’m still in pain. ANY ADVICE ???

73 Lindsey { 01.23.14 at 12:05 am }

I actually had this done earlier today about 12 hours ago. No pain has really hit me yet and I have all the energy in the world, but my husband won’t let me be stubborn and is making me rest. so boring. I got very discouraging news :( I’ve known I needed a diagnostic lap for endo since I was 15 (I am 23 now) but I’ve tried as many treatments as possible before I decided to go under the knife. With my pain being during bowel movements and really any movements and having to take narcotics for the pain I decided it was time… now I wish I hadn’t waited so long. My doctor talked to my family during my recovery and said that I have a rare case of endo that can’t be scraped or it will come back worse and more aggressively. I also have endo adhesions inside my uterus and which causes it to have a jellylike structure instead of being firm like it’s supposed to. my mother went in for a diagnostic lap years ago and they closed her right up, let her heal up, and scheduled a full hysterectomy because her uterus could no longer stand and just collapsed when she moved… I also have what is similar to varicose
veins around my colon due to endo, causing a lot of my rectal issues. but apparently this can be treated. There is also a problem with my pelvic cavity or pelvic wall or something of that nature. Apparently there is a hole of some sort which will continue to cause me
pain. needless to say, I’m very discouraged. I expected to go in and at least get scraped so that I can have some relief. but instead I must start a round of Lupron in the next couple of weeks and be a horrible raging hormonal beast.

Long story short, I feel like I’m so pain free since they literally just looked around and closed me back up! let’s hope it doesn’t hit me too hard tomorrow!

74 Nagem { 01.25.14 at 2:53 pm }

I had lap to remove endo and hysterscopy to remove a polyp 5days ago. My anthesitist used methadone as painkiller during my operation and only panadol as a pre-med. I woke after surgery clear headed as ever, making jokes with the nurses in recovery. I had been warned that some abdominal surgery could cause you to be sick (vomit) and as I am prone to motion sickness the dr had given me a patch to help. I had no problems with gas – that may have been because of the methadone but three hours after surgery i was up and walking down the hall being supervised by the nurse. And discharged the next morning. I have however had bad constipation post surgery – I ate lots of prunes and kiwi fruit and was able to go to the toilet 4days after surg. I have had pain with the incision near my belly button with movement (getting in and out of bed etc) and have been spotting /bleeding since the day after surgery. The important thing to remember is that everyone is different and just because one person went through something with surgery doesn’t mean that you will! Relax as much as possible! I was petrified before surgery as had never had any surgery before and people kept sharing their horror stories with me. But was reassured with the knowledge that these surgeons do these operations more often than we realise – this is what they’re good at! Make sure you have a good person to take care of you after and stay away from comedy movies – laughing may be the best medicine but not for abdominal surgery! :)

75 Nagem { 01.25.14 at 3:04 pm }

To add to my previous comments – The doctor told me I have severe endo, the polyp was removed, I had lesions, scaring and a bad infection. I also had a tubal ligation and found that one of my tubes is completely blocked with scaring.

76 Jessica { 02.16.14 at 2:07 am }

I just had mine done yesterday on valentines day… According to the doc I had a baby sized cyst which was removed along with my right Fallopian tube and ovarie. I’m in pain! Stomach is. Hurting still on heavy meds due to the pain… Back and neck starting to hurt! I’m scared because I don’t feel the bowel movements coming! I can’t even feel the pushing feeling? Is that normal?

77 TJ { 03.10.14 at 5:17 am }

I just had a lap five days ago. I’m feeling pretty good. Kind of tired on and off. I find myself sleeping a few hours and then awake for a while. My sleep schedule was screwed up before ( I work graveyard shift) so this isn’t all that bad. By the third day I felt great, like I could go back to work already bit in the last couple of days I’ve started feeling the left side pain that was there prior to surgery- it was completely gone for the three days following but now it’s back. I should mention that they removed endo from both ovaries and a little from outside of uterus. I think they did the hystotomy(sp) though the doc never mentioned this but the recovery nurses mentioned the fact they were in my uterus because of the post op bleeding I had ( which went away almost completely by day 2). The gas pain in the shoulder was pretty intense for three days. I’ve seen in some comments here that some have tried gas x. This won’t work. That’s to release gas from inside the digestive track- stomach, intestines and so forth- this gas is free flowing in the abdomen, there is nothing to do for it, it just has to be absorbed into the body. However a heating pad did wonders for me with this pain. My biggest concern is that my left side and bladder pain/discomfort has come back after only three days! Another thing I am wondering about is how my first period will be? Will it be more painful than normal ( please no!!). Any of you have stories/advice about first period after lap?

Thanks

78 Sarah { 03.11.14 at 5:31 pm }

TJ, my first period was a few days late and lighter than it had been before my laparoscopy. I don’t remember any pain with it – but then my endo pain hadn’t really been worse with my periods (it was more a constant moderate pain not quite as debilitating as the pain some others on here seem to have dealt with). I would think that, if your operation was successful, your period shouldn’t be as painful as it was before. But everyone is different.

From the little I know, even after we feel recovered, our bodies are still recovering. It sounds like your endo was a lot more extensive than mine – don’t be too hard on yourself and allow yourself and your body time to get back to normal! :-)

79 Briana { 03.18.14 at 11:07 pm }

I was told I had endometriosis by my gyno a few days ago and now I am scheduled for surgery next week. I’m 19 years old and I’m just looking for other opinions on this. I’ve had horrible, horrible cramps during my period for about 2 years now and I’m told this surgery will resolve that problem but from what I read, I haven’t found anybody my age that’s had this surgery & I don’t know if this could also create more scar tissue. Any feedback is appreciated

80 monika { 04.11.14 at 9:44 pm }

Hi everyone…I am wondering if many people had an “ok” experience with their lap? I am really scared after reading many of the comments:( I have to get my surgery this coming week – they are also having a general surgeon come in to do a cholecystectomy (remove my gallbladder) at the same time. I have a weakened immune system – I’ve got Crohn’s in my upper and middle ileum, juvenile diabetes x 30 years (I’m 33), gastroparesis, hiatal hernia, acute on chronic cholecystitis, stage 3 reflux, esophagitis, celiac disease and of course endo…I am afraid of an infection after because of my weakened immune system. Please help…

81 erica { 05.15.14 at 11:08 am }

wow, Ive been back and forth to doctors trying to find the cause of my abdominal pain for over 2 years, they though originally it was my appendix due to jumping when that area was hit but after seeing my regular Md., 3 different gynos i now have one saying that its endomitriosis, I was told despite birth control, and pain killers it may be in the best interest to have a exploratory lap done, my only issue is finances, and time off from work, (i teach swim lessons year around) what i was wondering is what did (does) your pain feel like, The pain that i have when it does get sever feels like an indian rug burn on the lower right spot and it runs into my back and burns its hard to describe and my mother was always telling me that i was making this pain up..

82 Hannah { 07.07.14 at 8:42 pm }

I have looked all over the internet and finally came across this site. I am hoping someone will be able to help me. Tomorrow makes 3 weeks since I had my laparoscopy for endometriosis. It was my second lap., the first being about 8 years ago. The first time they found endo but the doc said it wasn’t too bad. This time, he said it was very advanced; it had covered both overies which caused blood blisters, stretched all the way between them and wrapped around behind my womb. I also had several cysts that had to be removed.

After my first lap., I recall the recovery being very easy. I don’t remember any real pain or complications. This time…it’s a whole different story. The week after surgery I was experiencing leg swelling and numbness and told to go to the hospital. They did an ultrasound to check for clots and found nothing. They sent me home with some water pills and that was it. Now, 3 weeks after surgery, I have been experiencing a very sharp, stabbing, excruciating pain in what feels like my right ovary. I started my cycle (I think and hope that’s what it was) last week, but it only lasted 3 days, as opposed to the usual 6-7 days it usually goes. Also, my legs from knees down are still swollen. I’m pretty sure they are actually getting worse. As horrible as it sounds, I was trying to just ignore the swelling, hoping it would go away, until my husband pointed it out tonight. He said they didn’t look right and something was off about me since I had the surgery. He usually isn’t one to notice that kind of stuff, so now I’m starting to kind of freak out!!! Has anyone else had a similar experience? What should I do?

83 Dorie { 07.26.14 at 3:52 pm }

I really appreciate the time everyone took here to describe their laparoscopy experiences and advice. I found this webpage when searching the internet for information on some of my post-surgery symptoms.
It has only been about 20 hours since I had my surgery, so I’m probably in the midst of what I assume will be the worst time of my recovery.
It has been so great to read that other women have had some of my symptoms, because I had not seen them described in mainstream medical descriptions of what to expect after a gynecological laparoscopy, and certainly some of them were not mentioned to me by the gynecologist, her office’s nursing team, or the surgery/hospital nurses — all of whom played down the after-effects of this surgery!
In my situation, there is no way this was a “minimally-invasive”, “return to work in 48 hours” sort of surgery. Maybe it is for some people, but I had expected to get through it pretty well, as I easily got through a more serious surgery on a different part of my body (in-patient, multi-day hospital stay, 2 surgeons working together for 6 hours in the operating room) only 6 weeks ago. The lead surgeon of that operation came to me in my ICU room the next day and commented that I was showing a high tolerance to pain. [I don't know much about biology, but I think the pain receptors in the abdominal area (at least, of some people, like me) might be much more reactive and sensitive than they are in some other parts of the body....]
I have not yet heard from my surgeon as to what she did in the laparoscopy and what she found — my surgery was on Friday evening, it took me a long time to come out of the anesthesia, and they sent me home after a couple of hours of recuperation, so she will call me on Monday to discuss it — but there was a firm suspicion that I have severe endometriosis and a confirmation (by 2 ultrasounds) that I have three large complex ovarian cysts each measuring from 2 to 4 inches in diameter, and a high CA-125 blood test result over the last 14 months, so the operation was to test for ovarian cancer mainly, to look for endometriosis and clean some of it away if possible, and to remove or partially-drain the cysts if possible.
I have read in general medical descriptions of gynecologic laparoscopies that the incisions in the lower abdomen are generally 1/4th of an inch wide, but both of those incisions on me are more than an inch wide. So I’m not sure why that is the case – maybe she really had to root around in there (probably, as the ultrasound showed that my ovaries were bunched up behind my uterus or something, and it’s tipped backwards anyway).
Pain medicine:
I can’t have opiate-based pain medicine because it makes me extremely nauseous, so I am getting by on just Advil (ibuprofen) and Tylenol (acetaminaphen). It is not enough for my current pain – in fact, it feels like it’s not doing anything. I don’t know if there is anything else that I could take, though. Despite their knowing this and having it in my medical chart, the facility still sent me home with a bottle of prescription hydrocodone, but I am looking at the bottle in frustration because I know I cannot take any — I’d suffer worse with it than without it.
Throughout my many years of painful, heavy periods, ibuprofen and acetominaphen have barely helped, so I am not surprised they aren’t doing much for me now.
I am mindful not to take too much of them, because they can cause serious side effects (some of them are “silent” too), like kidney damage, liver damage, hearing damage. I already have tinnitus from my years of menstrual ibuprofen use.
I am surprised that the nurses advised me to take ibuprofen after this surgery because after my previous surgery I was warned not to take it for 3 weeks past the surgery because it causes the blood to thin and would hinder my surgical wounds from healing.
The maximum daily amounts that I have been able to find online are:
**Ibuprofen (Advil and other brand names): 2400 mg per day MAXIMUM — this is equivalent to 100 mg an hour, and some recommendations are to take 800 mg once every 8 hours, some recommendations are to take 600 mg once every 6 hours, but I am taking 400 mg once every 4 hours because I find it I go too many hours without taking it, no matter how large a dose I took at the prior intake hour, the effect seems to wear off before the next scheduled intake hour. (Perhaps I am a “fast metabolizer” — I think I am.) Ibuprofen should be taken with a little food, to protect the stomach from it. I eat 2 crackers every time I take it – that’s about as much as I can choke down right now.
**Acetaminaphen (Tylenol and other brand names): Recommended maximum 3000 mg a day, ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM under a doctor’s care 4000 mg a day. If you’ve got the 500 mg pills, this amount is very easy to reach. I am trying to stick to 3000 mg a day (one 500 mg pill every 4 hours).
Note: The nurse at the hospital told me to take these two types of painkillers together, otherwise I would have thought that it wouldn’t be a good idea to mix pain relievers. Maybe in certain post-surgical situations, they think it’s okay to double-up. I don’t know.
Leftover gas from the surgery:
20 hours on, my belly is absolutely HUGE. I look 8 months pregnant with twins, honestly. There is no way I will be able to fit into any of my clothes in another 28 hours.
If I had been expecting to go back to work 48 hours after the procedure, which I am not expecting to do — I have taken a lot of time off because I was having my previous surgery last month and this surgery so close together — I would have had nothing to wear to my job, and I mean nothing. I don’t even have anything to wear somewhere casual like the supermarket, unless I wanted to go in a bathrobe, which I don’t. This is something that I didn’t see mentioned anywhere when I was researching gynecological laparoscopies before my surgery. Now, maybe my tummy will magically deflate and lose about 12 inches around the waist in only one more day, but I can’t see how it would. Though maybe it will… this situation is obviously a new one for me.
In the meantime, I am taking the over-the-counter drug simethicone (brand names of Gas-X, Phazyme, etc.) which is helping a little bit. From the research that I’ve done, the maximum dose seems to be 500 mg in 24 hours, but that is incredible to me, because each pill that I have (I bought some generic simethicone, which costs so much less than the brand names) is 180 mg, so even taking 3 of them in an entire day puts me over the daily maximum. I tried to find out what the side effects are if you take more than 3 a day, and there seem to be no side effects reported, so I am not clear on why the max is only 3 a day. Anyway, my gas pain is so extreme that I am taking 1 every 4 hours, at least for today.
It seems to be helping me a little bit, but it apparently does not really affect gas that is outside the stomach and bowel, and of course most of the gas from the surgery was introduced into the wider abdominal cavity and is not something that is forming inside the stomach and bowel.
Unlike for a lot of commenters here, my shoulders do not hurt very much from the gas inside me, not even when I stand for long periods of time. They hurt a little, and when I’m lying down they are touchy, but it feels like a pinched nerve that you might get when you sleep on your arm funny one night, nothing more than that for me.
However, I do have a lot of gas pain in my bladder area — my bladder just hurts a lot, and always feels full (even if it is empty) and I’ve constantly got an urge to pee. I have a medium amount of gas pain in my general abdomen when I am standing up, but when I am lying down, I have very sharp gas pains all over my trunk area, including my chest, ribcage, all over. I can barely breathe when I am lying down because the lungs won’t open much to take in air (and this has never happened to me before). The pains are so sharp in almost every lying-down position that I can’t take it, and have to get up again. Consequently, I have only had 4 hours of sleep in the last 28 hours. And I know I need sleep in order to heal, especially since they didn’t give me any antibiotics (which I would have thought would be prescribed after any invasive surgery?)
I have found one precise lying-down position where the pain is located in just one spot instead of all over. It’s all the way over on my left side with my arms and legs in a specific position — even my feet can’t move more than a couple of inches out of this position or I get back into a feeling of sharp pain in most of my trunk area. My bed is pretty low and it’s hard to get down on it or lift myself up from it.
The most comfortable position for me is standing, so I’ve mainly been standing and slowly pacing around the house (to try to loosen the gas). I’m tired though and would rather not stand. The second most comfortable position for me right now is sitting on the edge of a wooden chair. This puts pressure on my painful bladder, but everything else feels okay. Sitting down on it is not too bad but getting up from it hurts a lot.
Laughing hurts, crying hurts, passing gas from below hurts, coughing hurts.
Other folks have said that coughing occasionally helps the gas to dissipate, but for me, this doesn’t seem to help at all, only causes pain.
One thing that does really seem to work for me regarding the gas pain is the tip of drinking peppermint tea. I’ve had about 6 cups of the stuff in the last 12 hours (as soon as I read the tip, I tried it). Before I had my first cup of peppermint tea, my anesthesia and strong pain medicine from the surgery itself had finally totally worn off a few hours after I got home, and I could not even walk or stand without being bent over double and grabbing on to furniture and walls to steady myself, and crying out from the sharper stabs of pain. Drinking the peppermint tea allowed me to stand and walk much more easily. I am not sure if it’s getting rid of the gas, but it seems to help me cope better with the gas that is present inside.
Although the gas is causing me the most discomfort now, I have a feeling that in a few days the internal wounds will be causing the most discomfort, and whenever my next period decides to arrive, I think it might be pretty horrible (maybe not, though). [Today I've read patient comments that the next few periods after a laparoscopy can be especially painful, but my doctor didn't say anything about trying to halt my period for a few months to give the wounds time to heal - I wonder why she didn't.]
I also think that my first bowel movement after the laparoscopy will be really painful, because my bowel movements are painful at the best of times, and I am generally constipated no matter what I do. (The typical things people do for constipation relief don’t help me and many of them make me more bunged up, not less. Maybe I could do an enema at some point, if I needed to. But right now I don’t even want to countenance the abdominal pain which even an enema-assisted bowel movement would create.)
My surgeon’s instructions did not say to do an enema, eat a special diet, or do any other bowel-cleansing procedure the day before the operation — which I have seen online that some other surgeons/hospitals include in their pre-surgery instructions. Last week, I asked my surgeon’s nurse about maybe doing an enema, and explained to her that I am generally constipated and would want my bowel to be as empty as possible to give the surgeon space to deal with the other organs, and she said it was fine if I wanted to do one the night before the surgery. I am glad I did. Not only because it freed up space in my abdominal cavity, but also because it probably gained me time before I’ll need to have a post-surgery bowel movement, and I want as much of the painful gas swelling in my upper body as possible to deflate before my body decides to have a poo. For most people, I realize they wish to begin having bowel movements as quickly as possible after this surgery, but my bowel movements usually take more than an hour and are very painful and protracted, so layering that on top of the surgical gas pressure I am feeling now would raise my pain level sky-high (and probably would make me throw up in the process — sometimes I throw up from the pain involved in my bowel movements, especially those that occur during my period).
One piece of advice my surgeon’s nurse gave me last week when I asked her about bloating from the gas used during the surgery was to kneel on the floor on my knees and bend my head down to touch the floor and put my bottom up in the air, to let the gas come out my bottom that way. Well, I can’t be in that position anyway due to my other surgery that I had last month, so I wasn’t even going to try it, but now that I’ve had the laparoscopy, it strikes me as delusional that this position would be attainable for someone whose abdomen has been cut through in 3 different places and who is puffed up with gas like the Michelin Man. I cannot even get onto my bed from a standing position today without quietly letting out a few screams, so kneeling down on the floor and twisting my head down towards my knees “ain’t gonna happen”!
I wish I had asked the hospital nurses to give me a few more pairs of the disposable mesh type “boy shorts” underwear that they put on me after the surgery (to hold the massive hospital-issue maxipad they gave me) because there is no way any of my own underwear is going to fit me right now, not only because of the current major enlargement of my tummy, but also because my own underwear’s waistbands are exactly where the 2 cuts were made on my lower abdomen, and would press on them uncomfortably. I can’t go without any underwear on right now, because I have to wear a pad to catch the blood flow from the surgery (which is like a light period, in my case). If I had known this before the surgery, I would have bought some “granny pants” with a tall and loose waistband, just to use post-surgery for a short time. As it is, now I can’t get to the store to get any.
(The nurses said a tampon cannot be used during this time, and the post-laparoscopy blood flow might last from 7 to 10 days.)
I am single and don’t know many people where I live, so that has been a concern. I had someone I trust who could drive me home from the surgery and spend the first night in my house, but after that, and for things like peeing, taking my medicine, preparing food and beverages for myself, sponging off, and getting dressed, I’m on my own. It hasn’t been too bad to be on my own ever since I discovered that the peppermint tea would let me stand and walk around without too much discomfort. Before then, I couldn’t walk around easily or stand up straight, and I was really worried that my helper person was not going to be helping me for much longer. If you don’t live with close family or close friends, I would advise planning to have someone help you and stay with you for 2 to 3 days after the laparoscopy, just in case, and if that someone could be the type of person whom you could ask to empty a bedpan, make you some simple meals, help you get socks on your feet, etc., that would be the best. Otherwise, you might want to ask if you can stay for one night and one day in the hospital after the surgery (this might not be approved by your insurance, but it would be worth a try if you don’t have a good “carer” to rely on at home).
My instructions say that I can shower the day after the surgery, but I certainly do not feel like showering today. I don’t even feel like hoiking my leg over the bathtub edge, leaning down to turn the taps on, or bending my head down to wash my hair, at least today! Probably tomorrow night will be the first time I’ll have a full shower. For me, there were no particular instructions regarding keeping my incisions clean (as far as I know), but I’ve read online that 1% of laparoscopy patients develop an infection in their belly button incision and it’s good to keep it clean — without disturbing the wound with vigorous cleansing.
This is long enough now, so I’ll stop typing – I wish everyone all the best with their health conditions!

84 Moira { 08.14.14 at 4:53 am }

Hi, I had a cyst removed and a hysterscope done late yesterday. Although my abdomen is a bit painful, the gas in my shoulders is excruciating! I have had cyst removals and endometriosis procedures before as well as a c-section and have not experienced the shoulder gas pains before. I will take heed of the advice given to alleviate the pain but jeepers…know what you are going to face if not experienced before. In my case the shoulder pain totally overrides the abdominal pain.

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